Perth Consecration Service “Un-Anglican”

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This last week has seen the consecration of another woman bishop in Australia, this time in Perth (where Kay Goldsworthy, now diocesan bishop of Gippsland, was previously assistant bishop).

The consecration service for Kate Wilmot, rector of Bayswater, took place at St George’s Cathedral in Perth on the evening of Thursday 6 August. The Archbishop of Perth’s website reports,

wilmotThe Rector of the Parish of Bayswater and the Co-ordinating Chaplain of 13 Brigade, Kate brings to the role of Bishop extensive experience in ministry. She has served in the Parishes of Northam, Ballajura and Kingsley, and as an Army Reserve Chaplain since 2004. She is a serving Canon of St George’s Cathedral.

Kate was born in Darwin, and educated at Northam Senior High School. She obtained a BA (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and a BD (Hons) in Systematic Theology from Murdoch University. Kate has worked as a computer typesetter in two print companies.

The Archbishop of Perth said that “Kate is a gifted person with sound and sensitive pastoral skills. She has proved her leadership in both rural and urban settings. Her intellectual vigour is balanced with a humble and gentle spirit. Her service in the Australian Defence Force is deeply valued and for the time being she will remain as an active Reservist alongside her wider diocesan and community responsibilities”.

Kate follows Bishop Kay Goldsworthy, the first woman Bishop appointed in the Anglican Church of Australia in 2008. Bishop Kay was elected Bishop of Gippsland in December 2014 and took up appointment in March 2015. The appointment of Canon Wilmot continues the Anglican Church’s commitment to enhancing the role of women in every aspect of diocesan life.

Of course, by now this is just part of Australian Anglican Church life. Some are delighted, some still grieved. No news there.

What is interesting, however, is the choice of hymns and liturgy in the service. I’ve been sent copies of the service sheet with contains these gems.

First, the Tantum Ergo


And, for reference, from the 39 Articles:

XXVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper.

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

Next this during communion, Salve Regina,


and again from the 39 Articles,

XXII. Of Purgatory.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

Why refer to the 39 Articles? Because of this from the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia,

4. This Church, being derived from the Church of England, retains and approves the doctrine and principles of the Church of England embodied in the Book of Common Prayer together with the Form and Manner of Making Ordaining and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests and Deacons and in the Articles of Religion sometimes called the Thirty-nine Articles

…and it is hereby further declared, that the above-named Book of Common Prayer, together with the Thirty-nine Articles, be regarded as the authorised standard of worship and doctrine in this Church, and no alteration in or permitted variations from the services or Articles therein contained shall contravene any principle of doctrine or worship laid down in such standard.

So, in summary, a female bishop consecrated at a service which contains elements in direct contradiction to the very constitution of the body in which said bishop is to function as an instrument of unity. Make of that what you will.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Gilbert

    “I firmly and sincerely believe the Catholic faith and I give my assent to the doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons; I believe that doctrine to be agreeable to the Word of God; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments I will use the form in the said book prescribed, and none other, except as far as shall be ordered by lawful authority.” APBA p.800 “The Ordination of Bishops”

    Seems pretty clear.

  2. Gordon Cheng

    Good grief.

  3. Martin Luther

    What seems to be the patterns in Anglican dioceses overseas is that the evangelicals put up with this until they get kicked out of their churches or can no longer put up with the false teaching and leave. Why don’t the evangelical bishops in Australia say enough is enough and act first to remove those promoting this false teaching?

    1. MichaelA

      Hi Martin, the evangelical bishops can speak out, but they have no power to “remove” bishops or clergy in another diocese. In effect, each of the 23 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Australia is autonomous.

      And if we were an hierarchical church, that is tailor-made for a liberal take-over.

      The issue is really one for evangelical Anglicans within Western Australia – are they sufficiently unhappy with this to form their own churches and then seek episcopal oversight from overseas bishops, such as Gafcon?

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