A significant event in the life of the Church will take place on Thursday 7th December 2017 in London. The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) will be holding its first ordination service led by the newly consecrated Missionary Bishop, Andy Lines.
AMiE is a growing network of churches who are Anglican by conviction. They are not part of the central structures of the Church of England but are connected to the global Anglican family through Gafcon.
We were delighted when Andy Lines was consecrated as Missionary Bishop to Europe, on 30th June 2017, by the Anglican Church in North America. One of Bishop Andy’s primary responsibilities is to give oversight to the current congregations of the Anglican Mission in England, and to make provision for future growth. A new generation of ordained leaders will be essential if AMiE is to achieve its gospel desire of planting 25 churches by 2025 and 250 by 2050.
Up until now, AMiE‘s clergy have either come from the Church of England, or have been ordained by overseas Bishops. Now, for the first time, nine men will be ordained together by an English Bishop who can give them regular oversight as they begin their ministries.
The ordination service on 7th December will be a celebration of the commissioning and sending out of new ministers of the gospel, who have gone through a process of rigorous discernment and training. We are praying that these newly ordained leaders will be used by God to grow his church both in number and maturity. Some will serve in existing AMiE congregations, while others will lead teams engaged in planting new churches.
The ordinations will take part in a non-conformist church building in the East End of London, details of which are embargoed until later in the week.
The Sunday Times has a brief article on the ordinations, describing the action as “a new threat to unity” and a “rival church”.
The AMiE has produced a FAQ about the ordinations.
Mission Director of the AMiE, Lee McMunn, set out the rationale for pushing ahead with the ordinations…
“We are convinced that England needs many new Anglican churches that are sharing the great news about Jesus our Saviour and Lord, and forming communities of his loving disciples, who base their lives and worldview on Scripture, and are empowered by his Spirit. We want to play our part in the spreading of the gospel in England. We treasure the crucified and risen Jesus and we want to tell as many as possible that he can transform their lives. Indeed, that he can change where they will spend eternity. We know that many faithful Anglicans remain within the structures of the Church of England. However, some are finding their entry to ordination blocked by liberal clergy who do not believe orthodox Anglican teachings, like Jesus being the only way to be saved. Moreover, an increasing number of those exploring ordination now have no interest in joining what they see as a fundamentally compromised denomination. They are distressed by the number of senior clergy who are keen to bless what the Bible calls sin. Many are now talking to AMiE about a different way of being an Anglican in England. They are discovering the joy of belonging to a network where church leaders actually believe the historic Reformed faith in the 39 Articles, and where clergy are fully convinced that people need to be saved from the judgement to come. They are also experiencing the delight of being led by bishops, who all believe that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation; who uphold the supreme authority of the Bible in all matters of belief and behaviour; and who are personally involved in the lives of the clergy.”
For many disenfranchised Anglicans in the England, Wales and Scotland this will be seen to be “the real deal”. Previous actions (such as the consecration of Gavin Ashenden or Jonathan Pryke have been perceived by many that davidould.net has spoken to as uncoordinated or merely local solutions. The AMiE action, however, comes with the implicit backing of the GAFCON movement (through Bishop Andy Lines) and presents as the genuine beginnings of an ecclesiastical framework that includes an ambitious programme of church planting and evangelism.
A senior AMiE figure told davidould.net:
We have no desire to set up a rival Anglican church to the CoE and hope to share mission focus with orthodox within CoE. We are however seen as threat by liberal CoE Anglicans because they are moving away from historic formularies and seeking to take the denomination with them.
…ultimately the gospel need must trump denominational considerations.
davidould.net understands there are plans to livestream the event.