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Free Protestant Episcopal Church - additional history

P.O. Box 33079, • Regina, SK S4T 7X2 • Canada • • Anglican

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The following is additional history of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, which's history should also be read in conjunction with this website.

At the Synod which created the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England on 2 November 1897, Bishop James Martin of the Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia assisted Archbishop Leon Checkemian of the Free Protestant Church of England and Archbishop Charles Isaac Stevens of the Ancient British Church in consecrating Bishops Frederick W. Boucher, George W.L. Maeers, and Andrew Charles Albert McLaglen. Bishop Martin immediately after these consecrations was sub conditione consecrated by the other five as Mar Jacobus I Antipas and was given the ecclesiastical position of Archbishop of Caerleon-upon-Usk. The location of this Synod where the Free Protestant Church of England, the Ancient British Church, and the Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia merged into the FPEC was St. Stephen's Church, Shrewsburg Road, East Ham, London. The church was an iron building just built in 1897 and served as the pro-cathedral of the FPEC until 1909 when it was sold to a group of Spiritualists.

Bishop George Walter Lewis Maeers (born in 1855 in Kent) was consecrated to be an assistant bishop to the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain and nothing more is known of him. Bishop Boucher appears to have been consecrated for an independent ministry. Both these two bishops were never counted as bishops of the FPEC as their names are not on the official listing of Bishops of the Church. Bishop McLaglen was consecrated to be the FPEC Missionary Bishop for Cape Colony based in Cape Town with the title of Bishop of Claremont. By 1901 he and his family were back in England, living in the Limehouse district of London. Bishop McLaglen was slightly mifed that his eldest son, Victor, had joined the British army in the Boer War, and after getting the son out of the forces, thought best for his family to move back to England.

Bishop Frederick William Boucher Sr. (surname legally spelled Baucher) was born in 1855 in St. Helens, Lancashire. His secular employment was that of engineer's foreman in a factory pattern maker's department in Liverpool. His probable employer was the Mersey Iron Foundry of Liverpool, who built the first cast iron church in the world in 1814. Boucher most likely had a hand in the design of St. Stephen's Church and the resulting contact with the bishops of the FPEC lead to his consecration. By the time his daughter Bertha married Lance-Sergeant Arthur William Martin of the Second Battalion, Scottish Rifles on 17 March 1914, he apparently had retired from secular employment as Bertha stated on the marriage certificate that her father's occupation was that of "clergyman". He died in 1928 at Ormskirk, Lanc.

In 1909 Primus C.I. Stevens relocated the pro-cathedral of the FPEC to the Church of Martin Luther, located at 26 Speldhurst Road, South Hackney where it remained so until 1919. In 1919, upon Bishop McLaglen becoming Primus, his mission church of St. Andrew's at Retreat Place, Hackney served as the pro-cathedral until 1936 when it was demolished as part of a city redevelopment project. In 1928 Dr. McLaglen died and he was succeeded as pastor at the Retreat Place church by the Rev'd William Hall. Also in 1936 the Stonebridge Road Methodist Church in South Tottenham was acquired by the Rev'd Mr. Hall for the FPEC. This red brick chapel was built in 1882 and was re-dedicated as St. Andrew's Church. In 1954 it was registered as St Andrew's Collegiate Church. It served as the pro-cathedral until 1967 when it was sold to the Church of God congregation and later became part of a housing development.

On 25 July 1916 Dr. Martin consecrated Benjamin Charles Harris as FPEC Bishop of Essex and Ernest Mumby as FPEC Bishop of Caer-Leirion, and as Chancellor of the Nazarene College, granted both new bishops doctor of divinity degrees. Benjamin Charles Harris was born in 1884 in Essex, England. On 25 July 1915 he was ordained a presbyter, as was also William Hall, by Dr. Martin exactly a year before being raised to the episcopate. Dr. Harris throughout his ministrial career served as a minister for various non-conformist churches. From 1927 to 1929 he was the pastor for Romford Evangelical Free Church in Romford, Essex. In 1929 he left Essex for Hertfordshire when he became minister for New Barnet Baptist Church. He later became the non-conformist chaplain to the Mental Hospital in Abbots Langley, Herts., in which town he died on 9 November 1946. Bishop Mumby worked in the hotel industry for many years and appears not to have exercised much of a ministry. He died on 12 September 1939 in Blackpool, Lanc., at the age of 53 years.

