The Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet leaves the Church of England after deciding to join the Catholic fold.
The Right Reverend Jonathan Goodall has served as Bishop of Ebbsfleet for the past eight years. He was opposed to female bishops and had acted as a “flying bishop” for congregations that felt the same.
He seeks full communion with the Catholic Church after what he describes as a time of prayer but “of trial”.
“I came to the decision to leave my post as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in order to be received in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, only after a long period of prayer, which was one of the most important periods. most trying of my life “, says the bishop.
“Life in the fellowship of the Church of England has shaped and nurtured my disciple life as a Catholic Christian for many decades. It was there that I first received – and for half of in my life I have exercised, as a priest and bishop – the sacramental grace of Christian life and faith, and I will always cherish and be grateful for it.
“I trust you to believe that I have made my decision to say yes to God’s current call and invitation, and no to say no to what I have known and experienced in the Church of England, to whom I owe so much a deep debt. “
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he accepted his resignation “with regret”.
“I am deeply grateful to Bishop Jonathan for his ministry and his many years of faithful service. My prayers go with him and [his wife]Sarah, both for her future ministry and for the direction in which they are called on their continued journey of dedicated service to Christ, ”he said.
“With respect to the Ebbsfleet seat, we will begin a process of consultation with colleagues and others – including the parishes in which Bishop Jonathan is ministering – to determine what the next steps will be.”