An Englishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman went…
Ah, but this was serious. Surpassingly serious. Spiritually serious. Because each man was about to be consecrated as a bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe (ANiE).
On 30th June 2017 the Right Revd Andy Lines was consecrated in the USA by a number of the Primates of the Global Anglican Futures Conference (Gafcon) to be the “Gafcon Missionary Bishop to Europe”. It was a recognition of the needs of faithful Anglicans in this continent, and most immediately then, in Scotland.
Just over five years later the fruits of those “missionary” endeavours were seen in the necessity for these three further consecrations, again by members of Gafcon’s Primates Council and other bishops. But this time the consecrations were right here in Great Britain.
Maintaining the historic continuity between the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Network in Europe, the chief consecrator was Archbishop Foley Beach. Alongside him were Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Primate of the Anglican Church of Rwanda), who also preached, Archbishop Henry Ndukubu (Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion), who celebrated the Eucharist, and Anglican bishops from America, Canada, New Zealand and Niger together with Bishop Lines.
Video messages were received from among others, the Most Revd Jackson Ole Sapit, the Primate of Kenya, Most Revd James Wong, Primate of the Indian Ocean and the Primate of Tanzania, the Most Revd Dr Maimbo Mndolwa.
As such these consecrations, with a fourth to follow, involved archbishops and bishops from across five continents in a truly global recognition of what Archbishop Beach described as an “emerging province” in Europe.
So, a momentous day for the orthodox Anglicans of this continent, but also of considerable significance for the whole Anglican Communion. Archbishops Mbanda, Ndukubu and Ole Sapit, refused to attend the Lambeth Conference in protest at unchecked liberal revisionism. Archbishop Wong did attend and (together with the Primate of South Sudan) led the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GFSA) in the rejection of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s “progressive” agenda.
That those who wouldn’t come to England for the Lambeth Conference at all would, however, happily come for this event, in alliance with the GSFA and those like Beach and Lines who were not even invited speaks loudly as to the priorities and vision for the future of those who lead the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide.
Archbishop Mbanda described Rwanda as, “a small country with tall people”. Tonight, in partnership with Gafcon, the Anglican Network in Europe, small as it still is, stood tall in the countries of Britain and beyond.