Welcome from the Presiding Bishop

Some thirty years ago I was a member of the Church of England during the period when there were regular disputes arose over the remarks of the then Bishop of Durham, Dr David Jenkins, who died early this month.  As I discovered later, Dr Jenkins was not saying anything that would raise academic eyebrows particularly high, but in terms of the parish pulpit he was certainly 'pushing the envelope.'  At the time those on the conservative or traditional side of the Established Church could take comfort in the fact that whatever individual bishops, especially those with a background as academics, might say; the Bible, the Creeds; the ministry; the Articles of Religion; and the Book of Common Prayer all remained intact. 

 

Sadly the following twenty years were to see an unravelling of the Reformation tradition in the Church of England.  It became ever clearer that most clergy saw the Bible not so much as the word of God, but as a culturally conditioned, ancient manuscript, and one, it has to be said, treated with less reverence than Heroditus, or Tacitus!  The Creeds became negotiable; the time honoured ministry of the Church was altered by the ordination of women; and even the pretence that the 39 Articles, and the Book of Common Prayer were authoritative was largely given up.  By that point, I, and many like me, felt like strangers in our own land.  American Anglicans, of course, had this experience  in the 1970s, much earlier than we did in England.  As a result, the United Episcopal Church of North America, and a groups of similar "continuing Anglican" Churches were established to maintain the traditional doctrine, discipline, and worship of the old Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA. 

In the case of the United Episcopal Church of North America, a deliberate attempt was made to preserve much of the breadth of the old PECUSA.  Most of our parishes are Broad Church, or Low Church, but there are some High Church congregations in the UECNA affirming the catholic side of the Anglican identity.  No matter what differences you might find in theological emphasis, or ceremonial, we are united in faith on the basis of the Bible, the Creeds, the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church, and the principles of the English Reformation as they are enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer and the (39) Articles of Religion.

If you would like to know more about the UECNA please browse through these pages, and if there are matters which are not addressed here on which you would like to know our teaching, please contact your closest UECNA minister,email the National Office at unitedepiscopalchurch@gmail.com, or write to us at the snail mail address given in the sidebar.


Lastly, I would like to add that we firmly believe that the best way for the Church to advance the Christian Faith is to abstain from ecclesiastical politics, and to devote all our energy to preaching the Gospel of Christ, and celebrating the sacraments of our Redemption. Our mission as the Church is to point always beyond ourselves and towards our Saviour preaching the Gospel of God's Love in Christ for humanity.

 

In Christ,

+Peter D Robinson,

Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America,