The General Synod of the FPEC as of 21 April 1917 consisted of the following: Most Rev'd James Martin, D.D., LL.D. (Caerleon-on-Usk, etc.), Archbishop & Patriarch; Rt. Rev'd Ernest Mumby, D.D. (Caer-Leirion) and Rt. Rev'd B. Chas. Harris, D.D. (Essex), Bishops; Rev'd William Hall, Bishop's Chaplain; B.A. Surridge, Registrar; E.P. Woodcock, V.D.M. [Verbi Dei Minister], Herald; and Venable Ernest A. Asquith, Ph.D., Archdeacon. Here is a brief description of the organisation of the FPEC at that time. The laws for the proper self-government of the FPEC were contained in its Canons Ecclesiastical. The Bishops were the chief executive officers, and with the Archdeacon formed the General Standing Committee. It was the duty of the Bishops to exercise oversight over all the ministers and congregations within their respective jurisdictions, and have the right of entry, at all reasonable times, into any church for the purposes of preaching, enquiry, counsel and performing such other duties as pertain to their office; they administer the right of confirmation and confer Holy Orders. The supreme legislative and administrative authority of the Church was vested in the General Synod, composed of Bishops and Clergy, together with not more than two lay representatives (Synodsmen) from each organised congregation. This Synod met quarterly, and for the due transaction of its business appointed annually a Treasurer, Registrar, and such other officers or sub-committees as it deemed necessary. It also had the power to add to the General Standing Committee.

"The Church Times", of 28th April 1922, devotes practically a whole page to an article, "A Chapter of Secret History". It gives a somewhat detailed account of the background of the Order of Corporate Reunion and the bishops consecrated for that organisation, which was in the episcopal lineage of Archbishop Charles Isaac Stevens and the passing on of that succession to the FPEC. The Author of this article adds the following: "It is interesting, and may be of future importance to note that the orders possessed by these Protestant bodies conferred through Checkemian, MacLaglen (sic) and their co-adjutors are free from the objections alleged against Anglican Orders by the Roman Catholic Controversialists".

Dr. Herbert James Monzani Heard, during his time as Primus of the FPEC and afterwards, began the spreading of the Orders of the FPEC into other independent church groups. He consecrated Bishops Victor Alexander Palmer Hayman (20 April 1930), Frederick Charles Aloysius Harrington (13 June 1938), James Dominic Mary O'Gavigan (20 May 1940), and William Bernard Crow (13 June 1943) for their respective jurisdictions. He also consecrated his successor as Primus of the FPEC, the Rev'd William Hall on 18 May 1939 in St. Andrew's Church, Stonebridge Road, Tottenham, London, N.15.

Dr. Monzani Heard disliked the name FPEC and introduced The Episcopal Apostolic Church of England at the time he consecrated +Harrington as an alternative title for the jurisdiction. On 15 July 1949 the Rev'd Frederick C. King (1917 to 1985) and his wife the Rev'd Karla King (deaconess) (1920 to 1999) incorporated in California The Anglican Apostolic Church Of England as a USA affiliate to the EAC/FPEC with its headquarters in Sunland, California. In 1963 Dr. F. C. King was raised to the episcopate by FPEC Archbishop of the USA Dr. E. N. Enochs (see below).

In 1922 a schism occurred in the Reformed Episcopal Church of England when five churches in its northern diocese left that group, and along with several independent Anglican congregations, formed the Evangelical Church of England, appointing two presbyters (Rev'ds John Pownal Hodgkinson and Charles Edmund Wincott) as its first bishops. In 1930 the Rev'd William Newton was also consecrated by presbyters as the bishop for this church. The Rev'd Charles Leslie Saul (southern England based in London) and the Rev'd Gordon Pinder (northern England based in Preston) were in 1936 consecrated by +Newton as his successors with +Pinder taking the office of primus. Bishop Saul was determined to obtain the formal English episcopal succession for this church and he petitioned Dr. B. Charles Harris to bestow it. Finally, on 17 September 1944 Dr. Harris served as chief consecrator when he sub-conditione consecrated Primus Pinder and Bishops Saul and K. C. Pillai (who had been cons. in 1937 by +Pinder and +Saul) to the episcopal bench. This event annoyed Primus Hall, who was Anglo-Catholic in orientation and ironically as head of the FPEC, disapproved of such a protestant church group as the ECofE obtaining the Holy Orders of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church. In September of 1945 the ECofE split into two rival sections with Primus Pinder continuing as head until his death in January of 1950 of the ECofE and Bishop Saul becoming Primus of the English Episcopal Church and continued as that church's leader (under several name changes) until his death in June of 1991. Another irony to this story was that on 24 July 1959, Primus Hall himself sub-cond. cons. the Rt. Rev'd James Ormerod, the Primus of the continuing ECofE, probably to tick off Dr. Saul!

