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UK: Lichfield Bishop handed his head by SE Asia Primate over "departure from orthodoxy"

UK: Lichfield Bishop handed his head by SE Asia Primate over "departure from orthodoxy"
SE Asia breaks ecclesiastical ties with C of E diocese over homosexual promotion of LGBT

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
July 14, 20

The Primate of Southeast Asia, The Rt Rev. Datuk Ng Moon Hing, and the four dioceses of Southeast Asia will not attend an "intentional Discipleship" gabfest and will not renew a partnership agreement with the Diocese of Lichfield, over concerns expressed about that diocese' "departure from orthodoxy".

The two dioceses of Singapore and Sabah also decided to withdraw their participation from the whole event.

The issue at stake was the recent ad clerum on Welcoming and Honouring LGBT+ People by the liberal diocese, that reflects the growing concern by orthodox Global South and GAFCON primates that the Church of England is heading down the same road as The American Episcopal Church in full pansexual acceptance.

A CofE commissioner told VOL that the Church of England "is slowly slithering down the same path."

GAFCON leaders meeting in Jerusalem recently reaffirmed their faith in the authority of Scripture, Lambeth resolution 1:10 and requested that GAFCON primates not attend Lambeth Conference 2020. "For some time, our Communion has been under threat from leaders who deny the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture. In the late 20th century, human sexuality became the presenting issue," they said in a final communique.

This from The Rt Rev. Dr Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Richfield to all clergy and licensed lay ministers in the Diocese of Lichfield:

Intentional Discipleship: East Meets West.

Many of you will be aware of -- and hopefully attending -- our 'Intentional Discipleship: East Meets West' event across the Diocese from 11-15 July. We would like to update you about some developments concerning the gatherings for your information.

We have enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Province of South East Asia and were very much looking forward to welcoming all four of its dioceses: West Malaysia, Kuching, Singapore and Sabah, to the event, which was due to culminate in the renewal of our partnership agreements with each diocese.

However, we are sad that the four dioceses have now informed us that they will not renew the partnership agreements, and that Singapore and Sabah dioceses have decided to withdraw their participation from the whole event. This is because they have concerns about our recent ad clerum on Welcoming and Honouring LGBT+ People. We respect their decision and their concerns which are held with integrity.

Their bishops have expressed a fear that the ad clerum represents a departure from orthodoxy. This was not our intention. The letter focused on pastoral issues because we wanted to emphasise the importance of welcoming and including all people to our churches and to look at some of the practical out-workings of this.

The ad clerum has stimulated some good conversations amongst people in our Diocese holding a wide range of views. We have much appreciated the Bishop of Maidstone entering the conversation with a letter to us which sought to clarify the pastoral arrangements. He, like us, wants to find ways to offer the Gospel most effectively to as wide a range of people as possible. As an Assistant Bishop in this diocese, Bishop Rod has pointed out some of the ways in which that imperative is being taken up by the churches to whom he offers ministry.

'Intentional Discipleship: East Meets West' will focus on discipleship, which often involves grappling with difficult issues and learning to walk in relationship even when holding different perspectives.

While the partnership agreements with the four dioceses from South East Asia are not being renewed this month, we look forward to welcoming over 20 delegates from West Malaysia and Kuching for the event and seek to remain in friendly relationship with all four dioceses.

We are also keen, as are others in the Province of South East Asia, that new and existing parish links within our Diocese with the South East Asian dioceses are supported and continue to grow. We would encourage you to attend the gatherings particularly the events in your area details of which are on our website.

In your prayers in the coming days. Yours in Christ,

The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Lichfield
The Rt Revd Mark Rylands
The Rt Revd Geoff Annas
The Rt Revd Clive Gregory Bishop of Shrewsbury Bishop of Stafford Bishop of Wolverhampton

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