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Mid-Atlantic Anglicans Vote to Move Forward with Becoming a New Anglican Church Diocese

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (May 21, 2011) – The Anglican Church in North America welcomed the news that Anglicans in the Mid-Atlantic region voted to pursue diocesan status as the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. The group of congregations, currently joined together as the Anglican District of Virginia, also voted to elect The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey as its bishop. If the petition for diocesan status is approved, the formal transition to the new structure under the leadership of Bishop Guernsey will take place this fall.

The votes were taken during a constitutional convention meeting in Herndon, Va., on May 20-21. A special event was also held to express gratitude for the service of retiring Bishop David Bena.

“It is with great joy that we receive the petition from Mid-Atlantic Anglicans to become a formal diocese within the Anglican Church in North America. The growth of the Anglican District of Virginia and its unwavering commitment to planting new churches and winning hearts for the Gospel has been a beacon of light to the whole Anglican Church. The move towards diocesan status serves only to strengthen our existing relationship and would provide a geographic home for orthodox Anglicans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” said The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.

“This group of churches has been truly blessed and nurtured by Godly leaders including Bishops Martyn Minns and David Bena. As the diocesan process moves forward, I know Bishop Guernsey will continue that tradition and provide Spirit-led leadership and oversight to the churches in the Mid-Atlantic region. His zeal for sharing the Good News of Christ and equipping churches to reach the least among us cannot be overstated,” Archbishop Duncan continued.

In addition to his proposed role within the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, Bishop John Guernsey already serves in a leadership capacity within the Anglican Church in North America. He is Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit and serves on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church.

“I’m tremendously excited about what lies ahead for us in this new diocese. The clergy and people of our churches have a great love for the Lord Jesus, a commitment to the trustworthiness of His Word, and a passion for sharing the Good News. It will be a joy and a privilege to serve as their bishop,” Bishop John Guernsey stated.

Archbishop Duncan also acknowledged the extraordinary contribution of Archdeacon Julian Dobbs, who was the other nominee in the election for bishop of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese. “We look forward to the service that Archdeacon Dobbs will give to the Anglican Church in North America as newly appointed suffragan bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America,” Archbishop Duncan stated.

According to Anglican District of Virginia Chairman Jim Oakes, “In just a few years, we have grown to over 40 worshipping congregations, are planting churches, and have almost 7,000 people worshipping in our churches each Sunday. My prayer is that this group of churches and its leadership will make the trumpet sound even louder and bring more worshippers together in mission and ministry.”

The Anglican Church in North America ( unites some 100,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States and Canada. The Anglican Church is a Province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion. The Most Rev. Robert Duncan is the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Anglican Church representative, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Caitlin Manaois at (703) 683-5004, ext. 119.

Photo caption: Bishop Guernsey speaks at a summit on church planting in Virginia.


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