‘A split would be better than this squabbling,’ say leaders


Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream argued that TEC’s embrace of homosexuality in the church was leading to its downfall. Referring to Saturday’s consecration he said: “TEC had booked a 13,000-seater auditorium and only 3,000 people turned up. You could have got the press conference inside a phone box. This is a sign that the Episcopal Church is marginalising itself. The event was held in California, but the audience was similar to one watching a minor county cricket team playing at Twickenham.”

By Matt Cresswell, Church of England Newspaper May 20

A SPLIT in the Anglican Communion would be better than constant squabbling over sexuality,  British Anglican leaders believe. In the wake of the Episcopal Church consecrating the Rev Mary Glasspool last Saturday, the prevalent mood is that decisive action is needed from the Archbishop of Canterbury. ‘Sitting on the fence’ will only prolong the fallout, leaders warn.

Ms Glasspool, 56, was ordained as assistant Los Angeles bishop and is the first homosexual woman bishop to be ordained in the USA. She will work alongside Diane Jardine Brice, who was consecrated the same day. They will serve LA Bishop J Jon Bruno. A statement from the UK LGBT Anglican Coalition said it welcomed the consecrations. “We rejoice that two more women will become bishops in the Anglican Communion. We send them our congratulations and welcome them as bishops with the many gifts that each will bring to the Church.”

Speaking to the CEN, the coalition’s spokesperson, Rev Canon Giles Goddard, said the dispute over homosexuality was damaging the Church. “I hope that we are making progress and I hope that it won’t be long before we can get past this argument and get back to preaching love and justice.” He added: “However, it maybe that some people in the communion will never accept the diversity of practice in the Anglican Communion.”

The Rev Sharon Fergusson, director of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, said that a split could well be the solution. She said: “If the Anglican Church does split it will mean that those who believe homosexuality is wrong can all come together and get on with the job and all those who have no problem with homosexuality can get on and do the job. “It means both groups can get on with what they are supposed to be doing. So much time and energy has been spent in debating this issue when we are supposed to be feeding the poor and reaching out to people and we are not doing those things.”

Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream argued that TEC’s embrace of homosexuality in the church was leading to its downfall. Referring to Saturday’s consecration he said: “TEC had booked a 13,000-seater auditorium and only 3,000 people turned up. You could have got the press conference inside a phone box. This is a sign that the Episcopal Church is marginalising itself. The event was held in California, but the audience was similar to one watching a minor county cricket team playing at Twickenham.”

He called for more leadership from Dr Rowan Williams. “What we are waiting for is some expression from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He needs to make it very clear that TEC is no longer a welcome part of the Anglican Communion. “However, there will be a high price to pay for that as TEC provide 30 per cent of the budget of the ACC.”

Mr Sugden added that North America was in a strange situation in that one group of Anglicans, TEC, was testing its relationship with Canterbury while another, The Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), was struggling to be recognised by Canterbury.

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