VIRGINIA – New Bishop for latest ACNA Diocese

Virginia Anglicans Vote to Become a Diocese within  Anglican Church in North America

Delegates Elect The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey as Bishop

FAIRFAX, Va. (May 21, 2011) – The Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) held a Constitutional Convention on May 20-21, 2011 at Church of the Epiphany in Herndon, Va. At this event, ADV delegates voted to petition the Anglican Church in North America to become a diocese and adopted new governing documents (Constitutions and Canons). Pending approval of the diocesan petition, the Anglican District of Virginia elected The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey to serve as bishop of the diocese, to be named the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

Bishop John Guernsey has served in various clergy roles during his years of ordained ministry in Virginia. He served as rector of All Saints’ Church in Dale City, Va., for 29 years before serving as the head of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit in the Anglican Church in North America. For more background on Bishop Guernsey and to read his vision statement for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, click here.

“Our hope is that the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, under the courageous and blessed leadership of Bishop John Guernsey, will continue to follow the path Christ is setting for us as we strive to grow and share our faith,” said Anglican District of Virginia Chairman Jim Oakes.

“In just a few years, we have grown to over 40 worshipping congregations, are planting churches, and have almost 7,000 people worshipping in our churches each Sunday. My prayer is that this new diocese within the Anglican Church in North America will make the trumpet sound even louder and bring more worshippers together in mission and ministry, continued Oakes.”

ADV is hopeful that the Anglican Church in North America will accept the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic as one of its member dioceses later this year. While the new diocese will be connected directly to the Anglican Church in North America, many of its congregations will continue to be in partnership with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). CANA is a missionary branch of the Church of Nigeria and a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America.


It is interesting for New Zealanders to note that the other candidate – as Bishop for this new ‘Diocese’ in the quasi-Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) – should be none other than Nelson (NZ)’s own export onto the dissident-Episcopal scene in North America, the very recently ‘consecrated’ Julian Dobbs. No doubt the emerging faux-diocese of Virginia (set up in opposition to TEC’s authentic Episcopal Diocese in Virginia – by  Abp. Bobby Duncan)  realised that their latest recruit was not yet experienced enough in faux-episcopal ‘wisdom’ to become the figure-head of ACNA’s biggest flag-carrier in North America. Perhaps Julian might get a chance somewhere else in the galaxy of ACNA prelates.  

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch


About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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4 Responses to VIRGINIA – New Bishop for latest ACNA Diocese

  1. Peter Carrell says:

    Just as a point of accuracy, Ron, re Julian Dobbs’ movements in respect of being a Nelson ‘export’: Julian was a vicar in the Diocese of Nelson. When he left that role he was NZ’s national director of the Barnabas Fund, initially resident in Nelson, then in Auckland (and with a PTO from the Bishop of Auckland) – Auckland, incidentally, being the city of his upbringing. He then moved within the Barnabas Fund to establish its American office. Residency in the USA led to involvement in a parish which became a CANA parish and one thing has led to another. He has come from the Nelson Diocese, true; but Nelson did not intentionally ‘export’ him to CANA/ACNA.

    • kiwianglo says:

      Thank you, Peter for Bishop-Elect Julian Dobbs true provenance. I now realise that his move to the U.S. was not of Nelson’s direct sponsorship, but his own initiative. Which makes me wonder, if he were to return as a ‘Bishop’ of CANA, would he be allowed to function as such in ACANZP? Not that I expect you to be able to answer my question, but it doesn’t stop me wondering.

      • Peter Carrell says:

        Hi Ron,
        I know of no canonical impediment to a bishop ordained in Nigeria being accepted as a bishop in the life of our church here. I can think of non-canonical reservations (‘political’ reservations, we might say) our bishops might have about offering a licence for a Nigerian-ordained bishop to minister episcopally here.

  2. Hi Peter,
    Is bishop-elect Julian Dobbs being episcopally ordained, then, in Nigeria – as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Nigeria? Or, as I suspect, ordained as a Bishop in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)? In the latter case, I think you might find he could be persona non grata in ACANZP. There is no Anglican Communion connection with ACNA.

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