27 May 2016

It has come to the attention of Reform, that the Bishop of Liverpool, The Right Reverend Paul Bayes, has appointed Bishop Susan Goff as an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Liverpool. Susan Goff is a Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Virginia in The Episcopal Church. In July 2016, she voted in favour of changing the definition and purpose of marriage according to in Canons of The Episcopal Church. This alteration to the Canons was the action that led the Primates of the Anglican Communion, gathered in Canterbury earlier this year, to require The Episcopal Church to step down from representing the Communion or being involved in decision making on matters pertaining to doctrine or polity.

Susie Leafe, Director of Reform said, “The Bishop of Liverpool has chosen to bring the conflicts that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion in to the heart of this diocese. The long standing link with Akure Diocese, in Nigeria, has been severed for the sake of closer ties with The Episcopal Church. The decision to appoint Susan Goff as an Honorary Assistant Bishop is a provocative and divisive step which is obviously unacceptable from someone who holds themselves out as a focus of unity. Members of the Dioceses of Liverpool are entitled to expect that their bishop should respect and not simply ignore the settled will of the Communion.”


In January 2016 the Primates of the Anglican Communion published a Communique


The decision of The Episcopal Church to change their marriage Canons has proved very controversial and when the Primates of the Anglican Communion met in Canterbury earlier this year an overwhelming majority of them agreed that this represented ‘a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage’, they went on to say that ‘(S)uch actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.’

We believe that Susan Goff will be the only overseas Assistant Honorary bishop who does not reside in this country.