SCOTLAND: Primus becomes co-patron of Inclusive Church

June 8, 2007

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Dr. Idris Jones, will join Archbishop Carlos Touché-Porter of Mexico as a patron of Inclusive Church, a U.K.-based organization that advocates for "a liberal, open church which is inclusive of all," regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

"It is a privilege to be associated with Inclusive Church. The Anglican Communion is seeking how it may develop and deepen its life today -- what better way could there be than working to keep our church as welcoming and encouraging to everyone who wants to follow Jesus so that everyone of us can be challenged by God's love," said Jones, who also serves as Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway.

Inclusive Church also announced that Touché-Porter will be visiting England in September to partake in two major conferences that will promote the diversity of Anglicanism and underscore the need for a worldwide Anglican Communion that upholds plurality and inclusiveness.

Touché-Porter was a co-signer of the Declaration by the Global Centre, released in May 2007 which reaffirmed the call of Latin American bishops to preserve the "participative, diverse, ample and inclusive" nature of the Communion.

The first of two conferences, "Renewing our Vision -- Anglicans and the Global Centre," will be held on Saturday, September 22, at St Matthew's Church in Westminster.

Jones will join Touché-Porter as a speaker at the second conference, "Celebrating Anglican Diversity," which will be held on Saturday, September 29, at Manchester Cathedral, England.

Further information about the conferences will be available here.

According to Inclusive Church, these conferences will inform discussions at "Drenched in Grace," the organization's first residential conference to be held in Derbyshire, England, November 21-23. That conference is intended to be "a celebration and restatement of broad and inclusive Anglicanism." Further information about this conference is available here.

"We are increasingly concerned that attempts to make the Communion less diverse are a distraction from the Gospel and are jeopardizing our ability to be witnesses to the love of Christ for the world," an Inclusive Church news release stated, which also raised "serious doubts about the necessity and draft wording" of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

"We welcome the commitment to the historic inclusiveness of the Gospel by the Primates of Mexico and Scotland," the release said. "We hope with these events to contribute to the renewed vision of the Anglican Communion for the world in preparation for the 2008 Lambeth Conference."