It was perhaps inevitable considering the action being taken against him, and indeed many may have thought it had happened months ago. But, according to a report from today’s Vancouver Sun posted by Suzanne, it is only this week that J.I. Packer has officially announced that he is leaving the Anglican Church of Canada and joining the Province of the Southern Cone, under Bishop Gregory Venables. Packer’s church, St John’s Shaughnessy, voted in February to affiliate to the Southern Cone. Now Packer is personally making the same move.
Michael Daley’s Lambeth Conference Canada blog has more background on this story. The announcement seems to have been first made on Monday in a press release which Daley apparently posts in full. The press release quotes from a response by Packer and ten other priests and deacons to their former bishop Michael Ingham, in which they deny the charges made against them, and write:
We have… determined that in order to uphold our ordination vows, we must leave your jurisdiction, and by this letter, we hereby relinquish the licences we hold from the Bishop of New Westminster. Each of us will receive a licence to continue our present parish ministries from Bishop Donald Harvey, who, as you know, is under the jurisdiction of the Primate of the Southern Cone. In this way, we will be able to continue our Anglican ministry within the Anglican Church, under the jurisdiction of and in communion with those who remain faithful to historic, orthodox Anglicanism and as part of the Anglican Communion worldwide.
Oddly, Daley mentioned neither Packer nor leaving the Anglican Church of Canada in his post title, and did not post this on his main Lambeth Conference blog. Anglican Mainstream reports the same story with more detail, noting that David Short is also among the clergy who resigned, but again without naming Packer or referring to resignations in a post title; in another post reporting the resignation of the eleven clergy, Packer is not named at all.
So, bizarrely, it seems to have taken Suzanne and a secular newspaper to make this internationally important news break outside Canada. Well, Hugh Bourne here in England did pick up the story on Wednesday, but has received (or allowed) no comments or pingbacks on it. And already on Tuesday Babyblue in Washington D.C. had clearly reported the story. But strangely it didn’t get into the corner of the blogosphere which I inhabit.