Anglican Samizdat

May 4, 2010

A message from the alternate universe of Bishop Michael Ingham

Michael Ingham would like us all to believe that African Bishops such as Akinola and Orombi are mere puppets of sinister “elements” in the US that are, for their own nefarious, colonial and probably profit-inspired motives, opposed to sodomy. Such is the miasma currently wafting from the Twilight Zone:

There are definitely those in Africa who believe that the constant references to issues of human sexuality are the hobby horse of a handful of bishops. There are also those who can tell when an African voice delivers a message that has been crafted in the “west.” Many African bishops feel that a few of their colleagues are being used by elements from the United States to continue an American agenda. They are increasingly frustrated by this colonial dynamic.

April 19, 2010

Diocese of New Westminster coming to grips with dwindling church attendance

Bishop Michael Ingham and Dean Peter Elliott would like to sell some buildings – probably not to ANiC congregations though:

The institutional form of churches is changing,” says Peter Elliott, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. He says the study’s intent was not to mourn the local church but to determine the future of Anglican churches to best “serve God’s mission most effectively.”

Some churches may merge or close because of a shift of populations from urban to suburban areas but new churches may be started, officials say.

The diocese’s Bishop Michael Ingham has said the Anglican Church has church buildings where they don’t need them, that there are too many close together in West Vancouver and not enough in Surrey.

The Anglican diocese hasn’t sold a building in 13 years, Elliott says, but it doesn’t rule that out in future if the money could then be used for the church ministry.

St. Laurence Anglican Church, which proudly trumpets its permission to bless same sex unions, sees the solution in exploring South American shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies, surrendering to the pulsing heart of the green world, and avoiding putting too much emphasis on beliefs and doctrine:

“In South American shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies I’ve surrendered to the pulsing heart of the green world and immersed in Jewish Sabbath and high holy days gatherings with friends. I’ve probably taken too many workshops on a wide array of psycho-spiritual and body-oriented healing arts. Some people might say I’ve eaten too many vegetables! My root-meditation practice is inspired by the Buddhist tradition. For 45 minutes each morning I sit and breathe in loving-kindness, a focusing practice that strengthens the heart’s innate capacity to open, accept and forgive.”
Given his near-encyclopedia spiritual history, what did the Banyen Books owner want the Christians to do?

Certainly not copy him. What he did urge the Christian audience to do, however, was to avoid putting too much emphasis on Christian “beliefs” and “doctrine.”

Meanwhile, an unlikely source of inspiration comes from Statistics Canada who note:

[T]he latest numbers available from Statistics Canada, more conservative evangelical churches exploded by 130 per cent in B.C., and Catholic Church populations in B.C. grew 12 per cent and led to the recent building of a church in Abbotsford and the rebuilding of at least two parishes in Vancouver.

That remedy is probably a little too obvious for the enlightened theological mavens of the Diocese of New Westminster.

March 22, 2010

And the winner of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Highest Award is……

Yes! You’ve guessed it! Not the person who has won the most souls for Christ, but the Diocese of New – we have a heretical bishop – Westminster’s Business Administrator.

Diocesan Business Administrator and St. Christopher, West Vancouver parishioner Rob Dickson will be one of five recipients of this year’s Anglican Award of Merit. The award is the Anglican Church of Canada’s highest award available to laity and is presented to those who have contributed with distinction and dedication to the work and life of the church at the national and international level.

I’m sure Rob is a lovely bloke and has done a fine job administering the…. er… business.

March 18, 2010

Bishop Michael Ingham doesn’t like the Anglican Covenant

What a shocker:

Bishop Michael Ingham reported that New Westminster diocesan council expressed concern that the Covenant could be used in a punitive way against member churches who have taken actions to which other provinces object.

Ingham is more than happy to exercise punitive measures against his own clergy – the most notable being J. I. Packer – but doesn’t seem to be too keen on being on the receiving end of such measures.

With Rowan in charge this isn’t particularly likely, but Ingham still plays the aggrieved victim just in case. Bishop Michael Ingham, bully and poltroon.

January 9, 2010

Where are the dioceses in Canada getting the money to sue ANiC?

It looks as if they are sharing the load. Here the Diocese of New Westminster is giving the financially troubled Diocese of BC $14,000 to pay for its lawsuit. Perhaps more importantly, the money is coming from the pockets of the average person in the pew who has no idea that it is being used to sue fellow Christians.

The Network, on behalf of the Church of the Open Gate, has sought leave to appeal the Judgement given by Madame Justice Allan with regard to the Church of St. Mary of the Incarnation, Metchosin. The Judge has reserved judgement and we are awaiting word on the appeal. The Diocesan Council of the Diocese of New Westminster has agreed to share in the costs of the court case concerning the initial appeal. They have given the Diocese of British Columbia $14,000 in costs as a result of the research done by the Diocese of British Columbia. The Bishop will write to the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of New Westminster to thank them for their generosity.

