Friday, 24 June 2011

The Anglican Mission in England – Seeing the Church of England Again for the First time

Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to be present at the inaugural event the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) at St Peter’s Cornhill. Today the AMiE was introduced to a wider audience at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly meeting in St Helen’s Bishopsgate with fulsome support from The Revd Rod Thomas, Chairman of Reform. In these two churches, at the heart of the City of London, English church leaders launched a mission society unlike any others the Church of England has seen in its long history.

The AMiE is not only committed to adventurous church planting and the re-conversion of England, but is also prepared to provide alternative episcopal oversight in cases where it is clear that diocesan bishops are failing in their canonical duty to uphold sound teaching. The key institutional innovation is a panel of bishops formed by Bishops Michael Nazir Ali, John Ball, Colin Bazley, Wallace Benn and John Ellison which enjoys the support and encouragement of the GAFCON Primates’ Council.

There should really be nothing surprising about this development. In his groundbreaking study ‘The Next Christendom’ Philip Jenkins demonstrates that Christianity must now be seen as a global faith, rather than the primarily Western phenomenon many, at least in the West, have assumed it to be. He concludes that ‘considering Christianity as a global reality can make us see the whole religion in a radically new perspective, which is both startling and, often, uncomfortable.…it is as if we are seeing Christianity again for the first time’ (p255). That global reality is now taking shape in England. With the inauguration of the AMiE, we have a movement which embodies a new vision for English Anglicans. We can now work as if seeing the Church of England again for the first time. Read more

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