The Anglican Mission in England - the beginning of the “Church within a Church”?

We're reporting at Stand Firm on a major development in the Church of England.

At this year's EMA, a new Anglican Mission Organisation was announced – the Anglican Mission in England.

New Anglican Mission Society announced
June 23, 2011
The Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) held its inaugural event on Wednesday June 22 during an evangelical ministers’ conference in central London.

 

AMIE has been established as a society within the Church of England dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting. There is a steering committee and a panel of bishops. The bishops aim to provide effective oversight in collaboration with senior clergy.

The AMIE has been encouraged in this development by the Primates’ Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) who said in a communiqué from Nairobi in May 2011: “We remain convinced that from within the Provinces which we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family.”

 

The AMIE is determined to remain within the Church of England. The desire of those who identify with the society is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the AMIE for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop but wish to identify with and support others.

At the London conference three English clergy who have been ordained in Kenya for “ministry in the wider Anglican Communion” with the support of the GAFCON Prımates’ Councıl were welcomed and prayed with by bishops and church leaders in support of their ministry.

 

The launch of AMIE follows four and a half years of discussions with senior Anglican leaders in England about ways in which those who are genuinely in need of effective orthodox oversight in the Church of England can receive it.

The AMIE will continue to encourage church planting and all forms of Christian witness in accord with the Jerusalem Statement of the GAFCON Conference in June 2008.

 

For further information please contact

Rev Paul Perkin (Chairman of the AMIE steering committee)  0207 326 9412
Canon Dr Chris Sugden (Secretary)  01865 883388

 

See also Saint Augustine Society website

Background: See the Jerusalem Declaration

 

This is an intriguing development. Perhaps the following observations…

  1. The language of “Anglican Mission in…” is, of course, reminiscent of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA), which was formed in the 90's by the Archbishops of Kenya and South-East Asia in response to the increasingly heterodox movement of The Episcopal Church of the USA. That in itself is a bit of a statement about the current state of the CofE. Of course their most provocative act was to consecrate 2 bishops “irregularly”. With all the current discussions in the CofE about women bishops and episcopal oversight that can't be a co-incidence.
  2. Nevertheless, rather than “stepping outside” the national church there is a firm intention that this be “a society within the Church of England”. Nobody is leaving the ship yet, apparently.
  3. The location/timing of the announcement (the Evangelical Ministy Assembly and the names of persons and organisations (not least the link to the latent Society of St Augustine) indicate this is in the mainstream of “conservative” (ie classical) evangelical Anglicanism.
  4. The AMiE begins to address some of those issues highlighted by Hugh Palmer in our article of January this year. My prediction would be that this is going to be a major structure through which classical evangelicals  in the CofE operate, not least in terms of church planting.
  5. Watch out for the appointment of a bishop to “oversee” the work. That would be a significant event if it ever occurred.

Thoughts?

2 comments on “The Anglican Mission in England - the beginning of the “Church within a Church”?

  1. Yawn. Yet another splinter group. This reminds me of how I went to CME this year and found a group of three people at a stand under the banner “Church of England (Continuing)”. It’s not big. It’s not clever. Even a massive movement like Methodism eventually comes home.

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