December 17, 2009

Spinning the New Westminster vs. ANiC court ruling

Filed under: Diocese of New Westminster — David @ 7:15 pm
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A letter in Abbey News manages to misinterpret the New Westminster vs ANiC court ruling with such wilful plodding determination that it is difficult to se it as anything other than a clumsy spin:

“I intend to invite these congregations to remain in the buildings where they worship.” So wrote Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham in his recent open letter. Yet two letters to the editor printed during the first week of December suggested the diocese would be turning people out of St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford. Not so.

But the diocese has turned the priests out of the churches. When St. Matthew’s voted to join ANiC, 186 were in favour, 4 against and 5 abstained; the 186 people would hardly abandon their priests after they have taken such a stand, so Ingham has effectively turned the congregation out of their church.

Highlighted recently in local media have been the views of clergy and lay leaders who in May 2008 voluntarily left the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC). For the past 20 months these non-ACoC clergy and lay leaders have excluded ACoC clergy from the building. They have also spent a great deal of money on the unsuccessful lawsuit they started in 2008

Not entirely unsuccessful, since ANiC won the $2.2M bequest.

Not highlighted in local media have been the views of another group with an affiliation to St. Matthew’s. I refer to Abbotsford residents who are members or supporters of the ACoC. For 20 months these people have had nowhere to go in Abbotsford to attend public worship presided over by ACoC clergy. Some have continued to worship at St. Matthew’s at services led by non-ACoC clergy. Some worship in sympatico non-ACoC churches in the city. Some, like me, drive to an ACoC church in a nearby community. Others have stayed home.

One must assume that those who feel that attached to the ACoC would have turned up to vote: 4 people voted to stay in the ACoC, so this “group” MacAdams refers to is comprised of 4 people including him.

Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher in his decision of Nov. 25, confirmed ACoC clergy should be allowed to resume using St. Matthew’s. He called on both the officers of the Diocese of New Westminster and the current leadership of the congregation to arrive at a workable resolution. I understand Bishop Ingham and diocesan officers will invite the current congregational leaders to start talking. Presumably this means a resolution which meets the needs of all concerned. Both those who are wanting to worship under the leadership of ACoC clergy and those who are not.

The trustees at St. Matthew’s were unwilling to continue under Ingham’s leadership when they had orthodox priests who could at least act as a buffer against Ingham’s heresies. Once Ingham moves his pick of priests in, for the trustees to return would be a practical application of Pr. 26:11.

Your readers should be spared incorrect allegations about people being turned out of St. Matthew’s. My hope is many of those who have stayed at St. Matthew’s will respond to Bishop Ingham’s invitation. And I hope as well they will be kind enough and generous enough to welcome newcomers, returnees and ACoC clergy to participate in public ACoC worship.

Douglas MacAdams

It didn’t work in Niagara, it won’t in New Westminster.

December 5, 2009

Freudian slip by Queerty

Filed under: Diocese of New Westminster — David @ 10:17 pm
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Although there is more than a note of rejoicing, even a gay website subconsciously knows who owns the New Westminster ANiC parish buildings:

Good luck stealing your churches: Four Canadian churches who split the Anglican Church of Canada (because they’re willing to tolerate the gays) for the more conservative Anglican Network in Canada will not get to keep their property, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled.

You can’t steal something that is already yours.

December 4, 2009

Diocese of New Westminster: Why can’t you all just get along

Filed under: Diocese of New Westminster — David @ 6:54 pm
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Canadian Christianity on the court ruling in New Westminster:

The court decision means that the diocese owns the buildings; but they are still being administered by the parish trustees. Kelleher decided to “leave it to the parties to arrive at a workable resolution” to this problem.

Hutchinson suggested that the court was essentially challenging both parties to cooperate and find a mutually acceptable solution. He noted the “clear scriptural injunction about reconciling with your brother,” and said there are Christian mediation resources which could resolve the issues with less expense and less division than the court system.

However, leaders of the Diocese of New Westminster suggested that the issue has already been decided. Ingham contended that “the entire conflict has been unnecessary,” blaming it on a few “extreme conservative leaders.” He has written to the parishes, inviting them to remain in the buildings and work with him to appoint new conservative clergy acceptable to both him and the parishes.

That is not likely to happen, said Chang. The people in the parishes who voted by strong margins to leave the diocese “knew we could lose our property . . . At the end of the day, if forced to choose, we will choose our faith over our buildings.”

