How did you discern a call to serve God as a priest and public witness in the Anglican tradition?
During my time as an undergrad and immediately afterward, I was leading a quite superficial, materialistic life in the industry. Living the pursuit of happiness, if you will. Making money, having fun, but not feeling fulfilled. I explored ways of living a more meaningful life, I was discerning a vocation and the Lord led me into education. Teaching was most definitely the first part of my vocation, but I didn’t know at the time it was part of a calling to priestly ministry.
I am passionate and enthusiastic about education, and I rapidly progressed to assistant headteacher, became a governor and director and helped set up a new Free School, and started consulting for the Department for Education. However, it became apparent to me that whilst we may be helping young people attain great academic credentials, we weren’t always shaping their character. We were sending young people out into the world with good grades, but we weren’t yet sending them out to be good Christians.
There are some really good Church schools. But the vast majority tend to see faith as a low priority. “Christian values” are often little more than three words on a letterhead or above a school entrance. I felt there was more to be done, and I wanted to build a school centered around the Eucharist. A school where you could ask “where is Christ in this?” and everyone would have an answer. After a lot of prayer I began to discern a calling to ordained ministry.
What have you learned as an ordinand about what it means to serve God as a faithful priest and witness in the public square?
As a leader in secular settings – running schools and technology companies – I learned there are many leadership models, lots of businesses looking to sell their expertise in this area. However, the Bible has all the leadership expertise one could ask for. Christ sets out the best model, in servant-leadership. Living a life in Christ, setting a good example, getting your hands dirty and doing the grunt work with your team.
That goes for the Church just as much as the individual. As an institution, the Church should be setting a good example. We should be shining a light in the ever darkening world around us. The Western world is falling apart around us, Rome is falling, and people are looking for an alternative. People are looking for the Truth. It is our job as the Church to proclaim the Truth from the rooftops and let people know there is another way; that Jesus Christ is the truth and the way, and the life. If that means being counter-cultural, so be it. It is not our job to chase societal norms, it is our job to live a life rooted in the Scriptures. We cannot chase fads in order to attract numbers, bums in seats are a side-effect not the objective. Salvation is the goal, and that has already been accomplished. Christ died on the Cross for our salvation, we need only remind people of that. Yes, we are called to disciple the nations – but I do not believe that means obsessing over attracting new demographics; that means obsessing over preaching the Good News, doing it well and faithfully. If we do that, people will come, and Christ will convert them.
Why did the Church of England decide to block your ordination and curacy at the last minute?
Who knows. I am yet to hear one of the bishops speak directly, honestly and with transparency. Every conversation has been obfuscated by doublespeak, double tongue. There are too many politicians in the episcopate, and too few pastors.
All I know is, if I was to be ordained in the Church of England, every day would have been a battle. A struggle against the latest liberal-progressive fad, the latest “woke” stance on race, gender or sexuality. Don’t get me wrong, these issues are important, but the Church should be looking to the Bible for answers, not the latest political bandwagon.
In what ways have many dioceses and bishops in the Church of England departed from the faith and way of Christ once delivered to the saints?
There’s a huge push for homosexual marriage, for re-baptizing transgender people, and of course female ordination has already been accepted but now they’re attempting to push out the traditionalists who do not recognize the orders of female priests/bishops and prefer to stick with orthodoxy instead. Bishops in the Church of England are too quick to call out Conservative Government policies and too slow to speak up on issues such as pro-life, the sanctity of marriage or the power of prayer. It saddens me that the bishops are very public in opposing Brexit, in promoting the climate change agenda and denouncing particular politicians/advisors, but shy away from saying God made us male and female, God made us in his own image, and God loves us. Or that marriage is between one man and one woman, a union of love for the purposes of procreation. These were once treated as statements of truth, I fear they would now be considered a hate-crime.
People often think the Church has changed its teachings on these issues. The Church cannot change its teaching on these issues, for they are Scriptural, and we do not have the authority to overwrite the Word of God. However, the Church has stopped teaching these things, so I can understand how people may be confused.
After your experience in the C of E, why did you decide to persevere in serving God as a priest in the Anglican Orthodox Communion (GAFCON)?
I feel strongly called to ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. I may be High Church in my liturgical practices, but my theology is rooted in orthodoxy. That is the Anglican way. Evangelical in ministry, catholic in faith – a belief that we are called to disciple the nations in the faith passed down to us by the apostles chosen by Christ.
What can faithful Christians do to work with you to be salt and light in England and call people to love and serve God?
I’m planting a church in NW London and I’m looking to start a mission center for Anglicans to thrive and grow. The GB Center for Confessing Anglicans will be a missionary center for discipling, media ministry, social teaching, and education. More on that soon, EvangelicalCatholics.co.uk