Conservatives by-pass bishop over ordinations - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
November 4, 2005

Conservatives by-pass bishop over ordinations

-04/11/05

The Church of England's difficulties over homosexuality deepened yesterday after conservative evangelical clergy staged an "irregular" ordination in defiance of their bishop.

In a revolt that may embroil the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, three men were unofficially ordained as deacons in south London.

The ceremony was carried out by a bishop of an organisation called the Church of England in South Africa, which is not part of the Anglican Church.

The ordinations were backed by Reform, the evangelical network, whose 600 clergy members are increasingly rejecting the spiritual authority of their bishops in protest at their stance on gay and lesbian people.

About 30 Reform clergy, a number of whom are General Synod members, attended the ordinations at a proprietary chapel in Wimbledon that belongs to the Church of England, but is not part of a parish ministry.

The event could lead to similar action across the country suggests the Daily Telegraph.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler, who would normally ordain clergy in his diocese, expressly opposed the service. He said yesterday: "I very much regret this action, which might have serious consequences."

The cleric behind the event is said to be Rev Richard Coekin, who runs Westminster at One which is a Tuesday lunchtime meeting held in Methodist Central Hall Chapel, London. His talks are broadcast every week on evangelical radio station Premier Radio.

He has been involved in pastoral ministry for over 20 years after training at conservative theological college Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and oversees congregations in Wimbledon and Mayfair.

The Bishop of Southwark is expected to strip Coekin of his licence to operate in Southwark diocese, and Dr Williams may be forced to preside over an appeal at a public hearing, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Conservatives by-pass bishop over ordinations

-04/11/05

The Church of England's difficulties over homosexuality deepened yesterday after conservative evangelical clergy staged an "irregular" ordination in defiance of their bishop.

In a revolt that may embroil the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, three men were unofficially ordained as deacons in south London.

The ceremony was carried out by a bishop of an organisation called the Church of England in South Africa, which is not part of the Anglican Church.

The ordinations were backed by Reform, the evangelical network, whose 600 clergy members are increasingly rejecting the spiritual authority of their bishops in protest at their stance on gay and lesbian people.

About 30 Reform clergy, a number of whom are General Synod members, attended the ordinations at a proprietary chapel in Wimbledon that belongs to the Church of England, but is not part of a parish ministry.

The event could lead to similar action across the country suggests the Daily Telegraph.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler, who would normally ordain clergy in his diocese, expressly opposed the service. He said yesterday: "I very much regret this action, which might have serious consequences."

The cleric behind the event is said to be Rev Richard Coekin, who runs Westminster at One which is a Tuesday lunchtime meeting held in Methodist Central Hall Chapel, London. His talks are broadcast every week on evangelical radio station Premier Radio.

He has been involved in pastoral ministry for over 20 years after training at conservative theological college Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and oversees congregations in Wimbledon and Mayfair.

The Bishop of Southwark is expected to strip Coekin of his licence to operate in Southwark diocese, and Dr Williams may be forced to preside over an appeal at a public hearing, reports the Daily Telegraph.

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