Why I signed the San Joaquin letter

by
16 January 2008

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From the Bishop of Horsham
Sir, — It has become increasingly clear over the past two weeks that there has been considerable consternation and confusion about the decision by some bishops to sign a letter of support for the Bishop of San Joaquin and his diocese in their decision to ally themselves with another province of the Anglican Communion.

I would like to make clear that my own motivation for signing the letter was to show solidarity with their traditional understanding of holy order, and respond to the increasing marginalisation of those who, as they see it, are simply holding to the tradition of the Church through the ages, in the light of what appears to be growing litigation from the Episcopal Church against them.

Albeit in different ways, this marginalisation is, I believe, an increasing reality in the Church of England.

It was also of significance to me that the Bishop made it clear that those in the diocese who in good conscience do not wish to take leave of the Episcopal Church would be honoured and respected. This attitude of heart I hope for in my own ministry, and long for in the Church at large.

It was not my intention to signify that I agree with all the views or approaches of others who signed about the issues that currently divide Anglicans, including, for that matter, all those of the Bishop of San Joaquin. For example, I look forward to sharing in the Lambeth Conference alongside any bishop to whom the Archbishop of Canterbury issues an invitation.
LINDSAY URWIN
Bishop’s House
21 Guildford Road
Horsham RH12 1LU

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