On June 30, 2017, The Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops was joined by 27 Primates, Archbishops, Bishops from around the Anglican Communion to consecrate The Rev. Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop for Anglicans in Scotland, the UK, and Europe.
This action by the College was taken at the request of the Gafcon Primates following their meeting in Lagos, Nigeria in April of this year.
During this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this consecration comes in the context of a global reformation that is happening in the Anglican Communion. The Scottish Episcopal Church recently changed its definition of marriage, aligning itself with those Anglican provinces which are rejecting the authority of the Bible such as The Episcopal Church (USA) and Anglican Church of Canada. In response to these attempts to undermine the authority of the Bible, Gafcon has stepped into the gap to provide oversight to those faithful Anglicans who are standing boldly for the Gospel.
The consecration of a bishop for Scotland by bishops in the United States begins a new chapter in the history of the Anglican Communion. In his address to the Provincial Assembly, Archbishop Beach shared some of that story:
“After the American revolution, the new Anglican Church here – then called the Protestant Episcopal Church – could not get the establishment in England to provide a bishop. It was the Scots who came to the rescue and consecrated Samuel Seabury in 1784 as the first American Bishop. It is a privilege to now return the favor to those in Scotland who are crying out for oversight.”
The consecration took place in Wheaton College’s Edman Chapel, in Wheaton, Illinois. The service came at the end of the Provincial Assembly whose theme was “Mission on Our Doorstep.” The Assembly drew over 1,400 Anglican leaders from around North America and the world.
In his sermon, The Most. Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and Chairman of Gafcon, heralded the Assembly as evidence of the growth of the Anglican Church in North America saying, “Let me congratulate you on the beautiful Assembly that has just been concluded. It is a sign of maturity indeed, and we thank God for everything.”
Immediately after the service Bishop Lines, shared more about his role as a bishop: “My principle desire is to see Christ glorified. That is done through people coming to know him through the scriptures, and that requires local churches where he is faithfully proclaimed, and those require godly pastor-teachers to lead them and to teach them. I see my role as enabling people to be in that position.”
You can hear more from Bishop Lines in the video below: