there's no truth in the rumour that.....

chris sugden of anglican mainstream will be made an english bishop of the Nigerian church sometime in the next year (probably before Lambeth 2008)

or is there.............?

so yesterday I set out an interesting little pattern regarding the Reform conferences leading on to some kind of 'big' CE action - irregular ordinations, covenant writing. I have now done some digging around and lay before you the journalism and rumours that seem to be doing the rounds. you will then have to make up your own mind as to what is going on.

so, here it is in chronological order, as far as I can work out, obviously there is a lot more out there on the webernet, but I've tried to cut it down for you:

1. 29 September 2005: Akinola is reported as saying 'what's good for the geese is good for the gander' and 'why should england be spared?' - the scene is set so that what is happening in the US may also, legitimately in the eyes of the nigerian archbishop, happen in the UK.
2. 15 July 2007: inclusive church pass on an interesting rumour that nigeria are set to consecrate a bishop before Lambeth 2008, and the rumour also had an interesting candidate - chris sugden.
3. 24 July 2007: pluralist takes up the mantle and whilst admitting that it is just a rumour and might need buckets of cold ice, also points out that chris' article on the danger of 'nationalism' and geographical boundaries (printed first in 'evangelicals now' and then posted on AM in August
) does nothing to quell the rumour, in fact it fans the flames.
4. July/August 2007: that article by chris sugden is posted on AM entitled 'an end to nationalistic anglicanism'. and we also remind ourselves that chris sugden is speaking at this year's Reform conference in october on the subject 'an international perspective'.
5. 3 August 2007: CEN publishes front page article saying that a nigerian clergy member has confirmed that nigeria proposes to consecrate an english bishop for the nigerian anglican church.

obviously since the piece in the CEN there has been a flurry of various things on the interweb - fulcrum and thinking anglicans - but it seems to me that the 'rumour' has gained more credibility. certainly the rumour that nigeria is preparing for consecrating a bishop over here has a lot of weight, and does that mean that the rumour regarding the identity of that bishop might also have something behind it?

who knows where IC first picked up this rumour. obviously they were not willing to divulge their source - us investigative journalists rarely are, ha ha - but it is a rumour that seems to be gaining credibility by the minute. I also heard a rumour - obviously I cannot divulge my source - that Mr Sugden was furious with CEN for publishing the article, but as yet has not written a letter to CEN with any kind of denial.

'methinks the lady doth protest too much' I think it goes.

of course feel free to decide for yourselves.

[update] apparently I got ugleyvicar's goat by commenting about this on fulcrum, eek, but the rumour's not true.....it's not, it's not, it's not. (that's a whole paragraph quoted from me by the way.....not that what I said was important or anything)


Pluralist said...

Absolutely. You just do a list of what has been written, including (we might add) the increasing rhetoric against the apaprently unsound statements (and absence of them) of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York - and if they are then declared unsound then it facilitates the basis for a Nigerian (or other) consecrated English bishop and not some sort of flying bishop under either Archbishop.

Whilst it is possible for Rowan Williams to about turn from his current direction (as in the Time interview) it would be extraordinary if he did, but whatever he does, so much has been carried out already by the schismatics that they would have to slam the brakes on. The schismatics want a communion in their own image, adn the only way they are going to get one is by creating it. They think that it then can overtake and replace the one that exists. Chris Sugden says the communion "will remain" but will have gone through a revolution - the problem being that most of the members of the existing communion are not going to be in any rush to join the revolutionaries. Nor do revolutions go in quite the same direction as their leaders intend, thanks to unintended consequences, rivalry and opposition.

karen said...

Perhaps Anglican Mainstream could be made into a diocese; the bishoping could be done "online".