Orthodox Anglicans in US and England plan clergy swap

Orthodox Anglicans in North America are inviting priests in the Church of England to make a show of solidarity by taking part in a clergy swap.

The Anglican Church in North America was formed last year by Anglicans who broke away from the liberal Episcopal Church in the US. It is proposing the swap in the wake of last Saturday’s consecration by TEC of its first partnered lesbian bishop.

ACNA said the clergy swap would be an opportunity for Church of England parishes and clergy to express their solidarity and friendship with ACNA churches.

Participating clergy will be matched to churches with similar preaching and ministry styles and serve the pulpit for a period of three to four weeks in January and July or August next year.

In a letter of invitation to Church of England clergy, Paul Perkin, Chair of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK and Ireland, and Secretary Chris Sugden, said the swap would be of “mutual benefit”.

“We are writing in the wake of the letter from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to the Primates of the Anglican Communion that her consecration of a woman in a partnered same-sex relationship represents the mind of the majority of elected leaders in the Episcopal Church,” they wrote.

“Institutionally the CofE seems to be sitting on the fence. The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the consecration of Mary Glasspool in TEC is 'regrettable'; yet the CofE has not fully embraced ACNA.

“An important contribution at this stage will be for parishes and clergy to express solidarity and friendship with clergy and parishes in ACNA.”