Short: We are not troublemakers

Natasha Percy

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The petition

We, the undersigned, as active clergy and lay members of the Global Anglican
Communion, stand with those parishes in Vancouver that are part of
the Anglican Network in Canada, affirming that they are authentically
Anglican.

To sign, click here.

Former Sydney Anglican, the Rev David Short has called on fellow evangelical Anglicans to sign a petition to counter "the lies being spread" which portray his church and others belonging to the Anglican Network in Canada as a "troublemaking minority".

Evangelical Anglicans around the world have been asked to sign the petition by mid-November, which declares that lay members and clergy in the global Anglican Communion "stand with" parishes in the Anglican Network in Canada and "affirm" that they are "authentically Anglican".

The petition was introduced earlier this month as a motion unanimously supported by those attending the conservative evangelical network Reform’s conference in London.

At the mid-October conference, Mr Short (pictured here at GAFCON) had spoken about the difficulties his own parish " St John’s, Shaughnessy " is facing after their February decision to leave the Anglican Church in Canada and join the Anglican Network in Canada, a church body under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

"The petition has been a massive encouragement to us and a true demonstration of the reality of gospel koinonia (communion)," Mr Short tells sydneyanglicans.net from Canada.

"It cuts across the lies being spread by the Anglican Church in Canada, which says that we are not authentically Anglican and that we represent an eccentric troublemaking minority."

Already, a number have signed the petition, Mr Short says.

"Reading the comments of those who’ve signed has been very moving, and seeing that people from all over the world " including a number of bishops " have taken time to sign, is a source of strength to us."

Calling on Sydney

Archbishop Peter Jensen has called for as many people as possible to sign the petition.
“The petition is a good way of supporting David and members of St John's Shaughnessy. They have made a courageous stand and we should show that we stand with them,” he says.

“What they are going through is symbolic of the marginalising of many authentic Anglicans in North America.”

St John’s Shaughnessy is one of four Vancouver parishes currently in court in a bid to retain the right to meet in their current church buildings.

Believing they have the responsibility to act in the best interest of their congregations before their diocese, the trustees of St John’s have joined with those of the three other Vancouver ANiC parishes “to ask the courts in British Columbia to clarify who are the valid trustees of our four parish corporations and what our duties as Trustees are at this time”. 

The group of trustees " representing the parishes of St John’s Shaughnessy, Good Shepherd, Vancouver, St Matthew’s, Abbotsford, and St Matthias’ and St Luke’s, Vancouver " indicated the difficulty and risk facing the churches as they make this legal stand.

“We are saddened that we are forced to defend ourselves against the diocese's hostile actions, but the alternative is to voluntarily vacate the churches and hand over the buildings and assets of the parishes to the diocese. We feel this would be an abandonment of the legal and fiduciary responsibilities you entrusted to us as elected Trustees,” they wrote to their congregations last month.

“However, we will certainly comply with any final determination of the court ordering us to hand over our buildings. While we know that the Church is the people not the buildings, we are concerned that the ministry of our parishes will suffer should we be forced to find alternate accommodation for Sunday worship and ongoing ministry.”

Already, two of these parishes " St Matthew’s, Abbotsford and St Matthias’ and St Luke’s Vancouver " have had their wardens, trustees and parish council members dismissed by their diocesan bishop, and their bank accounts frozen.

Trustees at St John’s Shaughnessy believe they and the other remaining ANiC parish in Vancouver will be next.

The ANiC " which is currently made up of 22 Canadian Anglican churches " states that its members are "committed to remaining faithful to Holy Scripture and established Anglican doctrine and practices".

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