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
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,
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
"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."