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NEW WESTMINSTER: Bishop Faces Triple Crisis


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

VANCOUVER, BC-- The revisionist Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham,
faces a triple crisis that could derail his plans to depose, at the
minimum put on hold, his desire to toss 11 biblically orthodox priests
out of their parishes and seize their properties.

He faces a legal ultimatum with the leaders of St. Martin's parish in
North Vancouver who argue that unless the parish is allowed to control
its own finances and staffing, it will ask the B.C. Supreme Court to
overturn the firing of two church wardens last year.

In a letter delivered to Bishop Michael Ingham on Friday, former Trustee
and spokesperson Linda Taunton said, "we want our church and we want to
be able to control our own destiny. Ingham has until Feb. 23 to
respond," she told Virtuosity.

Last September, Ingham invoked an obscure piece of church law to remove
the wardens, St. Martin's parishioners say. The parishioners maintain
that as a legally incorporated organization, they have the right to make
decisions for themselves. They contend Ingham's actions violate the
provincial Societies Act.

The parish has voted twice to seek alternative episcopal oversight. Late
last year, Ingham closed one church.

The second crisis the bishop faces is that four parishes have now
obtained Temporary Adequate Episcopal Oversight from four international
Anglican primates with immediate oversight of the Canadian parishes by a
US-based AMiA bishop. The offer is temporary measure until a more
permanent solution can be found.

Seven of the parishes have not signed as yet, but sources tell
Virtuosity that they are weighing their options. They are not ready to
jump ship but all of them still support the Anglican Churches in New
Westminster (ACiNW) coalition, with none having fled.

"Those parishes who have not immediately accepted TAEO want to continue
the Canadian process set up by the House of Bishops to look for a way to
alternative episcopal oversight."

All the conservative Canadian bishops have been informed of the TAEO
offer as well as Yukon Bishop Terry Buckle who had offered alternative
Episcopal oversight and then withdrew it.

"Everybody is acting in good faith, some parishes just felt they cold
not wait any longer," said the source. We should not view this as a
break-up of the ACiNW coalition. It isn't."

Ingham faces a third crisis with the Canadian House of Bishops Task
Force that could recommend some sort of oversight for the beleagured 11,
which, if he doesn't accept, will put him at odds not only with the
Anglican Church in Canada but with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
38 Primates of the Anglican Communion.

To date Ingham has not responded to either crisis.

But those close to Ingham say he will never accept a recommendation from
the Canadian House of Bishops to grant alternative oversight, because
basically he believes he is the bishop and that is the end of the story.

"He will never go for it. He will never accept AEO because it would be a
diminishing of his ecclesiastical authority, and he is a power driven
person, not gospel driven," said the source.

The following Anglican clergy have already accepted the four Primates'
offer of TAEO: The Revd Charles Alexander, Timothy Institute of
Ministry, Calgary, Alberta; Dr David Bowler, Comox, Vancouver Island, a
Church Plant; Revd Paul Carter, Immanuel Church,
Westside; Revd Ron Gibbs, St Simon's, Deep Cove; Revd Ed Hird, St
Simon's, Deep Cove; Revd David Hollebone, Living Waters Church,
Victoria, Vancouver Island; Revd John Lombard, St Simon's, Deep Cove;
Revd Barclay Mayo, St Andrews, Pender Harbour; Revd Silas Ng, Emmanuel
Church, Richmond. These clergy come from two Canadian dioceses.

St. Martin's, North Vancouver, St. Matthias & St Luke, Vancouver, St.
Matthew's, Abbotsford,Church of the Good Shepherd, St Andrew's, Pender
Harbour, St Simon's, North Vancouver, St. John's, Shaughnessy, Church
of Emmanuel, Richmond, Holy Cross, Vancouver, Immanuel Church, Westside,
and Vancouver Holy Cross, Abbotsford, still have not accepted Temporary
Alternative Episcopal Oversight.


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