Southwark diocese signals opposition to rebel Bishop Andy Lines by withdrawing permission to officiate
The 'missionary bishop' consecrated by the conservative Anglican Church of North America has had his 'permission to officiate' withdrawn by the Diocese of Southwark.
Bishop Andy Lines will offer 'alternative oversight' to conservative Anglican parishes in Scotland, England and across Europe who feel they cannot accept the oversight of their official local bishop. His appointment angered many in the Church of England, who object to what they see as the promotion of a divisive splinter movement.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warned before the missionary bishop was announced that any such appointment would 'carry no weight in the Church of England' and cited canons from Christianity's formative Council of Nicea in AD 325 to warn of the 'great disturbances and discords' it would cause.
Lines had permission to officiate in the Diocese of Southwark which was due to be renewed on June 30. A spokesperson for the Diocese told the Church of England Newspaper: 'Andy Lines wrote to explain that he had moved his canonical residence to the Anglical Church in North America and in view of this change in circumstance his PTO has not been renewed.'
The director of the conservative Reform group, Susie Leafe, said: 'It is extraordinary that the Bishop of Southwark would wish to prevent a godly, mission-minded man like Andy Lines from ministering in the diocese.'
This article has been updated to reflect confirmation from the Canterbury diocese that Lines does not have permission to officiate there.