An Open Letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Mon May 28 00:31:13 EDT 2001


We, the Rector, Churchwardens and Parish Council of All Saints',
Wickham Terrace, in the Diocese of Brisbane, Australia write in support
of Father Samuel Edwards SSC and the Churchwardens and Vestry of Christ
Church, Accokeet in the Diocese of Washington, USA.

We have been praying for Father Sam and the people of Christ Church as
they respond to the determination of Bishop Jane Dixon to ensure that
Christ Church will not survive as a parish to which people can go for
Gospel ministry and classical Christian orthodoxy. We have been praying
that they will win, because if that parish falls to Bishop Dixon's
liberal reductionist version of Christianity, a chilling message will
be sent right around the world to every parish  like Christ Church
Accokeet and our parish of All Saints, Brisbane, who function as
isolated havens of orthodoxy in theologically liberal dioceses and

That message will be that in spite of the overwhelming support given by
the 1998 Lambeth Conference to both the sexuality resolution and the
Eames Commission resolution (in which it was stated quite clearly that
parishes like Christ Church Accokeet and ourselves are to be treated as
loyal Anglicans, and that we are even entitled to "appropriate
episcopal ministry"), the liberal bishops of declining "first world"
Anglican provinces are going to use every means at their disposal to
wipe us out.

Since the "ordination" of women began in our churches  many of our
friends have become Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox; others have
joined "Continuing Churches"; still others have given up Christianity
altogether.  We are trying desperately to remain, and we take great
offence at the allegation that we are not loyal Anglicans.

Ostensibly the battle at Christ Church is over legal technicalities in
the canons regarding their appointment system. It is obvious, though,
that the REAL issue is whether or not revisionist bishops are willing
to allow orthodox parishes to survive. It is a confrontation between
those who believe in the "givenness" of the Christian Faith and those
who make it up as they go along, with every distinctively Christian
doctrine able to be discarded according to the latest theological

Here in Australia, in spite of their protestations to the contrary,
some bishops and their archdeacons ensure that theologically orthodox
priests fail to get through the nomination process by which rectors and
vicars are appointed. Because the process is supposed to be
confidential, it is not possible to bring to the wider attention of the
Church the way clergy and parishes are treated for believing what has
always been believed with regard to the ordination of women, human
sexuality and a range of other "core" matters.

We plead with you to at least make public your support for Father
Edwards and his people. A number of ECUSA bishops have already done so.
Your doing so will encourage parishes like ours to persevere in "the
faith once delivered to the Saints", in a way that is fully catholic
and fully evangelical.

We believe that the events at Accokeet are an insult to the primates
who gathered at Kanuga to be officially informed that all talk of
"crisis" in ECUSA is exaggerated. Are those of you who really believe
in the Gospel and the Catholic Faith willing to let faithful believers
suffer like this while Professor Sykes and his committee retreat to
their ivory tower to consider what recourse primates have when a
diocese or province clearly separates itself from classical Christian

Do you have the luxury of time? Is not the crisis upon us now? Has not
the time come for some action such as that suggested in "To Mend The
Net"? Can we be sure that we, or any other isolated orthodox parish,
will be allowed to survive?

Yours sincerely in the Gospel of Jesus, and the Catholic Faith that
comes to us from the Apostles.

Father David Chislett SSC Rector

Ms Lorraine Hines Rector's Warden

Mr Colin Sheehan Secretary of Parish Council

Peoples' Wardens: Mr Peter Kent Mr Malcolm Badgery

Parish Councillors: Mrs Margaret Sparks Mr Paul Clare Associate
Professor Joy Vickerstaff Brother Gregory Molloy Mr Ray Benn The Rev'd.
Bernard Buttery


More information about the VirtueOnline mailing list