The installation of a local minister who recently broke with the Episcopal Church and will now oversee other breakaway congregations was a unique and historic event and one that the Nigerian Anglican leader called “just the first step.”

“The journey ahead is long, the road … rough, rugged,” said Archbishop Peter J. Akinola of the Church of Nigeria, who defied top church leaders on Saturday and installed the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns as missionary bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) – a conservative splinter group and an offshoot of the Church of Nigeria.

It was a day of mixed emotions. Minns, rector of the prominent Truro Church in Fairfax, said part of him was sad since the Episcopal Church was his home for several decades.

“[These] are difficult days and confusing days for those of us who consider ourselves Anglican Christians,” Minns told thousands of Anglicans during his installation ceremony at the Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel. “The fabric of our beloved communion has been torn at its deepest level.

“Our name is now synonymous with division and discontent.”

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