THE MODERATOR of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), the Rt Revd Donald Harvey, has condemned the attempts of the diocese of New Westminster to “seize control of the parish properties” of clergy now under the jurisdiction of the Province of the Southern Cone (News, 29 August).
In an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Harvey describes it as ironic that the letters implementing “such hostile action” arrived on the same day as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appraisal of the Lambeth Conference, which emphasised the need to build trust.
Bishop Harvey says he consulted with the Primate of the Southern Cone, the Most Revd Greg Venables, before sending the open letter. All ANiC’s overtures to seek a negotiated settlement had been rebuffed, he said. He predicted that New Westminster’s latest action would almost certainly end in the courts.
The ANiC has eight parishes in British Columbia, two in Manitoba and Newfoundland, and six in Ontario. The clergy of two parishes in British Columbia were given up to two months to hand over the keys and to cease using the property of their former parishes — an action, said the diocese, that it took with regret after many years of dispute.
“Last week’s action by [New Westminster] shows yet again that unless this pastoral forum provides immediate, equal, or greater protection from such dioceses, there can be no reasonable expectation of adequate safety,” Bishop Harvey said.