Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lady Deacons May Preside Over Holy Communion: Sydney Gives Women Unbiblical Authority

Ironically, it is women deacons, who are prevented in Sydney from being ordained priests or consecrated as bishops, who stand to benefit from the wider deaconate role.


(See 1 Timothy 3:12)

Legal Challenge Brewing Over Holy Communion Row

THE Sydney Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, is facing a legal challenge over his church's decision to break with the national church and permit apprentice ministers to give Holy Communion.

The highest court of the Australian Anglican Church, the Appellate Tribunal, has been convened to decide on the contentious issue of whether church law allows deacons or church workers to preside over the Lord's Supper, a duty exclusively performed by ordained priests and bishops.

Eight diocesan bishops from Wangaratta, Bathurst, Bunbury, Riverina, Rockhampton, Grafton, North Queensland and Willochra, and 20 clergy and laity from 13 dioceses around the country outside of Sydney have applied for a legal ruling.

The tribunal, headed by the Appeal Court judge and leading Sydney Anglican Peter Young, conducted a preliminary hearing on August 20 and is awaiting submissions from interested parties.

The legal manoeuvres come less than a year after Sydney's parliament stared down strident opposition from leading Australian Anglicans and the worldwide church to widen the role of deacons.

The Sydney synod also gave support for Dr Jensen to amend the licences of senior church elders to preside over Holy Communion, at the risk of antagonising its conservative allies in the global church who are opposed to gay bishops and lay presidency. Dr Jensen says it's a right he will not take up.

The question of who should preside over the central worship service for Anglicans has been a source of simmering tensions inside the church for more than 30 years. Evangelicals say there is no legal impediment to deacons or church elders performing a fuller worship role, while traditionalists argue it is an encroachment on the role and ministry of priests and bishops.

Ironically, it is women deacons, who are prevented in Sydney from being ordained priests or consecrated as bishops, who stand to benefit from the wider deaconate role.

Three Sydney rectors - all from the Anglo-Catholic tradition - have also joined the legal fray against their own synod, arguing that bishops and priests should continue to have the exclusive right to preside over this central sacrament.

The rector of St John's Church, Gordon, Father Keith Dalby, said diaconal and lay presidency contravened the type of church services and ministry role as prescribed in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which is the ultimate standard of worship in the Anglican communion.

''By allowing for diaconal and lay presidency you collapse the office of deacon and priest into the one order so you actually effectively destroy the traditional threefold order of deacon, priest and bishop, that has been upheld way back to 110AD.''

The Melbourne Anglican Dr Muriel Porter, one of the 28 signatories to the tribunal's reference, said who presided at Holy Communion was not a ''trivial in-house issue'' but one ''at least as important as women's ordination and gay clergy''.

''Who presides at Holy Communion - the central worship service for Anglicans - is about who are the leaders in the Anglican Church, who is authorised to lead,'' she said.

The Sydney diocese has chosen not to be represented at the hearings following its failed bid two years ago to block the tribunal's ruling in favour of women bishops. The tribunal could opt to send the matter back to the national church's parliament for vote.

The Bishop of North Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, who convinced his synod that there was no legal impediment to deacons' presiding, says a General Synod canon carried in 1985 already authorised deacons to assist the priest in the administration of the sacraments.

''Previously, deacons were a stepping stone to priests, they were probationary priests for a year, but we say that deacons in the Bible is an order of ministry with its own integrity.

''Deacons can marry, bury, preach, baptise, why shouldn't they be able to administer the Lord's Supper?

''This gives women the full range of possibilities in ministry without being head of a parish. There are certain members of the diocese who would like to press ahead with lay presidency, but the Archbishop will not do so.''



The Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Dominic Stockford said...


1. How did these women end up as Deacons in Sydney? Why did Jensen allow that?
2. "Three fold orders back to 1100"!!!
I think not. Only in the spiritual cess-pit of Rome.
3. The EC-FCE (and the FCE) allow Deacons to preside when the Bishop (presiding presbyter) gives permission. Indeed, in my church, several years ago, when the presbyter fell ill during a Lord's Supper service the lay-readers took the service. Not even the staunchest (least Christian) 'Anglicans' objected.
4. Sydney has got itself into a right state over all this. You can't be congregational (as they seem to want to be) and at the same time 'centrist denominational' as they are currently acting.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Brother Dominic:

Sydney wants to bring in full "lay presidency" over the administration of the Lord's supper. They also want to downplay ordination and allow for more lay involvement in the preaching and administration of the sacraments. The net result of all this given their commitment to women deacons is that eventually women will be pastors and leaders of churches. This is but the nose of the camel in the tent. And after that happens you will begin to see the push for homosexual ministers just as in other denominations.

They may deny that will happen but after this first generation dies off that will be the inevitable result in the next generation. Sydney does not understand this but it is an inevitable result. The Old Testament shows over and over again how one compromise leads to more compromise in the next generation. This is why God calls for separation between Israel and the pagan nations.


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