By 1949 the FPEC had almost ceased to function. Bishop Mumby had died in September 1939; Archdeacon Asquith in June 1942; Bishop Harris in November 1946; and former Primus Monzani Heard in August 1947. Then entered Dr. C. D. Boltwood. Charles Dennis Boltwood (30 August 1889 to 3 July 1985), a native of Essex, was a noted Spiritualist. Between 1937 and 1941, using the pseudonym "Crusader", he published six "spirit revealed" books supposably by the Victorian social reformer Charles Kingsley. These books were printed at a small press in the town of Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, which was probably also the residence of the Boltwoods during those years. In 1942 Boltwood founded the College of Spiritual Science, a correspondence school with courses for the training of "Spiritual Healers, Psychotherapists, and Thalamopathists". By 1949 Dr. Boltwood was already a bishop in the Catholicate of the West under Mar Georgius de Wilmot Newman when he took a Bachelor of Divinity course through Nazarene College under Dr. Hall.

The FPEC was very much part of Primus Hall's life and he was anxious that the Church would not die with him. As a boy he had served as a choir boy in St. Stephen's FPEC Pro-Cathedral. In 1913 he was ordered a deacon by +Stevens and in 1915 he was ordained a presbyter by +Martin and appointed Bishop's Chaplain in 1917 in which office he served until he assumed the headship of the Church in 1939. He asked Dr. Boltwood to formally joined the FPEC while maintaining his connexion to +de Wilmot Newman's organisation. However, Dr. Hall was a stickler for the Holy Orders of the FPEC and made Dr. Boltwood a deacon (17 Dec. 1950), a presbyter (3 May 1951), and a bishop (6 April 1952) rather than accept him as a bishop as far as the FPEC was concern. In 1954 Dr. Hall underwent an operation for colon cancer and before this happened he appointed Dr. Boltwood his successor as primus on 25 March of that year and also transferred control of St. Andrew's Church to Bp. Boltwood which was renamed as St. Andrew's Collegiate Church. Dr. Boltwood became the Principal of Nazarene College under the Patronage of Dr. Hall as Primus, continuing to train by post, various persons around the world in Philosophy and Theology. On 5 July 1955, Nazarene College was merged with St. Andrew's Correspondence College (Tottenham) Ltd. when that organisation was incorporated. On 27 August 1966 the final graduation dinner for this College was held at the Bonnington Hotel, London, when the College was closed down and its records lodged at Somerset House in anticipation of the sale of the pro-cathedral in the following year.

(A curious by path to this story is that another "Nazarene College" came into existence, claiming to be the continuation of Dr. Martin's original. On 29 January 1945 Dr. Monzani Heard retired as Patriarch of the Ancient British Church, appointing Mar Georgius de Wilmot Newman as his successor. Mar Georgius assumed that the the deed of the college went with the Ancient British Church instead of the FPEC in which it was vested by the Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia at the time of the 1897 union. Stating that the college was long dormant, on 25 October 1953 he appointed Bishop Ronald Powell (Richard, Duc de Palatine) as the president of the college when he consecrated the latter to the episcopalate. Bishop Powell then made this "Nazarene College" part of his newly established Pre-Nicene Catholic Church which still exists to this day under Bishop George William Boyer of London.)

Harry Kenneth Means (27 Nov. 1919 to 19 Apr. 2004) was an former Unitarian minister who was the leader of a group of 14 parishes in the Christian Universalist Church of America. From March to October of 1964 he and his wife went to Europe on church business and to research on church history in the British Museum Reading Rooms and at Ashmolean in Oxford. On 16 August of that year he was consecrated in St. Andrew's Collegiate Church by +Boltwood, assisted by FPEC bishop Dr. Francis Thomas, and Old Catholic bishop Albert Dunstan Bell of the USA. Courtesy of friends in the North American College at Rome, Italy, Dr. Means was able, by virtue of his FPEC episcopal standing, to have open access to the Vatican Library. On 14 October Dr. Means attended a Papal Audience held at 5 pm that day in St. Peter's where his Episcopal ring and Pectoral Cross were blessed by Pope Paul VI! Bishop Means was also given VIP seating at St. Peter's when he was present on 18 Oct. for the Canonization Service of the Ugandan Martyrs - this service featured the use of the Coptic liturgy and the release of white doves.

