The development of new forms of ministry, lay and ordained, has included worker-priests, now found in the Anglican Communion in a related form variously called Self-Supporting Ministry (SSM) or Non-Stipendiary Ministry (NSM). This book focuses on one of the most recent developments, the creation of Ordained Local Ministry. After chapters that consider preliminary questions of the nature of ministry, such as authority in the church and Holy Orders, Noel Cox argues that the crucial distinction between these and other forms of ministry is that the Ordained Local Minister (OLM) is overtly ordained specifically for a given locality (variously defined); they are a deacon or priest for a specific church, parish, benefice, or deanery, rather than of the universal church. Their introduction inevitably raises difficult ecclesiological questions, which Cox examines.
Noel Cox is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, currently Priest-in-Charge, St Jude’s Avondale, and Port Chaplain, Auckland, for The Mission to Seafarers.
Chapter 1 The church and Holy Orders
Chapter 2 Sources and Limits on Authority
Chapter 3 The Priesthood of All Believers
Chapter 4 Local Ordained Ministry
Chapter 5 Local or Universal Ministry
Chapter 6 Challenges to New Forms of Ministry
Chapter 7 Ecumenism and Holy Orders
Chapter 8 Implications
Churches within the Anglican Communion view themselves as being part of the “one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”, and Anglicanism’s via media has enabled it to be viewed as a focus for ecumenism. Recent innovations with regard to ordained ministry may, however, have compromised both the claim to catholicity and its ecumenical usefulness. In this book, Noel Cox – a scholar priest with experience of ministry in several Anglican provinces world-wide – examines the historical, theological, and legal aspects of these developments and their consequences, with particular attention to Ordained Local Ministry. His analysis and conclusions deserve careful and prayerful consideration.
Noel Cox has provided the church with a very thorough review and analysis of a number of profound ontological and ecclesial issues as he considers the validity and scope of Ordained Local Ministry within the Anglican Communion. Cox's coverage of the issues within the Anglican Roman Catholic dialogue alone are very thorough. His conclusion that more provisions can be made for a more explicit 'catholic' status for Local shared ministry priests in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia is worth considering carefully. Cox wrote within a province of the Anglican Communion which has determined to fully embrace the ordination of women and to respect their vocation as universally applicable and recognizable from this part of the Body of Christ. The same can be said to apply for those who are duly selected and appropriately trained with local Ordained Ministry licenses.