Half way through this interview, Chris Bryant refers to himself as "an Anglican, albeit a boycotting Anglican."
People, good Christian people who were very much involved in the church both at local and national level, are leaving or, as in my case, are being thrown out of, the Church of England in their droves. Yesterday's organised attack on same sex marriage by a group of unelected, unsanctioned (by General Synod) homophobes and reactionaries, calling themselves (inaccurately) THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, drove another unknown number from their longstanding places of worship. This is not a guess. I know it to be a fact.
These leavers are not, on the whole, joining other churches because they have nowhere to go to where they would feel comfortable. They are simply making a complete break with the Church. This cannot be allowed to continue. But what to do? The Church of England, which is now run by a very powerful, and increasingly fundamentalist, evangelical political machine and a few, formerly liberal, bishops who want to keep their jobs and pensions in the new dispensation, is going to just ignore this exodus. In fact, the evangelicals will be holding the door open as this is what they have been working towards for fifty odd years.
Up to now I have deliberately and fervently demanded that Christ centred Christians should not leave the Anglican Communion. My main reason for this was that I did not want The Episcopal Church in the USA to go it alone and leave the rest of us stranded. However, I have now changed my mind.
The evangelicals and misogynist, gay Anglo-Catholics have now given the Church of England such a dirty name in English society; have given Christianity a dirty, name, tainted by hatred, throughout most of the developed world and beyond, that for "God is Love" Christians to remain in the Church of England and to continue to say they are part of the same religion as the haters, would be completely unprofitable as far as the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned.
Something new must happen.
And I for one want my cake and to eat it too. I want to be in communion with the Episcopal Church in America and leave the Anglican Communion (at least, the Anglican Communion in its present form). So,in my ideal world, there is only one answer.
I am a nobody. I'm not even allowed to publicly follow my priestly ministry in my own church, in my own country. I am nobody's spokesman. But then most of the homes that Jesus was welcomed into during his ministry on earth were inhabited by nobodies. So, with all the authority invested in me as one of God's noble army of nobodies I hereby call upon The Episcopal Church in the USA to found a new, worldwide church, which will be known as The Episcopal People of Christ. And I ask TEC to send people to my country, England, to provide spiritual and practical support for those of us now outcast from our Church of England home and to help us set up a truly Christ centred, inclusive, loving, gospel spreading community of believers (the word church now belonging only to satan) in our land.
I believe Bishop Gene is hanging around like a spare prick at the moment so you could send him over for a start. And if you would add Father Jake and Mark Harris to the initial team I think we will be on to a winner. I expect the Christ centred provinces of the Anglican (so-called) Communion to join in with us very quickly.