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Archbishop Foley Beach meets with JAFC Executive Staff in late June at Nashotah House. - Photo


By David W. Virtue, DD
July 15, 2022

VOL has learned that the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy (JAFC), also known as the Anglican Chaplains, has been canonically transferred from the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

In 2012 The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) created four dioceses, the JAFC being one of the four. Originally, the JAFC was to be transferred to the ACNA. But for many reasons, that transfer was never completed in 2014.

Bishop Derek Jones, Bishop of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, couldn't participate in the 2019 agreement between the ACNA and the CoN that called for the former CANA dioceses to be either fully ACNA or CoN. The JAFC was structured in such a way that it needed to remain connected to both provinces. Consequently, the JAFC remained as a "dual jurisdiction" canonically resident in the CoN while fully functioning within the structure, and to the benefit and ministry of the ACNA until this latest agreement.

In point of fact, the JAFC is so fully integrated into the life and ministry of the ACNA that most didn't realize they weren't already wholly ACNA. Another Anglican news agency was actually duped into reporting a few months ago that the "JAFC is leaving the ACNA for Nigeria," based upon the false statements of a former Anglican priest, who was defrocked after a unanimous ecclesiastical court decision in part for being habitually untruthful. Clearly the JAFC couldn't "move" to a province in which it was already resident. But this shows how relatively unknown was this issue. In 2020, Abp Beach charged Bps Bill Atwood and Kevin Allen, along with Abp Bob Duncan to work with Bishop Jones and the JAFC to do what needed to be done to see a transfer take place.They clearly had success.

VOL reached out to Bishop Jones about the latest news and he said, "This past March, I did make a formal request of Nigerian Archbishop Henry Ndukuba and Archbishop Foley Beach to allow me to facilitate discussions toward the full canonical transfer of the JAFC diocese from Nigeria to the ACNA. Those discussions culminated in an agreement between the Primates this past month to affect such a transfer."

Abp Beach commented that the Anglican Chaplains have been a vital part of the Anglican Church in North America. "Bishop Jones has done an incredible job of mobilizing chaplains for Gospel ministry literally all over the world. These dedicated servants of Christ minister pastorally and prophetically to men and women facing difficulties and challenges which not only normal life brings, but also because of the dangerous and responsible vocations in which they work." He also noted that he has been grateful for the leadership of Archbishop Henry Ndkuba of the Church of Nigeria and the important ministry the CON has provided for the ACNA over the years.


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