Headship bishop ‘will engage’

15 May 2015

iSTOCK

Wider aspect: view across the North Downs, Kent

Wider aspect: view across the North Downs, Kent

THE man announced last week as the first bishop for "headship" Evangelicals has said that he will not lead a "Church within a Church".

Prebendary Rod Thomas, who is Vicar of Elburton, and chairman of the conservative Evangelical pressure group Reform, has said that he will encourage any congregation that he ministers to as Bishop of Maidstone to engage with its diocese and the Church of England.

"I have no intention of leading a Church within a Church," he said in an interview on BBC Radio Devon on Sunday. "My intention is to provide reassurance to both conservative Evangelical congregations and dioceses that we can flourish together, and I will be encouraging those congregations to play a full part in the life of those dioceses."

Prebendary Thomas estimated that about ten per cent of the C of E shared his convictions on the issues of women bishops, but said that, with a few exceptions, he and those in the Church who accept women bishops are united on more things than divide them.

"Even though we see things differently, we share the same commitment to Jesus Christ, we are keen to see the progress of the Gospel, and those things help put everything in perspective."

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