St John's Shaughnessy leaves the Anglican Church of Canada

Last November I wrote two posts about St John’s church, Shaughnessy, in Vancouver, the largest congregation in the Anglican Church of Canada, and its controversial Rector David Short. Today the news has broken that this church, of which J.I. Packer is a member, has voted overwhelmingly to leave the official Anglican Church and affiliate to the Province of the Southern Cone. This decision is hardly a surprise, given that Short is a director of the Anglican Network in Canada which has as a whole affiliated to the Southern Cone, and Packer has given a presentation supporting this move. Nevertheless it is significant that the congregation has overwhelmingly accepted their position, even under the threat of legal action from their diocese to appropriate their church buildings.

Thanks to Michael Daley and Anglican Mainstream for the tip.

0 thoughts on “St John's Shaughnessy leaves the Anglican Church of Canada

  1. Well, it may have been inevitable, but I suspect it will also turn out to have been shortsighted.

    Why would anyone leave an established organisation for a no-hope alternative merely on a point of principle?

  2. Why stay in a no hope established organisation when to do so is to go against your principles?
    Especially when that organisation is, in some areas, either drifting away from Biblical principles or ignoring them entirely or so busy compromising it has lost sight of solid ground?

  3. It will be particularly interesting when some of the ordained women whose churches are also voting to leave become more aware that the ordination of women is not looked on with approval by other dissenting clergy.

    There is considerable confusion about whether this is purely an anti-gay vote, or a back to “biblical principles” vote or back to the prayer book vote, or let’s put things back the way they were in the 60’s vote.

    More on this topic here.

  4. Doorman-Priest, if one is a member of an organisation whose aims, goals and policies are entirely opposed to one’s own, surely it is best to leave it? Anyway, who says the alternative is no-hope? There is a rocky path ahead for it, but I suspect that within a few years there will effectively be two separate Anglican communions, and each province, diocese and parish will have to decide which to join.

    Sue, you are right, there will of course be issues about the ordination of women in the new grouping. But these issues can usually be worked round, except for real hardliners on either side, especially if the new grouping does not insist on a strictly geographical hierarchy. What I mean is that even within Canada, for example, there could be parallel dioceses or “provinces” of women-ordaining and non-women-ordaining Anglicans who remain in communion with one another. The details could be complicated, but they can be worked out, using the kinds of models which are currently being proposed to solve these issues within the Church of England.

  5. Peter!

    There are ordained women in all the dioceses in Canada. There is a very old tradition of women in ministry here. In BC there were women lay readers who preached in the first half of the century. Not ordaining women is just a foreign absurdity here. Women as missionaries and preachers is very old. Let’s not forget that St Johns is lead by a Sidney Anglican and Dr. Packer, British, I might add.

  6. Sue, I am not trying to defend St Johns’ position. I am just saying that they should be able to work with other, perhaps more authentically Canadian churches which break away from ACC as long as neither side takes a strongly dogmatic stance on this issue. I doubt if they will, as these breakaway congregations don’t seem to have left because of the women’s ordination issue.

  7. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Packer threatened with suspension from ministry

  8. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Possibly another hopeful moment in the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion

  9. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Packer leaves the Anglican Church of Canada

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