Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney has written to his fellow bishops in Australia to explain his rationale behind participating in the consecration on Friday 30 June of Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop. understands he has been strongly urged by the Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier, not to take part in the event, which Freier views as being divisive. He will be joined there by Bishop Richard Condie of Tasmania, who is the chair of Fellowship of Confessing Anglican (FCA) Australia.

Archbishop Davies’ letter sets out the background to the consecration and then moves to a clear defence of his participation:

From the Primate’s response to this decision and his counsel not to participate, I understand that some of you will disagree and disapprove of my participation. I do not make the decision lightly, nor do I wish to cause division among our episcopal ranks. However, I believe that my participation is an act of solidarity with those who contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Not to participate, since I shall be present, would send a signal of a different kind, and one which I do not believe would bring honour to Christ and his gospel.

Davies’ penultimate paragraph is even stronger, containing what one insider described to me as “a clear challenge to heterodox bishops in Australia”:

… it is my hope that we would all rally to defend the Bible’s teaching on marriage, not merely for the sake of correct doctrine, but that we might preserve the message of the gospel for the salvation of all.

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