Friday, July 04, 2008

Bishop Farran speaks out

Bishop Brian Farran of Newcastle (Australia) has always been the local bishop willing to state his mind about GAFCON and Archbishop Jensen.He was interviewed by Stephen Crittenden on The Religion Report on July 2
I have copied the most interesting parts.

Stephen Crittenden
: The Bishop of Newcastle, Bishop Brian Farran, who lives right next to the Sydney Diocese says Archbishop Peter Jensen has created difficulties for his relationship with the rest of the Australian church.

Brian Farran
: Well I think it's particularly difficult within the province of New South Wales where the Archbishop is the Metropolitan. I think there's in fact emerging as he has, probably by default, as a principal leader of the GAFCON movement, and their statement in which they really encourage the formation of what seems like a church within a church. I think it would be difficult for him to come back and operate as if nothing has happened, and that the relationships that we have normally, through say our Primate with the Archbishop of Canterbury, that they're going to be a bit muddied by his relationship with this secondary movement.

Stephen Crittenden
: many Anglicans in Sydney who'd like to escape it. I mean is this the time when some kind of Episcopal oversight needs to be offered to alienating Anglicans in Sydney?

Brian Farran
: Well I personally don't agree with alternative forms of Episcopal oversight, so I'm finding myself rather constrained in all of this. Certainly I've been in contact with some of the Anglicans in Sydney who sometimes flee up to Newcastle actually for a dose of liturgical renewal, and they themselves have said that they're totally disappointed that the Sydney bishops are not going to be at Lambeth, and they really do feel abandoned in that. So I guess there will be people in Sydney who are looking for some kind of insight from Lambeth and some follow-on.

Brian Farran
: Yes. He's (Greg Venables who's the Archbishop of the Southern Cone) going to go. And I guess he will be a probable spokesperson for the GAFCON experience. The only Australian bishop that I'm aware of who went to GAFCON and is going to Lambeth is the Bishop of Armidale, Peter Brain. So it will be interesting for the Australian bishops to hear from him directly.

Stephen Crittenden: The BBC the other day was painting Archbishop Jensen almost as a patient reconciler. I wonder whether world Anglicanism perhaps doesn't sufficiently recognise the organisational significance of Sydney in all of this. They don't have quite the experience that people like you have, living right next door.

Brian Farran: Well that's a possibility. I mean we here in Newcastle experience the intrusions of Sydney, although of course they're in one sense, second order intrusions, and they're not actually initiated by the diocese as such. But there are parishes within Sydney that plant churches within the diocese of Newcastle as sort of evangelical beacons, although we do actually have classic evangelical parishes within the diocese. But these are bypassed by these initiatives.

Stephen Crittenden: And would you expect to see that kind of activity increase?

Brian Farran: It could be possible. I don't think it would be initiated necessarily by the Archbishop but I think there are some fairly gung-ho people around and they may take the lead from what's happening through the GAFCON initiatives themselves.

Brian Farran: It could actually degenerate into almost an ecclesial form of consumerism where people for a whole variety of reasons want to choose which bishop they have.

I have often wished we could have episcopal oversight from either Newcastle or Bathurst but, as stated, those bishops being true to the Anglican Church do not believe in such intrusions even though they suffer from them. Perhaps if those people referred to as gung-ho in the Sydney Diocese do become more obvious in their planting, some reverse activity may finally occur.

I hold Peter Jensen in complete contempt and if he were to enter a church where I was worshipping I would walk out or perhaps if he were preaching I could copy the Aborigines and their response to John Howard and stand with my back to him.


Doorman-Priest said...

I know. You can't have it both ways can you?

Davis said...

What's sauce for the goose...