Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:58
“On Sunday 10th February I received a short note informing me that Pete Jackson had been ordained in Kenya the previous day to serve the Church plant in Walkley in Sheffield. This news was a complete surprise.
“In 2003, Christ Church Fulwood planted a new church, Christ Church Central, in the centre of the city led by the Revd. Tim Davies. Despite extensive discussions, the plant could not be contained within the legal structures of the Church of England.
“The Diocese of Sheffield has a strong commitment to mission, to evangelism and to church planting of all kinds. Shortly after I became Bishop in 2009, I invited the community of Christ Church Central to explore with me the possibility of making a Bishop’s Mission Order to regularize their life once again within the Diocese of Sheffield and the Church of England. After careful consideration, this offer was declined by Christ Church Central because of alleged wider differences between Christ Church Central and the Church of England.
“In 2012, Christ Church Central established a new church plant, Christ Church Walkley, with the support of Christ Church, Fulwood. This new plant was established with no consultation with the Diocese or with St. Mary’s Walkley, the local parish. Although there has been some local contact between St. Mary’s Walkley and the new plant, no-one in the Diocese was given any notification of the plans to ordain Pete Jackson in Kenya on 9th February.
“I will be entering into correspondence in the next few weeks with the various parties involved in the decision to ordain Pete Jackson in this way to explore their motives and reasons for acting in the way that they have. I will also be making contact with the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd. Eliud Wabukala and with Pete himself.
“As a diocese we are particularly concerned to offer our support and prayers to the parish of St. Mary’s Walkley who quite understandably have found these developments unsettling. Bishop Peter will be present with them on Sunday 3rd March. We also hold the Revd. Pete Jackson and Christ Church Walkley in our prayers. We know that neither community will be helped by being the focus of an ongoing wider controversy.
“As a diocese we continue in our commitment to mission, to the making of disciples and to joyful and creative church planting within the order and polity of the Church of England.”
Perhaps the most important factor to be taken into consideration here, is that the Church of England Bishop of Sheffield will be questioning the action of the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya, in authorising the ordination of an English schismatic into the Church of Kenya, in order to take up ministry as an Anglican priest in a non-Anglican church in Sheffield.
This disturbing trend on the part of a GAFCON Prelate, making way for a quasi-Anglican incursion into the territory of the Anglican Diocese of Sheffield, should stir the Church of England into some sort of action that will clarify the relationship between the Church of England and the so-called Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) – of which GAFCON and the Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala, appear to be the intentional sponsors.
Father Ron Smith