So, here we go, and outside London: entryism inside the Church of England.
Entryism is where a small body that keeps a tight control of itself invades and uses a host of a more mdoerate body because that body has a wider outreach than the small group could ever hope to acquire, despite the fact that the small body can attract to a limited extent larger numbers of its own fanatical types and some newer marginal people under its wing. The small group also takes opportunities to go out into the larger body and take over, bit by bit, as the opportunities present, units of the larger body's operation. The usual channels of decision making become subverted under the entryists' often informal and preplanned means of control. The model is trotskyite, and was shown with the actions of the Militant Tendency inside the Labour Party.
The larger body is usually undergoing weaknesses and transition, and is ripe for actions taken against it: and the small body seeks to weaken the host further as it takes to itself the hosts' shell institutions and acquire them to itself.
Near the Unitarian church at Fulwood is the Reform based Church of England Christ Church. Already this church planted Christ Church Central in Sheffield, in 2003, without diocesan support, and now both are planting Christ Church Walkley. The difference now is that this Church of England congregation is ordaining its own deacon via the actions of GAFCON.
Trained appropriately at the 'approved' Oak Hill Theological College, Peter Jackson has been an associate unordained leader at the Christ Church Central, and the congregations wanted him ordained. They didn't ask the Church of England locally or nationally, or the diocesan bishop, but the Anglican Mission in England, their own body, part of GAFCON and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, and so he was ordained out in Kenya. Thus foreign, international, bishops are providing the entryism. Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala and the Bishop of Kitui, Josephat Mule, ordained him as deacon: it just so happens that the Archbishop is chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council.
More than this, Christ Church Central has a trustee who is also a Diocese of Sheffield General Synod member and a member of the Crown Nominations Commission.
So the question is, what is the Church of England, now under new management, or even the diocese going to do about it? We know what the last Archbishop of Canterbury did - precisely nothing other than appeasement with his Advent statement of 2007. This one, well: he's a Holy Trinity Brompton man, so might even be an enthusiast for all this! But, really, ordaining a deacon abroad, and circumventing the given structures in the locality, cannot be the method of the managerial Archbishop.
The argument of Christ Church, starting at Fulwood, is that such a small percentage of Sheffield is Christian in any recognisable sense. But imagine if Christ Church, its ministry, its trustees and those ordained by bishops abroad, were to become 'successful' in outreach, unlike the rest of the Church of England. Who'd then be in charge in Sheffield and the region? There'd be a Church of England on the one hand, and an AMiE Church in/ of England on the other, with bishops provided under different management and in Africa, with the AMiE body thus invading the Church of England in terms of its parishes taken over and deciding its own bishops and personnel and present into its highest institutions.
Ultimately this action builds a different 'power centre' or indeed third province with its own rules of ordination; the equivalent would be if some retired liberal-leaning bishops got together and started consecrating women priests into bishops and they started their own operations but still called themselves Church of England. Everyone for themselves then!
So says me, of a happy English Presbyterian, a body that was always reluctantly congregationalist in polity. But then Unitarians organise themselves and it is quite clear who they are not.
See Thinking Anglicans. Pluralist Website
Identities, names and labels – the Living Out challenge - Two weeks ago, Peter Ould posted an open question to Changing Attitude on his blog – a question which the trustees and myself noticed and talked about. Pe...