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Irish Methodists will join Anglican Bishops in consecrating Kearon

Irish Methodists will join Anglican Bishops in consecrating Kearon

When Canon Kenneth Kearon is consecrated Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, in the Church of Ireland, some of the consecrators will be Methodist.

That’s because the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland now are in full communion.

Belfast News Letter:

And tomorrow proves the point when, in Dublin, Methodist leaders will take part in the consecration of a new Church of Ireland Bishop.

For the first time in the history of the two churches, Methodists with join with Anglicans ‘in the laying on of hands’ during the consecration of the Rev Canon Kenneth Arthur Kearon as Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe.

During this historic service in Christ Church Cathedral the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Rev Peter Murray, The Rev Donald Kerr, former President and General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland and former President and Co-Chair of the Covenant Council, the Rev Winston Graham will join with other Church of Ireland Bishops in the laying on of hands on the newly elected Bishop.

This is the first time that participation by Methodist leaders has taken place. It has been made possible by the decision of both the General Synod and the Methodist Conference allowing for the interchangeability of ministry.

As a result of this Methodist Presidents are now regarded as Episcopal Ministers and as such can participate in this service. This participation also marks the start of full interchangeably of ministry between both Churches.

The service which commences at 2.30 pm tomorrow will be led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Reverend Dr Michael Jackson, and the preacher will be The Most Reverend Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.


Kearon is secretary general of the Anglican Communion, a position he has held since 2005. Born in 1953, Kearon is a native of Dublin. Educated at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), he served his curacy in All Saints Raheny and St John’s Coolock, before becoming dean of residence at TCD in 1984, a position he held until 1990. He was rector of the Parish of Tullow (Dublin) from 1991 to 1999 after which he became director of the Irish School of Ecumenics (1999-2005). Kearon is a canon of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin and an honorary provincial canon of Canterbury Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral London and St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem.

You can watch it  here:


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Ann Fontaine
Jean Lall

Thank you, Ann! I look forward to studying this.

John Byrnes

As an Orthodox Christian, yet another
painful and sad indi-
cation that the Anglicans say one
thing about the im-
portance of Apostolic
Succession, yet live an
entirely different
reality when it comes
to it.
All this makes it darn
near impossible for
Orthodoxy to take the
Anglican Churches
BTW: This is the same
nonsense that now
exists between some
Lutherans and Anglican
Sad to say, but in the
1960’s one could take
the Anglicans as truly
committed to getting it
right and keeping it
that way. No more,
however. No more.

JC Fisher

IF ONLY we would smack those Methodists down, *then* you would take us seriously!


Lord, Re-Form ALL Your Churches! From Rome, to Constantinople, to Canterbury, to the Wesleyan Circuit, etc, etc, etc!!!!

Rod Gillis

I gather the issues raised by the WCC document (BEM) are very controversial with the Orthodox Church. You may already be aware of this
(lengthy) text of a public lecture given by The Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser in 2003 in Thessaloniki. There are many critical assessments of BEM/Lima by Orthodox and Roman Catholic prelates and theologians, some accessible on line, with the better ones behind the pay wall. I’b be skating on thin ice if I presumed to opine on the details.

Rod Gillis

The Anglican Church of Canada is in full communion with The Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Waterloo Declaration sets out the terms of full communion. I’ve attached a link to the entire document below; but note these two paragraphs from the Declaration in terms of this thread and “bishops”:

“In 1997, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Council of General Synod each agreed that they were prepared to view the historic episcopate in the context of apostolicity articulated in Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (paras. 29, 34-38, 51-53), The Niagara Report (paras. 53, 94), and The Porvoo Common Statement (paras. 34-57).

In that same year, the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada agreed that it was ‘prepared to take the constitutional steps necessary to understand the installation of bishops as ordination’ . ”

Chaz Brooks

If they both alike recognize BEM, I can’t see why they would bother to go through the motion of getting bishops in succession, since BEM pretty consciously avoids saying it is at all necessary. Should the Lutherans really accept bishops just to make Anglicans feel better? That’s up to them, I suppose.

Rod Gillis

One of the questions that came out of the BEM document, decades ago, was whether churches that heretofore did not a three fold ordered ministry, could generate that from within, without the need to go to other churches, like ours, to “get in the pipeline” so to speak. Good question.

Whit Johnstone

This should reassure people worried about the Apostolic Succession:
““Those who may hold a more traditional ‘pipeline’ view of episcopacy and episcope ought to be greatly reassured by the involvement of at least two of our bishops in all future Installations and Consecrations of Methodist Presidents”.

In other words, the Irish Methodists are being brought into the Apostolic Succession.

Rod Gillis

The WCC Order Paper now has a legacy of ecumenical achievements. The explicit recovery of episcope in terms of a three fold ordered ministry by some churches is one feature of that. See Section VI of the WCC paper on Mutual Recognition of Ordained Ministries, and remember the WCC paper is old and precedes the various covenants and agreements between denominations like that under discussion here.

Paul Woodrum

Methodism is Anglicanism’s child, even if a bit prodigal from our lofty perspective. Both John and Charles Wesley were priests of the Church of England and John, in particular, was quite upset when Asbury, in America, styled himself a bishop. So why not kill the fatted calf and welcome them home?

In a couple generations, all will once again be spattered with apostolic succession, we will be stronger together than separately and all will be well.

Now, how does this affect our intercommunion with the Lutherans?

Jean Lall

Paul, while you perhaps meant your comment tongue in cheek, I have to take exception to your invoking the parable of the Prodigal Son in relation to these steps toward full communion between Anglicans and Methodists. The Wesleys and their followers did not take their patrimony and go off to a distant land to waste it in riotous living. Instead, having been repudiated and blocked from preaching in Church of England parishes, they left home with nothing but the Gospel and went out to minister to those who had been forgotten by the mother church, from Welsh miners to settlers in remote parts of North America.

Besides the great Wesleyan hymns, they have given so much to the Christian community as a whole; I think especially of their emphasis on the religion of the heart, their commitment to education (founding so many fine colleges and universities), and their tradition of social justice, so richly exemplified by Boston University School of Theology graduate Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t think the Episcopal Church or Anglicans generally have much to feel “lofty” about in relation to Methodism. That attitude is uncomfortably similar to the Vatican’s view that Anglicanism suffers from an “ecclesial deficit”.

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