Are More Big Parishes Pulling Out of the National Episcopal Church?
But the Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, was just elected a bishop by the Anglican province of Nigeria to oversee the Nigerian Convocation in the United States. The new Nigerian missionary effort is being coordinated with the Anglican Communion Network, so they are not to be in competition.
Rev. Minns, in his announcement of his new position with the Nigerian church, had this to say about The Washington Times story saying that his parish was pulling out of ECUSA: "By the way, don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers. Thursday’s headline in The Washington Times was terribly wrong. The Truro congregation has not gone through its discernment process and so no decision has been made about our future plans. We are struggling to find a way to remain faithful Anglicans during these turbulent times in the Episcopal Church."
The Falls Church also says The Washington Times has jumped the gun. On their web site they say today: "The Washington Times has reported that our church has informed our Bishop that we are leaving the Diocese of Virginia and leaving the Episcopal Church. This certainly is not true and misrepresents where we are as a congregation. It is true that we think an extended period of study, prayer, and deliberation about how we are to respond to the serious rift in our denomination is wise and we are hoping to engage in such a time this fall."
UPDATE: Bishop Lee of Virginia is not pleased. In a statement published on the diocesan web site he says of the Rev. Martyn Minns election as a bishop of the Nigerian chruch: The election of the Rev. Martyn Minns as a Bishop of the Church of Nigeria with oversight of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America is an affront to the traditional, orthodox understanding of Anglican Provincial Autonomy. Archbishop Akinola acknowledges as much in his letter to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. How that situation resolves itself remains to be seen. However, the request by Archbishop Akinola that Martyn be allowed to continue as rector of an Episcopal congregation while also serving as a Nigerian Bishop seems to me, at this point, to be impossible. I raised this issue with Martyn when he and I spoke yesterday.