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UK >

Bishop of Salisbury investigates AMiE church

Madeleine Davies

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 20 Feb 2015 @ 12:22

iSTOCK

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Busy: Christ Church meets in the centre of Salisbury

Credit: iSTOCK

Busy: Christ Church meets in the centre of Salisbury

THE Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, is seeking clarification about the involvement of the Rt Revd John Ellison at a service of commissioning for a new church in the diocese that is affiliated to the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) .

Christ Church, Salisbury, has been meeting since the summer. Bishop Ellison, chairman of the Panel of Bishops of AMiE, presided at a formal service of thanksgiving and commission on 6 December.

A statement from the diocese on Monday said that "No one involved in planting the church has contacted the Bishop, nor is the Diocese aware of any consultation with Churches Together in Salisbury about the need for a church plan.

"Ideally we might want to welcome Christ Church as fellow workers in Christ, but we also wonder why another church explicitly for Anglicans is needed in Salisbury when the broad spectrum of Anglican identities is already catered for.

"The Bishop of Salisbury is seeking clarification about the involvement of Bishop John Ellison in the December service. Bishop Ellison has had to postpone two meetings arranged to discuss this matter due to illness.

"We hope and pray that the Gamaliel principle of Acts 5.38-39 will guide us."

AMiE describes itself as "a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in England by supporting Anglican churches and individuals, both within and outside present Church of England structures". It is a product of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA), which was established in 2008.

Last year, it was one of the organisers of the the ReNew conference at which there was a commitment to investigate "the opportunities to revitalise an existing Church of England church and/or plant with or without diocesan approval" (News, 3 October).

The Rector of Christ Church, the Revd Matthew Mason, was appointed after a "significant AMiE selection process", which included "consultation carried out with ministers in the area", the AMiE website states. He has previously served in churches in Tunbridge Wells and Washington, DC. Services are held at Chafyn Grove school.

"Christ Church Salisbury started last July with the aim of reaching unchurched people with the good news of Jesus," Mr Mason said on Tuesday. "Sadly, the vast majority of Salisbury's population don't attend church and don't know Christ. We're therefore delighted that there are other churches who share our gospel ambition, and we want to work with them. We're also praying that other people will plant more new churches here. There's lots of room for Christ's Kingdom to grow."

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