Bishop Michael Ingham is asking 11 of his clergy to formally declare whether they’re in or out of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The priests have been involved in a series of meetings in which congregations in four parishes in the diocese have voted to join a foreign Church.
Media reports have indicated that members of the congregations voted to ask Don Harvey, a retired bishop who resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada, to provide episcopal (bishop’s) oversight.
The notices have gone out to the Rev. Don Gardner, the Rev. Daniel Gifford, the Rev.
“We haven’t been formally notified by any of these clergy as to their future intentions since the meetings which we understand they led or participated in,” said George Cadman, Chancellor of the Diocese of New Westminster.
“In our Church we have due process,” said Cadman, who is the diocese’s chief legal officer. “We can’t just rely on media reports. Under our Canon (church) law, the priests have two months to come in and show the bishop that they wish to remain with the Anglican Church of Canada instead of a break-away group.”
After the two months, if he receives no word, Bishop Ingham can then declare they’ve abandoned their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada. Even after that happens there are several levels of mediation and appeal, Cadman said.
“If they do want to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, I would hope they declare straightway, and not insist we go through a lengthy process,” said Cadman. “In recent years, when priests felt they had to leave the Canadian church, they’ve taken the honorable course and resigned.”