Rival Anglican church ordains new clergy in challenge to Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury faces a new threat to his authority this week with a breakaway Anglican church in England set to ordain nine ministers for the first time.

Andy Lines, a 'missionary bishop' for conservative Anglicans rebelling against a perceived liberalism in the Church of England, will carry out the service on Thursday in east London.

Andy Lines was consecrated by another splinter Anglican group, the Anglican Church in North America, and has been told by the Archbishop of Canterbury his authority will not be recognised by the Church of England.Anglican Church in North America

The move is a direct challenge to Justin Welby as it strengthens the cause of Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) - a splinter group who have set themselves up as a rival Anglican church to the Church of England.

The decision is an escalation of a row over the Church's approach to gay marriage and it comes after Welby rebuked Lines' consecration as bishop outside of his authority, saying 'cross-border interventions' weakens the worldwide Church.

'We recognised that there is a need for a season of repentance and renewal including where interventions may have happened without prior permission having being sought,' a statement from the leaders of the global Anglican Communion said in October.

AMiE currently has 10 parishes with around 1,000 members and aims to grow to 25 churches by 2025 and 250 by 2050.

Lee McMunn, AmiE's mission director, said it offered 'a different way of being an Anglican in England'.

He justified the decision to carry out ordinations saying: 'We know that many faithful Anglicans remain within the structures of the Church of England. However, some are finding their entry to ordination blocked by liberal clergy who do not believe orthodox Anglican teachings, like Jesus being the only way to be saved.

'Moreover, an increasing number of those exploring ordination now have no interest in joining what they see as a fundamentally compromised denomination. They are distressed by the number of senior clergy who are keen to bless what the Bible calls sin.'