Statement from the Bishop Primus of the Free Church of England
The primus of the Free Church of England, the Rt. Rev. John Fenwick writes in response to an open letter published in Anglican Ink under the title “General Synod has cross the line”
Some responses to the letter have focussed on the possibility of a new Anglican jurisdiction being formed.
In fact there is nothing new about the idea of an alternative Anglican jurisdiction in the British Isles.
Such a jurisdiction already exists. The Free Church of England has maintained an orthodox Anglican witness here since the 1840s. There is nothing secret about it. The Church of England has had dialogues with us from time to time and recognises our Orders.
The Free Church of England’s witness has recently been augmented by the appointment of the Right Revd Andy Lines as a Missionary Bishop. Andy is a bishop of the Anglican Church in North America, which is in full communion with the Free Church of England and the FCE bishops are in regular contact with him.
Earlier this year the Free Church of England hosted a Forum for Anglicans concerned about developments in the Church of England and Scottish Episcopal Church in particular. That meeting was attended by some who believe it right to continue to witness within the ‘official’ Provinces and those who are either already outside them or are considering taking that step. As the statement says, further meetings are planned. All involved are committed to working together to ensure the continuation of orthodox Anglican jurisdictions. The precise form those jurisdictions might take is one of the areas of discussion. The priority is to ensure that they enable the proclamation of the biblical Gospel within the Anglican patrimony.