Sheffield diocese’s ‘total surprise’ at Kenyan ordination

22 February 2013

ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM

Planted: the Revd Peter Jackson

Planted: the Revd Peter Jackson

THE diocese of Sheffield has expressed "total surprise" at the ordination in Kenya of the minister of a church planted by Christ Church, Fulwood.

The Revd Pete Jackson, the founding minister of Christ Church, Walkley, was made deacon in the Anglican Church of Kenya by the Bishop of Kitui, the Rt Revd Josephat Mule, on 9 February.

Anglican Mainstream issued a statement about the ordination on Monday, signed by the Revd Tim Davies, the senior minister of Christ Church Central, which is another plant of Christ Church, Fulwood; and by Jane Patterson, a trustee of Christ Church Central who is also a member of the General Synod and sits on the Crown Nominations Commission.

Christ Church Central, in Sheffield city centre, was set up by Christ Church, Fulwood, in 2003. It was planted "outside the formal structures of the Church of England", the statement said, after "diocesan support for this initiative was withdrawn".

Christ Church, Fulwood, and Christ Church Central both "continued to grow numerically", and last year, the two churches planted Christ Church Walkley, "with the initial members drawn from both congregations living in the area". Mr Jackson was appointed as the "founding minister" of the plant.

The statement continued: "Although recommended by the Reform Panel of Reference and trained at Oakhill [sic] Theological College, Pete [Jackson] had not been ordained since Christ Church Central was not part of Sheffield diocese. Concern that his ministry, and that of the new church, should be appropriately recognised led us to consult the leadership of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), who subsequently wrote to the GAFCON Primates' Council with a request that they should facilitate Pete's ordination."

The AMiE, a conservative Evangelical group, was launched in 2011, shortly after three clerics from Southwark diocese were ordained in Africa by the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala ( News, 1 July 2011).

The Bishop of Doncaster, the Rt Revd Peter Burrows, said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the diocese had been "made aware last week" of Mr Jackson's ordination in Kenya. "This came as a total surprise as we had no prior knowledge or communication regarding this.

"We continue to seek further clarification and dialogue with those involved in the ordination at various levels, and are taking advice so that we have a comprehensive picture of what took place."

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read up to twelve articles for free. (You will need to register.)