Missionary bishop’s PTO withdrawn

In June this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent a letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion & Moderators of the United Churches expressing his concern at “cross-border interventions” and the planting of “missionary bishops”, whom he did not consider to be necessary. On 1 July, the Anglican Mission in England (AiME) has published a Press Release stating that Canon Andy Lines had been consecrated as a Missionary Bishop, and on 28 July Christian Today reported that the Diocese of Southwark had signalled its opposition by not renewing his permission to officiate.

The article in Christian Today explains:

“The ‘missionary bishop’ consecrated by the conservative Anglican Church of North America has had his ‘permission to officiate’ (PTO) withdrawn by the Diocese of Southwark. Andy Lines was been told by the Archbishop of Canterbury his authority will not be recognised by the Church of England. Anglican Church in North America Bishop Andy Lines will offer ‘alternative oversight’ to conservative Anglican parishes in Scotland, England and across Europe who feel they cannot accept the oversight of their official local bishop. His appointment angered many in the Church of England, who object to what they see as the promotion of a divisive splinter movement”.

Canon Lines Permission to Officiate was due for renewal on June 30, in line with the annual procedures of the Diocese; a spokesperson for the Diocese told the Church of England Newspaper: “Andy Lines wrote to explain that he had moved his canonical residence to the Anglican Church in North America, and in view of this change in circumstance his PTO has not been renewed.”


This post has been published for information only, as without access to primary sources, we cannot make further comment. However, it has been indicated to us that the statement in Christian Today “Canon Lines currently holds permission to officiate in the Canterbury diocese” is not correct. The article referred to above from the Church of England Newspaper, has been reproduced on the Virtue on Line web site, and contains an additional quotation from the Southwark Diocese: “This is a Provincial matter and would need to be dealt with at a Provincial level”.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Missionary bishop’s PTO withdrawn" in Law & Religion UK, 29 July 2017, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2017/07/29/missionary-bishops-pto-withdrawn/

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