Thursday, January 31, 2013


Belated but ever applicable: the story of Anglicanism’s Royal Martyr, the ‘White King,’ whom the Churches of the Anglican Tradition remember with grateful affection and honour in the month of January… a meditation based on the Anglican Breviary.

‘Charles Stuart, known to secular history as King Charles I of England, and popularly called the Royal Martyr, was born in 1600, and crowned King of England on Candlemas Day in 1626. His father, who had been James VI of Scotland and afterwards became James I of England, was an ardent convert from Scottish Calvinism, and laboured diligently throughout all his dominions to exalt the doctrines of the Priesthood and the Sacraments, which the Calvinists had denied. In particular, he restored the Apostolic Ministry to Scotland, with the hope of thereby gradually supplanting the new system with the ancient heritage of our Religion.  And when Charles acceded to his father’s throne, he also was diligent in all these matters. But when he attempted to impose liturgical worship on Scotland, the Calvinists became alarmed, and stirred up an irreverent mob to prevent the use of it; and thereafter the opposition grew until it was evident that the Scots as a nation could not be reconciled to the Church in this fashion. Nevertheless, the succession of the Catholic Priesthood, which had been instituted in his father’s reign, continued its labours, whereof the episcopal Scottish Church was once the fruit.

Meanwhile Charles, with the help of his Chancellor, William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, introduced numerous ecclesiastical reforms in England, and enforced the discipline of the Church, whereby great antagonism was stirred up against them, as a result of which they both were finally brought to martyrdom.

For this was the time when the Commons first began the struggle for a constitutional monarchy, which same was contrary to the King’s prerogatives as they had hitherto been understood and as Charles tried to defend them. But it was not only because he opposed the politics of his enemies, but also because he stedfastly refused to do away with the Catholic constitution of the Anglican Church, that Parliament finally condemned him to death.  Whereat he was able to show how he had within himself the power to undergo all sorts of indignities with true greatness and serenity. For he had ever been a man conspicuous for devotion to God, and for penitence and prayer, as well as for faithfulness to Christian duties. Therefore, even though he regarded the death sentence passed upon him as unlawful and unjust, he accepted it as a condign punishment from the mercy of God because of his own sins.

From the time of his arrest he spent most of his time in prayer and contemplation. On the day of his execution he gladly made his preparation for death, with the aid of one of the Chaplains allowed to him; with whom he first recited the Office of the day, and then listened with great devotion to the reading of the Passion according to Saint Matthew. Thereafter he received the Last Sacraments; by which fortified, he went bravely and cheerily to his death. Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who knew him well, wrote of him on this wise: “He was, if ever any, the most worthy of the title of an honest man; so great a lover of justice was he that no temptation could dispose him to a wrongful action except it was so disguised to him that he believed it just; he was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian, that the age in which he lived produced.” Others have testified that he was marked by a virtue of purity and a practice of prayer that shone wonderfully amidst the temptations and distractions to which he was exposed.

He was well known for his strict sobriety in food and clothes, and he ever showed a noble insensibility to flattery. All who knew him were impressed with a certain innocence in him, for even his bitter enemies said of him: “He is God’s silly vassal.” At his execution, he affirmed that he was faithful member of the Holy Catholic Church, which same took place on January 30th 1649. Afterwards, his body was laid in Saint George’s Chapel, Windsor; but at the command of his enemies he was buried without the Church’s rites, for their hatred of him and of the Priesthood was not satisfied, even when they had accomplished his destruction. And he is venerated because he gave his life for the things which men of such minds are unable to perceive.’

Monday, January 28, 2013

Free Church of England Orders Recognised by Church of England

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have recognised the Orders of the Free Church of England under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967. The Measure gives the Archbishops authority to determine whether the Orders of any Church are 'recognised and accepted' by the Church of England.
The recognition of the Orders of the Free Church of England follows approximately three years of contact between the bishops of the Free Church of England, the Council for Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Commission, which recommended that the Orders of the Free Church of England be recognised. That recommendation was subsequently endorsed by the Standing Committee of the House of Bishops.
When someone who was originally ordained in the Free Church of England or any other church whose Orders are recognised under the Measure wishes to minister in the Church of England, the first questions to be considered are those of whether the person concerned is suitable for ministry in the Church of England and if so, whether any further training is necessary. Where those questions are resolved satisfactorily, the Archbishop of the relevant Province can decide to give the minister permission to officiate in the Church of England without re-ordination, either permanently or for a specified period.
The Right Revd Christopher Hill, Chair of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity, said:  'I hope there will be good relations between us and especially in those places where there is a Free Church of England congregation.'
In a statement, the Right Revd John McLean, Bishop Primus of the Free Church of England, said: 'We are grateful to the Archbishops for this recognition of our common episcopal heritage. I pray that it will not be an end in itself, but will lead to new opportunities for proclaiming the Gospel.'
The first congregations of the Free Church of England were formed in 1844. It is governed by a constitution and canons, and has two Dioceses in England and is a member of Churches Together in England. It is already a Designated Church under the Ecumenical Relations Measure 1988. Further details can be found on the website:


Please see previous theological reflections on this subject as expressed on this blog, here...

