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How the Nineteenth Century Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Tasmania Rid His Diocese of Evangelicals

How the Nineteenth Century Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Tasmania Rid His Diocese of Evangelicals

By Robin Jordan
December 1, 2014

Fourth year Bachelor of Divinity students at Moore Theological College are given the opportunity to research and write a 6000-word essay in Church History on some aspect of Evangelicalism in Australia or Britain after 1600. Encouraged by the excellent quality of some of these essays Moore's Church History Department sought a way to share the fruits of these students' research and writing with a broader audience. This resulted in the launching of a new journal Integrity.

Among these essays is Sam Gough's "An Analysis of the Reasons for the Opposition in Tasmania in the 1850s of the Rev Dr Henry Fry and other Evangelical Anglican Clergy to their Bishop, Dr Francis Nixon." In his essay Gough examines how Anglo-Catholic Bishop Francis Nixon implemented an exclusionary policy against Evangelicals in the Diocese of Tasmania in the mid-nineteenth century. This was a story that was repeated elsewhere in what would become the Anglican Communion.

In the United Kingdom it would lead to the formation of the Free Church of England; in South Africa, the Church of England in South Africa; and in the United States and Canada, to the Reformed Episcopal Church.

To become the dominant church party in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada in the twentieth century liberals would borrow extensively from the play book of the nineteenth century Anglo-Catholic movement.

Those who dismiss the likelihood of the Anglo-Catholic - philo-Orthodox element in the Anglican Church in North America further carrying out their policy of not making room in that denomination for Anglicans who subscribe to the Anglican confessional formularies and the Biblical and Reformed teaching on which they are based and are committed to a Protestant, Reformed, and evangelical vision of the Anglican Church in particular need to read Gough's essay here: http://integrity.moore.edu.au/article/view/9/8

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