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Speaking frankly about the Anglican Mission in England

Speaking frankly about the Anglican Mission in England

In an essay titled “AMIE is a game-changer” Canon Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel explain the next steps of the newly formed Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) which is modeled on the AMIA (Anglican Mission in America) a movement with deep connections with the Anglican Church in Rwanda and the Global South.

“The launch of AMIE and the establishment of its panel of bishops indicated that we would no longer play the game of Church of England politics as defined by the Church of England Establishment.

[Then after drawing a parallel between the state of the Church of England and the political establishment in the mid-East that has led to the Arab Spring uprising the authors continue:]

In the same way AMIE is a standing together that demonstrates a different way of doing things. It has a different view of mission through planting churches and organizing for growth rather than seeking power and influence in the present system. It has a different view of being Anglican which embraces a global Anglican identity based on the Bible rather than a technical institutional identity. It has a different view of episcopacy that is not prelatical or monarchical but missional, accountable and focused on service. It has a different view of women in ministry that does not seek to compete as though it is a matter of power and status. It has a different view of marriage and sexuality which is not based on the interchangeability of the genders. AMIE resists the disaggregation of the issues as though they are all separate. It analyses the current malaise as a gradual process of destabilizing biblically faithful Anglican witness and ministry.

[…]The summer ordinations in Kenya were part of the process of saying that we will remain Anglican but not on the current terms of the CofE establishment. The process of welcoming the ordinands, launching the AMIE and now expanding its membership is a process of moving to the public square of Church of England life and saying: “We will not be robbed of our Anglican identity. We will not be marginalized. You are the usurpers. We will not allow you to deprive us of our Anglican heritage of faithfulness to the Bible. We will find a way of being faithfully Anglican in being true to the Bible which does not depend on you.””

More here.

Much of this is familiar to people who remember the first moves of the AMIA movement here in the US back in 2000 and the subsequent irregular ordinations of Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers to the episcopate. This latest essay makes clear that the new organization in England is also planning to ignore the rules of the Anglican Communion when they get in the way of their goals.

It will be interesting to see how the arc of this storyline parallels that of the Episcopal Church’s experience with their dissident voices over the last decade.


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rosemary hannah

Yes – but this is not a picture I recognise of the C of E at all – where encouraging Fresh Expressions (ways of worship and being church not confined to the expected) is very much the name of the game.

Priscilla Cardinale

Tom, I have a vision of church planting and growth. Let’s accept that God wants us seperated and begin proclaiming the Really Good News in places like Nigeria, Kenya, the Southern Cone, et al, that God loves every one of us as we were created, that Jesus redeemed us all and there are no special rules for certain classes of sinners that Jesus missed in his crucifixion and resurrection due to some biblical sleight of hand, eh?

We would literally be saving lives by the thousands. There will be martyrdom, of course, and a heavy cross to bear, but what a witness to God’s love through Jesus Christ — reaching those who are persecuted in His name with lifesaving love and acceptance. The Kingdom is at hand if only we will see!

Tom Sramek Jr

As predictable (and not unjustified) as the response to this posting is, my imagination IS captured by the notion of mission as “planting churches and organizing for growth rather than seeking power and influence in the present system”.

Tom Brackett (TEC Program Officer for Church Planting and Redevelopment) has some relevant remarks in this blog entry:

Setting aside the baggage associated with the AMIA, ACNA, and other splinter groups, the one advantage they do have is that they are clear about the need to grow. Would that TEC was “organized for growth” and had as much or more of an emphasis on planting churches than on sustaining those that we already have.

I’m certainly not a fan of the AMIA or the ACNA, but I AM a fan of the idea that simply tweaking what currently exists, or attempting to do what we’ve always done better in order to keep the institution functioning, isn’t going to work for much longer, if it even works now. How do we take a page from the AMIE playbook and concentrate on “planting churches and organizing for growth rather than seeking power and influence in the present system”? What would that look like on a National, Provincial, Diocesan, and Parish level?


“It has a different view of being Anglican..”

…which is to say, it isn’t Anglican at all.

It’s just another Protestant sect.

JC Fisher


“This includes recovering a biblical view of episcopacy that enhances mission through its panel of bishops particularly for those who find the current system has excluded, ignored, marginalized or compromised them.”

But of course this AMiE alternative excludes, ignores, marginalizes, and compromises women and LGBTQ aspirants, ordinands, and potential bishops. How cleverly worded…

Starkg – please sign your name next time you comment. ~ed.

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