The Open Episcopal Church is growing with more than 30,000 members, and continuing to spread internationally.
Our Ministry has attracted national and international attention since the beginning of the millennium
through the consecration of the first Women Catholic Bishops and the celebration of the first Same-Sex Christian Marriage ceremony.
The Open Episcopal Church in Ireland was established in April 2015 when Fr Hugh Quigley was ordained to priesthood.
Fr. Seamus Mac Ghille Aindrais was ordained in September 2021.
The scriptures state that "There is no longer Jew or Greek, Slave or Free, Woman or Man, because we are all one in Christ Jesus".
Equality and diversity are at the heart of our church's life.
This inclusive principle governs everything, while the established churches tear themselves apart in the inability to welcome and embrace
Holy Orders are open to all, regardless of gender or sexual identity. We are traditional in terms of ceremonies and liturgy, but free in thought.
We bless and celebrate equally the unions of heterosexual couples and those of other sexual identities.
We bring love through the sacraments to homes, gardens, and community centers
Baptizing children and celebrating marriage in an accessible way to families
We do not adhere to any one particular interpretation of the Christian tradition.
Religious language negotiates mystery and we recognize, as did the desert mystics, such as St. Anthony of Egypt,
that no doctrine or culture in history can adequately encompass divine freedom, in thought, in worship, and in ministry.
Our church works with the homeless, helps with the care of addicts and rehabilitating criminals, promoting mental health projects,
Supporting projects in the developing world, stopping like Good Samaritans to help those who have experienced problems on the road of life.
The church is God's life in society and within all people.
Everyone plays their part in the quest for God.
Everyone who works for good is welcome as members of our Church.
Why not join us and help play your part in forming our future history?
The foundation of the Open Episcopal Church (OEC) originated, within this Apostolic Succession
It was originally created as The Society for Independent Christian Ministry (SICM)
reaching out to those who felt called by God to serrve in priesthood
particularly those who had been rejected by the established churches because of their sexuality etc.
The Rev. Jonathan Blake, a former Anglican priest, placed an advertisement, inviting all those interested in such a ministry to a conference in March 1999.
More than 100 people contacted him, including Richard Palmer, who was Auxiliary Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church. The conversations which followed, explored the need for a new ecclesial structure with the principles of the Unconditional and Inclusive Love of Christ.
Rev. Blake wrote the Fundamental Principles for the Society of Independent Christian Ministry,
which was inaugurated by the group of interested Christians gathered at the
Holy Circle Trust Shrine in Kent on January 1st, 2000.
Bishop Arnold Harris Mathew (1852 – 1919)
Bishop James Ingall Wedgwood (1883 – 1951)
At Hazlewood Castle, Michael Wilson was also consecrated bishop by Bishops Palmer and Blake. The three bishops issued the "Hazlewood Declaration" in November 2001,
which facilitated the creation of the Open Episcopal Church.
The first meetings of the College of Bishops of the Open Episcopal Church took place in London in July 2002, before the separation of the Open Episcopal Church
and the Society for the Independent Christian Ministry in Liverpool in October of that year.
When the Society for the Independent Christian Ministry met for the third time in Bournemouth,
Bishop Palmer required those who had been "simply" ordained in Dartford to be ordered "sub conditione" at this meeting in a full rite.
Rev. Blake realized that a new denomination should be founded and began to write the necessary Canons.
He was consecrated as Bishop of the United Kingdom Province by Bishop Palmer in December 2000.
Bishop Richard Palmer
Archbishop Jonathan Blake
Our Apostolic Succession has its origins in the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands and the See of Utrecht.
Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew had been consecrated by Archbishop Gerardus Gul of Utrecht on 28 April 1908
and was nominated as the first Bishop of the Old Catholic Church in England.
Mathew later consecrated Bishop Frederick Samuel Willough, who in turn, raised James Ingall Wedgwood to the episcopate on February 13, 1916
Eventually Mathew broke all ties with the Union of Utrecht; Wedgwood would become the first presiding Bishop of the new English Liberal Catholic Church
The first church congress was held at the All Saints Pastoral Center in June 2004, followed by a second at Whaley Hall in Whaley Bridge in 2005.
In October that year Roger Whatley was consecrated as a bishop in the chapel of the Ammerdown Conference Center.
The Open Episcopal Church (OEC) became a member of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC),
is a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and of United Churches in Christ since 2008.
The First Consecration in the world of a woman as a Catholic Bishop was Elizabeth Stewart, in the Royal Chapel of Holloway, Surrey, in April 2003.
The Church also consecrated the first female bishop of Wales in 2007
The Bishop of Scotland, David Gillham, ordained Helen Hamilton at St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney, in 2010,
and she was later consecrated as the first female bishop for Scotland in June 2012.
In 2013, the church consecrated a female bishop to Northumberland.
The Open Episcopal Church continues to grow, welcoming members from all over the world.
President of the Council of Bishops and the Communion is the Primate Archbishop of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Archbishop Jonathan Blake
Pope Benedict XVI, himself stated his recognition of our validity in “Dominus Iesus” of 2000, written as Cardinal Prefect Ratzinger, and approved by his predecessor St. John Paul II.
“The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by Apostolic Succession
and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches,
even though they lack full communion with the Roman Catholic Church…………………….
Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such,........ have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Roman Catholic Church”. (Section 17)