Much as it pains me to agree with the Diocese of New Wesmtinster, I think they have it right: whatever the trustees do, the buildings are Ingham’s. Kelleher’s leaving it to the parties to arrive at a workable resolution has simply placed the trustees in a position where they will either have to compromise every principle that they have fought for this far, or resign. Kelleher must have realised this unless he is a complete idiot. The Kelleher leave it to the parties decision – or why can’t you both just get along – smacks of Rowanesque syncretism, frustration, malevolence or stupidity; perhaps a combination of all four.

The Niagara judge, Milanetti, had the same attitude when she ruled – after snorting her disgust at Christians suing each other at Easter – on the sharing arrangements for the three Niagara ANiC parishes: you are all Christians so why can’t you sort this out for yourselves; her error was in viewing both sides as Christian.

November 26, 2009

Bishop Michael Ingham: let’s make a deal

Filed under: Diocese of New Westminster — David @ 5:52 pm
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Michael Ingham is holding out a carrot to ANiC parishioners:

Dear Friends in Christ:

By now you have probably heard that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled clearly in favour of the Diocese in the matter of parish property ownership.

This is the outcome of a law suit brought by the leaders of four congregations who have sought to take church property away from the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Anglican Church in this country and throughout the world is a big tent. We have a long history of welcome and respect for all people. What unites us is a strong commitment to Jesus Christ and the Christian faith, a tradition of beautiful and sacred worship, and a compassionate response to people in many kinds of need and hardship.

I intend to invite these congregations to remain in the buildings where they worship and to move forward together with us in the Diocese as one people under God. I intend to appoint new clergy who will respect and continue the worshipping style of the congregations, who will also work cooperatively with me and the Diocese.

My prayer is that we might all put this sad conflict behind us and get on with the mission of Jesus Christ. No good is served by bitterness or triumphalism. The decision of the Court is clear. And the purpose of the Church is equally clear. We are here to serve the mission of God and the well-being of all God’s children.

This is a day when we pray “to put away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.” May it be so with us. Be assured that, whoever you are, you are welcome here.

Kindest regards,

The Right Reverend Michael Ingham

Bishop

I can’t help noticing that no invitation has been made to ANiC clergy, including J. I. Packer. So Ingham’s offer to the congregations is, abandon your priests, come home, learn to live with new cooperative priests that I will choose and will be loyal to me – and you can keep your buildings.

I have this eerie sense of déja vue. Ah, yes, the third temptation of Christ: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

And Jesus replied, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”

Good answer.

November 2, 2009

The disorder of the Diocese of New Westminster

The Diocese of New Westminster has launched its Order of the Diocese of New Westminster.

The Inaugural Investiture Eucharist of The Order of the Diocese of New Westminster was celebrated in Christ Church Cathedral at 4:30pm on November 1st, 2009.

53 individuals representing 41 different parishes accepted nomination to be the first recipients of the order and 49 of those were present at the worship service to receive the medallion from the Venerable Ronald Harrison, personal congratulations from the Right Reverend Michael Ingham and the official certificate from the Very Reverend Peter Elliott while Judge Robert Watt, Warden of the Order read the citations.

The Right Reverend Ralph Spence retired Bishop of Niagara was the guest preacher and Bishop Michael presided at the Eucharist.

The Diocese of Niagara has been awarding The Order of Niagara for some years now; it was started by John Bothwell – as indeed were many other things that now trouble the diocese. A number of parishioners in St. Hilda’s, ANiC were awarded the Order of Niagara; they don’t wear them much, though.

There is significance in the fact that Ralph Spence preached at the New West inauguration, since he sought inspiration from Michael Ingham for much of his tenure. Spence preceded Michael Bird in Niagara both in chronology and heresy; Michael Bird was left to deal with the legacy of his predecessor’s excursions into apostasy, and from this:

Certainly the four departing churches and the attending legal costs have brought forth courage and caused stress at the top level of the diocese.

it is clear that recent events have taken their toll on Bird.

I suspect Spence had no idea of the storm he was unwittingly unleashing when he encouraged the gay agenda in Niagara. While he was still bishop, my wife was unfortunate enough to hear a snippet of an address he gave to a group of Anglican ladies. The question of same-sex-blessings was raised and Spence pooh-poohed any idea that trouble would follow a decision to go ahead. “The fuss will blow over” he said; for him it did, since he retired, leaving Bird to summon the courage to continue the direction set by Spence and pioneered by Ingham. Of course, this does not exonerate Bird since he is forging ahead along the course set by Spence with maniacal enthusiasm; still, he can’t be happy that Ralph did not warn him about the troublemakers just waiting to cause[d] stress at the top level of the diocese.

Perhaps that’s why Spence is pontificating in Vancouver and not Niagara.

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