Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Why FCAUK will not be ‘Good News’ in Southwark Diocese

On Monday 6th July The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans United Kingdom (FCAUK) was launched in Westminster Central Hall. The addresses given during the morning focused upon the specifics of what has been happening in the Episcopal Church in America together with more general warnings of a similar ‘drift’ towards liberalism here in the United Kingdom and what might be needed in response to this.

It was the latter theme that dominated the afternoon with a series of films and interviews providing examples of UK dioceses ‘cooperating’ with ‘orthodox’ churches alongside examples where the opposite was seen to be the case. Whilst the film clips largely concentrated on the more positive examples, the interviews then conducted by William Taylor (Rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate) and Christine Perkin (wife of the Vicar of St Mark’s, Battersea Rise and a member of its leadership team) focused on examples where conservative evangelicals felt oppressed and mistreated by their diocesan structures. The overall message of the afternoon, therefore, was that enough was enough: through the formation of FCAUK and action in regard to clergy selection and appointment, authorising church plants and the withholding of finance, those responsible for misgovernment, heresy and oppression in the Church of England would no longer be able to get away with it.

As one present at the conference to witness all this, what particularly alarmed me was the entirely uncritical nature of the ‘interviews’ conducted by Mr Taylor and Mrs Perkin. Candidates for ordination required to gain experience of the wider church shared their angst at this without the slightest searching question being put to them and a similar approach was then taken to frustrated church planters.

Included within the latter and most alarming to me personally was the last of these interviews, seemingly designed to form the climax of the afternoon, with the Reverend Richard Coekin, leader of the Co-Mission network of churches in South West London. During his interview Mr Coekin explained he was now looking to FCA to supply him with Episcopal oversight to replace that of his ‘liberal bishop’ Tom Butler. Read more
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