Denver Consecrations at 35

Today is the 35th anniversary of the Episcopal Consecrations which established the sacramental foundation of the original Anglican Church in North America following the Congress of Saint Louis (1977). Charles Dale David Doren was consecrated by the Right Reverend Albert Arthur Chambers, sometime Bishop of Springfield, Illinois. Joining Bishop Chambers in the consecration of Bishop Doren was the Right Reverend Francisco de Jesus Pagtakhan of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church. After Bishop Doren’s consecration, he joined Bishop Chambers and Bishop Pagtakhan during the same rite in consecrating three other bishops: James Orin Mote, Robert Sherwood Morse, and Peter Francis Watterson.

ALMIGHTY God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed thy flock; Give grace, we beseech thee, to all Bishops, the Pastors of thy Church, that they may diligently preach thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof; and grant to the people, that they may obediently follow the same; that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Glyn Webster

The Right Reverend Glyn Webster, a traditional Anglo-Catholic, was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Beverley in the Province of York on Friday 25th January 2013 in York Minster.   

Friday, January 11, 2013


The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, the most well-known Latin Rite traditionalist movement, now appears to be, by the description of its Superior General Bishop Fellay, Old Catholic. That is, its position is precisely analogous to the status of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, the Dutch Roman Catholic Church of the Old Episcopal Order, in the years 1723, 1870 and 1889, as it has refused definitively to accept the ordinary magisterial authority of the modern papacy. The SSPX places the Tradition of the old Latin Fathers of the ancient Church and the consensus of the Fathers above the teaching office of the contemporary Roman Communion. This has been exactly the historical position of Old Catholicism, and yes, Anglicanism, from the Reformation forward...


Orthodox Anglicans and orthodox Old Catholics are, of course, sister Churches and have historically enjoyed full sacramental communion on the basis of the shared Faith of the ancient and undivided Church of the first millennium, the Faith of the One Church East and West, as expressed in the Western Rite. What could the future hold for the SSPX?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Christmas 2012 at Saint Barnabas Dunwoody

For some, Christmas Day is just the start of the celebration

Anglican Bishop Chandler “Chad” Jones, rector of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Dunwoody
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … you know how the song goes.
But more than just lyrics about turtledoves and partridges, the 12 days of Christmas is a tradition observed by many Christians. Christmas is just the beginning of a 12-day celebration, according to liturgical tradition.
Bishop Chandler Jones of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Dunwoody said there are several feast days that are observed between Christmas and Epiphany, when some Christians believe the three wise men visited the newborn Jesus.
“You have these wonderful feast days that come right after Christmas. Dec. 25 is just the start,” Jones said. “In the Anglican tradition, the twelfth night is marked by great celebrations and food.”
Included in the 12 days of Christmas are the Feast of Saint Stephen on Dec. 26; the feast of Saint John on Dec. 27; and the feast of the Holy Innocents on Dec. 28. Jones said the Anglican tradition is to take Eucharist, or Holy Communion, to mark each occasion.
“There’s a lot of rich history and rich symbolism in all of that,” Jones said.
The Rev. Zachary Thompson of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Sandy Springs said his church will hold mass each of those days and include a sermon that explores the saints that are honored for each feast.
“We have a slew of saints we recognize during the season,” Thompson said. “Particularly important for us is the feast day of the Holy Innocents.”
Thompson said because it is their namesake, the church puts particular emphasis on the feast of Holy Innocents, and holds a memorial service for the children that have died in Georgia throughout the year.
This year, he said, they plan to delay the service until January and hold a larger, community-wide event that will serve as a memorial for the children killed in the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Jones said that in the past the majority of Christians observed the 12 days of Christmas. But now, only a few denominations uphold the tradition.
“The reason why it went out of vogue was because people, especially in retail, wanted to get people excited for Dec. 25 and wanted to sell their goods as Christmas presents,” Jones said. “Economically, there was a great deal of stress on buying Christmas presents. The 12 days of Christmas became somewhat of an afterthought because the focus was on Dec. 25.”
Thompson said aside from celebrations at the church, Holy Innocents encourages families in their congregation to recognize the 12 days of Christmas in their homes, too.
“Each year we give a sort of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany pamphlet,” he said.
Included are prayer services for lighting the Christmas tree and other prayers using material things to “connect our homes and families into God’s story.”

45th Anniversary of Saint Barnabas Atlanta

What a sheer joy to celebrate today the 45th Anniversary of   Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral, Atlanta, Georgia!