The action was taken without the knowledge of the diocese or its Bishop. In a statement, a spokesman said that the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, was now aware of the consecration and had informed the Archbishop of York.
“No overseas bishop may exercise episcopal functions within the Church of England without the express permission of the Archbishop of the province and a commission from the Bishop of the diocese in which they wish to minister,” the spokesman also said. “In this case neither has been sought.
“It is the clearly established law of the land that no one can exercise ministry in the Church of England without either holding office or having the permission of the diocesan bishop.”
The service consecrating Bishop Pryke did not take place at Jesmond Parish Church or any other Church of England place of worship, the church’s initial statement said. Bishop Pryke took an oath of obedience not to the REACH-SA bishops who consecrated him, but to “bishops and other chief ministers” with whom he works in the UK.