Firings, attempted lockout in Anglican New Westminster diocese
Remember New Westminster? That was the Anglican diocese that looked to be Ground Zero in the possible breakup of the Anglican Communion—before the Episcopal Church USA confirmed Gene Robinson to be the church's first openly gay bishop, that is. Regular visitors to our site and subscribers to our print magazine may remember "Why I Walked," by New Westminster member J.I. Packer, on his disapproval of the diocese's provision for blessing same-sex unions.
Sunday, notes The Province of Vancouver, "the rift within the Anglican church over same-sex unions escalated." New Westminster bishop Michael Ingham sent a diocesan employee and an archdeacon to services at the orthodox St. Martin's Anglican Church, where they announced that the diocese was removing the two elected parish trustees, three wardens, and church committee members.
One day earlier, while orthodox clergy and laity met in Vancouver with orthodox Anglican leaders from around the world, diocesan officials sent an employee and a locksmith over to change the locks on the church doors and offices.
"The locksmith was blocked in his actions when a group of concerned and angry parishioners, including the two trustees, arrived at the church and asked the locksmith to change the locks back," reports conservative Anglican journalist David Virtue.
The rector of St. Martin's resigned in protest after the same-sex blessings vote, and the parish has been one of ten (among 80 in the diocese) to refuse to pay their assessment to the diocese. In July, 59.79 percent of the parish members voted to move the congregation from Ingham's oversight to that of Bishop Terry Buckle. But the parish wardens said the vote did not meet a ...1
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