About the Anglican Mission in England (AMIE)
Not another society! A few questions on the Anglican Mission in England.
What does AMIE stand for?
The Anglican Mission in England stands for promoting mission, biblical church planting and the selection, training and deployment of ordinands for mission and ministry authentically based upon the Bible and our Articles of Religion in the Church of England.
AMIE is about protecting unity with those Anglicans looking in on the Church of England and assuring them that they can still maintain unity with us. It also enables Anglican ministers to remain within the Church of England, and gives a true basis for unity among evangelicals within the Church of England and across the Anglican Communion in the Jerusalem Statement which is the basis of AMIE.
Who is behind it?
A Steering Committee with wide representation is chaired by Rev Paul Perkin of St Mark’s Battersea Rise. Episcopal oversight is provided by a panel of bishops who include Bishop John Ball, an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Chelmsford and former suffragan bishop in Tanzania, Bishop Colin Bazley, assistant bishop in the Diocese of Chester, former Bishop of Chile and former Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Bishop John Ellison, an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Winchester and former Bishop of Paraguay and Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, originally from Pakistan. The panel therefore is spread across the country and has wide experience of the Anglican Communion. The secretary is Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream.
AMIE is supported by the Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans ( Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda Uganda, Southern Cone of Latin America, West Africa, Tanzania who comprise 40 million of the world’s 55 million churchgoing Anglicans). They wrote in May 2011: “We remain convinced that from within the Provinces which we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family.”
For four and a half years representations have been made to the senior leadership of the Church of England and discussions have been held with bishops appointed for the purpose by the Evangelical Bishops Meeting and by the Archbishop of Canterbury to find a way of providing alternative oversight for those who are in “temporarily impaired communion” with their diocesan bishop. Most recently a strong representation was made by a range of concerned people for there to be a conservative evangelical “PEV”. No proposal or response has been received.
Taking the serious step of setting up AMIE is needed now in order to provide some way for people with such a calling for ministry to remain with the Anglican Communion and Church of England.
The Archbishop of Kenya has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for Permission to Officiate for the clergy he has ordained and for their oversight in the UK to be delegated to the AMIE panel of bishops. We await the Archbishop’s response to his request.
Those who support AMIE are determined to remain within the Church of England. Their desire is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the AMIE for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop but wish to identify with and support others.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has said
“This represents a first step and a practical way forward. Only a few will need such oversight at the moment. There may be others if bishops are reluctant to uphold sound doctrine, or are unable to uphold Lambeth 1.10 or teach that same-sex relations are equivalent to marriage or are in same-sex civil partnerships themselves, and if no provision is made for those who in conscience cannot accept women bishops.”