Anglican Catholic Church

We are called to be Faithful ... that hasn't changed in 2000 years.

We teach nothing new. We believe nothing new. We follow in the footsteps of faithful Anglican Catholics of the past:

"We have no doctrine of our own. . .We only possesses the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds, and these Creeds we hold without addition or diminution. We stand firm on that Rock."

Geoffrey Francis Fisher
Archbishop of Canterbury 1945-1961

The late, John Charles Vockler (Known in Religion as Brother John-Charles FODC), who in 1959, at age 35, was ordained co-adjutor Bishop of Adelaide, Suffragan Bishop of Mount Gambier in the Anglican Church of Australia and sometime Bishop Ordinary of Polynesia in the Anglican Communion. He also served as an Assistant Bishop in various Church of England Dioceses and in the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, USA."

Bishop Mead has recently launched a new advertising campaign on Facebook and through other media. This has proved very successful in gaining more attention for the Diocese around the Country. The response has been on the whole encouraging and positive, with some notable exceptions.

Commenting on the campaign, the Bishop said; "It never ceases to amaze me at how some folk are so ready to dismiss the Faith and Practice of the Anglican Catholic Church as something new or irrelevant. We believe what the majority of Christians throughout history and, indeed, alive today believe. We do not teach, preach or believe anything new, but the Faith once delivered to the Saints. We haven't invented anything new, (or had to do theological or ecclesiological somersaults to explain them) nor changed our belief and practice in response from worldly or secular pressure."

Continuing, he cited the orthodoxy once held by the Church of England, as articulated by the late Geoffrey Francis Fisher (Archbishop of Canterbury 1945-1961): "We have no doctrine of our own . . . We only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds, and these Creeds we hold without addition or diminution. We stand firm on that Rock."

In reference to developments outside of the Facebook promotion, Bishop Mead said:
"Recently, I have become aware of a couple of Lambeth Communion Bishops here in the United Kingdom who have felt justified, in response to our growth in some areas, in informing their clergy and laity that the ACC is simply 'a sect' and suggesting that our clergy are not 'real' and our sacraments not 'valid' and that as a result, essentially they should ignore and have nothing to do with us.

This is indeed a shame, although we need no validation from the Anglican Communion, such comments have already led to confusion and pain from Lambeth Communion Anglicans who do know us and our work and are appalled that such comments should be made.

A few important facts seem to have escaped attention, not least from within the Lambeth Communion itself. In 1998 the Lambeth Conference passed the following Resolution:

Resolution IV.11 'Continuing' Churches

This Conference:
a. believes that important questions are posed by the emergence of groups who call themselves 'continuing Anglican Churches' which have separated from the Anglican Communion in recent years; and
b. asks the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates' Meeting to consider how best to initiate and maintain dialogue with such groups with a view to the reconciliation of all who own the Anglican tradition.

Since the ACC is the oldest and largest and most wide spread internationally of the Affirmation of St Louis 'continuing' Anglican Churches, one would assume that dialogue would begin with (or at least include us) us - not withstanding our own 'Statement on Christian Unity' which is published on our Webpage. It's a shame that nothing very much has ever come of this. In particular at the very least, it would be helpful if Lambeth Communion Bishops (whether in England or Wales) were informed (or who learned something) about the nature and history of the ACC before making ill-informed accusations.

As to whether our clergy are 'real' and our sacraments 'valid', Catholic sacramental theology teaches that the validity of a Sacrament depends essentially on three things: the form, the matter, and the intention of the minister of the Sacrament.

The form is the operative words, usually from Christ Himself, as handed down to us by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (e.g., the form of Baptism, the form of the Consecration of the Bread and Wine at Mass). The matter is the operative material, again, as handed down to us by Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition (e.g., the fermented juice of grapes and wheaten bread in the case of Holy Communion).

The internal intention of the minister of the Sacrament must be "doing what the Church does and always has done." This very early teaching of the Church was articulated, but not invented, by St. Augustine, who held that the orthodoxy and validity of the Apostolic Succession were not considered identical. Bishops and priests, even schismatic or excommunicated, could exercise their office as administrators of the Sacraments in a valid manner. Provided that the intention when ordaining their successors was the same as those essentially held by the Church, sacred powers could be passed on and the Sacraments administered in a manner that the Church recognizes as valid.

The Roman Church has declared all Anglican Orders 'Null and void' and this is addressed elsewhere on our website. However, for any Lambeth Communion Anglican Bishop to dismiss us in such a way clearly indicates why the 1998 Lambeth Resolution has come to nowt. In light of recent decisions by Anglican Churches in the Lambeth Communion to make fundamental changes to the matter and intention of the sacrament of ordination and impending changes to the form, matter and intention of Holy Matrimony, I wonder if bishops within such bodies are entitled to use the terms 'real' and 'valid'.

We have sometimes been dismissed in the United Kingdom as belonging to an "American Church" ( as if that in some way is meant to pour suspicion or make our dismissal easier). Of course, our origins lay within the Episcopal Church of America, but my own Chief Consecrator, Rommie Starks, ACC Bishop of the Mid West, USA, was consecrated by John Charles Vockler (known in Religion as Brother John-Charles FODC), who in 1959, at age 35, was ordained co-adjutor Bishop of Adelaide, Suffragan Bishop of Mount Gambier in the Anglican Church of Australia and sometime Bishop Ordinary of Polynesia in the Anglican Communion. He also served as an Assistant Bishop in various Church of England Dioceses and in the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, USA."

Concluding, Bishop Mead said "We don't expect everyone to agree with us of course, but since we believe only what the Church of England claimed to believe 'yesterday' ... I think we deserve a little more charitable treatment. We left the Anglican Communion, because the 'writing was on the wall' and it has made its own decisions and made fundamental changes. History and ultimately God will tell the wisdom of such things. It seems that many of the supporters of these changes may consider that they are somewhat more 'enlightened' than we are. We have been likened to 'dinosaurs' by some. If such 'enlightenment' includes justification of some of the horrible and offensive things that have been said to us over the years - then it is clearly an enlightenment we want nothing to do with - and has not made the Church, nor the world, a better place in the ways that really, validly, matter the most".