Free Church of England begins new work in Australia
In response to requests from orthodox Anglicans in Australia, the Free Church of England has created a new jurisdiction in that country, to be known as The Reformed Episcopal Church in Australia (RECA).
On 17th January 2016, Bishop Primus chaired a meeting of Christians from Melbourne and Australia to formalise the results of over twelve months of negotiations which had been approved by the FCE’s General Council in the UK.
Following detailed discussions, a congregation has been licensed in Logan City, Brisbane, with the dedication of St James the Just. A further congregation is likely to be formed soon in Melbourne. The Revd Peter Maher was received into the ministry of the Free Church of England and conditionally ordained to the presbyterate.
The Logan City congregation, and any others to be formed, are to be registered as members of ‘The Reformed Episcopal Church in Australia (A jurisdiction of the Free Church of England (1844))’ to indicate their membership of the worldwide Reformed Episcopal family, as well as their particular link to the FCE within that family.
In Melbourne he ordained Brendan Wilson to the diaconate on 14th January, then ordained him presbyter the following day. Brendan is pastoring a small group meeting weekly in his home for Bible study and the Eucharist. Since being ordained Brendan has baptised a young adult who has become a Christian. Bishop Fenwick also chaired the second meeting of the pro-synod of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Australia (the name of the FCE jurisdiction in that country). Primus and Mrs Fenwick then went on to Brisbane where they spent time with our presbyter there, Peter Maher, and his wife. Peter has had a number of setbacks in setting up a congregation, but hopes to make a start this year.
The meeting on 17th January voted unanimously to adopt the Jerusalem Declaration as an expression of commitment to the apostolic faith in its historic, Scriptural, Anglican expression. The RECA will be applying in due course for membership of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in Australia.