2 Nov. 1897 - 30 Dec.1900 retired Most Rev'd Leon Chechemian, D.D., LL.D.(b. 1848; d. 1920)
30 Dec. 1900 - 2 Feb. 1917 decease Most Rev'd Charles Isaac Stevens, D.D., LL.D.(b. 1835; d. 1917)
2 Feb. 1917 - 29 Oct. 1919 decease Most Rev'd James Martin, D.D., LL.D.(b. 1843; d. 1919)
29 Oct. 1919 - 16 Oct. 1928 decease Most Rev'd Andrew Charles Albert McLaglen, D.D., LL.D. (b. 1851; d. 1928)
16 Oct. 1928 - 18 May 1939 retired Most Rev'd Herbert James Monzani Heard, D.D., LL.D. (b. 1866; d. 1947)
18 May 1939 - 9 Oct. 1959 decease Most Rev'd William Hall, D.D., LL.D. (b. 1890; d. 1959)
9 Oct. 1959 - 17 Oct. 1978 retired and 30 Apr. 1982 - 7 July 1982 Acting as Primus Emeritus Most Rev'd Charles Dennis Boltwood, D.D., D.S.L., LL.D. (b. 1889; d. 1985)
17 Oct. 1978 - 30 Apr. 1982 decease Most Rev'd Albert John Fuge, Sr., Ph.D., LL.D. (b. 1911; d. 1982)
7 July 1982 - 7 Nov. 1989 decease Most Rev'd Charles Kennedy Stewart Moffatt, Th.D., D.D., LL.D. (b. 1907; d. 1989)
7 Nov. 1989 - present Most Rev'd Edwin Duane Follick, D.C., D.Th., Ph.D. (b. 1935)

Bishops consecrated by CHARLES DENNIS BOLTWOOD
01. Grant Timothy Billet 25 Dec. 1950; 02. Nestor Joseph Emile Antoine Frippiat 2 Sept. 1956; 03. Walter Joseph Hendrik Van Den Berghe 2 Sept. 1956; 04. Emmet Neil Enochs 2 June 1957 (1st cons.) & 31 Aug. 1958 (2nd cons.); 05. James B. Noble 4 Sept. 1957; 06. Reginald Benjamin Millard 15 Apr. 1958; 07. Emmanuel Samuel Yekorogha 6 June 1958; 08. Benjamin Charles Eckhardt 16 Aug. 1958; 09. Charles Kennedy Samuel Moffatt 24 Aug. 1958; 10. John Marion Stanley 3 May 1959; 11. Eric Daenecke 12 Dec. 1960; 12. John Trollnas early 1961; 13. Francis Thomas 4 July 1961; 14. William Charles Cato-Symonds 15 Apr. 1962; 15. Harry Kenneth Means 16 Aug. 1964; 16. E.J. Evans between Dec. 1964 & July 1969; 17. A.O. Noble-Cole 29 May 1966; 18. Albert John Fuge, Sr. 16 Oct. 1966; 19. Edwin Duane Follick 28 Aug. 1968; 20. Gordon Albert Da Costa 18 June 1971; 21. William Elliot Littlewood 19 June 1971; 22. Russell Grant Fry, Jr. 19 June 1971; 23. Horst Karl Frederick Block 9 Aug. 1971 (1st cons.) & 26 March 1972 (2nd cons.); and 24. Robert Randolph Rivette 19 Oct. 1971.

Bishops consecrated by others on Authority of Primus C.D. Boltwood
01. Frederick Charles King 19 May 1963 by Archbishop Emmet Neil Enochs; 02. Donald Jay Foard early 1964 by Archbishop Emmet Neil Enochs; 03. Samuel Richard Acquah, Sr. 19 July 1964 by Archbishop Emmanuel Samuel Yekorogha; 04. William Carson Thompson between Sept. 1968 & June 1971 by Archbishop Albert John Fuge, Sr.; 05. Ernest Percival Parris spring 1970 by Archbishop Albert John Fuge, Sr.; 06. John Lawrence Brown 21 May 1972 by Archbishop Albert John Fuge, Sr.

The Free Protestant Episcopal Church, Diocese of Texas was incorporated in the State of Texas on 25 April 1972 by Bishop Robert R. Rivette, the only example of the official FPEC ever being incorporated in the USA. This charter is in good standing. On 2 March 1970 the Free Protestant Episcopal Christian Church, Inc. was incorporated in New Jersey with the Rt. Rev'd Willard D. Mayo, D.D., Ph.D. of East Orange, NJ as its Primus. Bishop Mayo was most likely consecrated in January of 1970 by Dr. Eric Daenecke (1914 to 1994), FPEC bishop of New York from 1960 to 1966. By 1969 Dr. Daenecke was living in New Jersey. This independent branch of the FPEC seems to have died with Dr. Mayo in 1997.

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