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  Bishop Harvey welcomes St John’s (Shaughnessy)
14 February 2008

St John’s (Shaughnessy) Vancouver, the largest Anglican Church in Canada, voted overwhelmingly on February 13 to accept the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables and the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The largest congregational meeting ever, voted 97.7% in favour of the motion. Of the 495 votes cast, 475 were in favour, 11 were against and 9 abstained. Other provisional votes are under consideration and may impact the final vote.

“St John’s has shown true leadership both now and over the past difficult years,” said Bishop Harvey. “I look forward to ministering with them and moving forward together in mission and in full communion with the tens of millions of orthodox Anglicans worldwide who have been so supportive of us.”

The congregation has been in “serious theological dispute” with the Diocese of New Westminster since June 2002, when the bishop approved same sex blessings after the diocese voted 62.5% in favour of the practice. The diocese’s unilateral actions were in clear defiance of the overwhelming majority of the global Anglican Communion, which had stated at the1998 Lambeth Conference (a decennial gathering of all Anglican bishops in the world), in Resolution 1.10, that such practice was contrary to scripture and could not be legitimized. St. John’s has been seeking alternative episcopal oversight ever since.

Since 2003, the Primates of the Anglican Communion have repeatedly asked the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of New Westminster to return to faithful Anglican practice and teaching and to its own founding principles. They have also called upon the Anglican Church of Canada to provide adequate episcopal oversight to parishes like St. John’s, but to no avail. In fact, the communion-breaking actions of the Diocese of New Westminster helped precipitate the current crisis and the global realignment which is now taking place in the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Network in Canada is committed to remaining faithful to Holy Scripture and established Anglican doctrine and to ensuring that orthodox Canadian Anglicans are able to remain in full communion with their spiritual brothers and sisters around the world.
Archbishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, has graciously responded to the need of biblically faithful Canadian Anglicans who are in “serious theological dispute” with their diocese or the Anglican Church of Canada. By accepting the Primatial oversight of Archbishop Venables, these Canadian Anglicans, who are in the mainstream of global Anglicanism, are able to re-establish full communion status with global church by being aligned with a Province which is in “full communion with the Church of England throughout the world”, unlike the Anglican Church of Canada, which is currently in a broken relationship with some of the largest Anglican Provinces today.
The Anglican Province of the Southern Cone (Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America) is one of 38 Provinces that make up the global Anglican Communion. It encompasses much of South America and includes Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay and Argentina.

Since the Network launched its ecclesial structure in November, it has received two bishops (Donald Harvey and Malcolm Harding), three parishes and two church plants who are all now under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. More parishes are voting on the offer of Episcopal oversight in the coming weeks.

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