Monday, June 16, 2008

Bishop Duncan appoints "Collegiate Vicar" for the Association of Western Anglican Congegations

The realignment continues. More and more the Anglicans are banding together in regions as members of the Common Cause Partnership. Since this region does not have its own American bishop yet, they will be represented by a Collegiate Vicar for now. The Anglican District of Virginia is represented by Bishop David Bena (local), as well as Bishop John Guernsey and Bishop Martyn Minns (national). Watch this space. From here.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — June 14, 2008–- Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of The Common Cause Partnership (CCP), appointed a “Collegiate Vicar” for The Association of Western Anglican Congregations. The decision was announced to the Western Anglicans House of Delegates meeting in Newport Beach today. As the Collegiate Vicar, The Rev. Bill Thompson, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach, California, will serve as an ambassadorial link between Western Anglicans — a cluster of 21 orthodox Anglican congregations in Southern California and Arizona — and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP).

“The appointment of the Collegiate Vicar is a wonderful step in the process of unifying orthodox Anglican believers in North America,” said Ron Speers, Western Anglicans President. “We are modeling at the grass roots what CCP is doing at the national and international level.” Thus far Western Anglican member congregations have canonical ties to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America, The Anglican Province of Uganda, and The Reformed Episcopal Church. All Common Cause Partners churches in the region, whatever their jurisdiction, are invited to participate.

“We’ve already deployed dozens of clergy and laity in shared ministries, as we await developments at the national level,” Fr. Bill Thompson explained. “And we’re not about to recreate the dysfunctional model of top-down management,” he said. Fr. Russell Martin, Rector of St. Timothy and St. Titus Anglican Church in San Diego, California, concurred. “We’re all about the historic Christian faith that’s based on the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of Holy Scripture,” he said. “Ministry happens person-to-person at the grass roots level. A hierarchy can’t make it happen. We’re looking forward to bishops who defend the historic faith, who share the faith with the unchurched and plant new churches, not just leaders wielding monarchical power.”

“Hopefully, the appointment of the Collegiate Vicar for us can serve as a model for other CCP-related church clusters elsewhere in the country,” Speers said.

The Western Anglicans Board of Directors elected The Rev. Bill Thompson Chairman and CEO, succeeding Speers, a lay person, who continues as President and Chief Administrative Officer. Fr. Thompson also serves as Dean of the Western Convocation of the Anglican Communion Network.

For more information about the Association of Western Anglican Congregations please visit

BB NOTE: I believe the photo is Bill Thompson. If I'm mistaken - or correct - could someone let me know? Thank you!


Lapinbizarre said...

Remind me, BB - what was that about "crazymaking"? Or is "crazymaking" a one-way street?

Sue Martinez said...

Since Fr/Dean/Vicar Bill Thompson is my RECTOR, I can say with absolute certainty that this is his photo. I can also say that in this new position, he is operating as a bishop without the name (and non-sacramentally,) of course. The College of Western Anglicans is looking more and more like a diocese, too.

Sue Martinez
All Saints' Anglican Church,
Long Beach, CA

RMBruton said...

Sue's remark seems to beg the question, will Rev'd Thompson become a bishop? I thought that Bp Schoefield was a member of Common Cause. It just has me thinking that all this re-alignment is becoming terribly top-heavy. Did these parishes not already have some episcopal oversight?

Unknown said...

I believe the parishes had oversight from bishops in Africa. This is now bringing the oversight closer to home. These parishes have all ready left the Episcopal Church to other Anglican provinces and are now coming together into a diocesan-like association. It also provides a way to bring lay leadership into Common Cause. The connections were all ready there, as they are in other regions around the country, like in Virginia and Ohio and Florida and Connecticut.

So far, Lapinbizarre, we've no sight of rainbow socks and tossed confetti. But we'll keep our eyes open just in case.


Anonymous said...

As the article says, he is not nor will he act as a bishop. My understanding is he will be an "observer" to the Common Cause meetings bringing information about the Western Anglicans (composed of Ugandans, Bolivians, Argentinians and geographically, California and Arizona) and vice versa, bringing information to the delegates from Common Cause. Vicar (Dean ACN, Dean Luwerro diocese, Fr) Bill is a very busy person and greatly appreciated by the Western Anglicans. He gives much time as do every one of the priests of the Western Anglican congregations.

When we do get a bishop--it is in the bylaws that he will stay a parish priest.

Please remember, that most of our bishops are very far away--Uganda, Kenya, Boliva, Virgina etc. The Western Anglicans are a diverse group working together. It is a pleasure to watch how they get along with each other and are moving in concert with each other.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that report, Anon. Free at last!
Heaven rejoices!
To Christ be glory in His Church!

Sue Martinez said...

I apologize for being so unclear, but the position is not now (and may never become) a bishopric. There certainly is no authority here in the usual sense. I do not even think that Bill Thompson+ would consent, if he were asked. However, he has been willing all along to do the heavy lifting of organizing the parishes in the West as they come out of TEC and to support new ones. First he was Dean of the ACN Western Convocation and now, as the Network has expanded to include other Anglican entities, he is Vicar of the CCP Western Anglicans. Since at the moment, the Western parishes do not have a bishop in common for oversight, but have several bishops both in the U.S. and overseas, some, especially those who left TEC before 2003, are quite happy with their current bishop, I'm sure. Then there are planted congregations that never were a part of TEC. For the post-2003 ex-TEC ones, Global South oversight was always meant to be temporary. Archbishop Orombi likened it to an airport where planes land--and then take off. As I said, this is merely an organizational step.