The heart of GAFCON and the future of the Anglican Church

In a special edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele spoke with GAFCON’s new leaders Archbishops Foley Beach and Benjamin Kwashi.

Among other things, they speak of a new orthodox diocese in New Zealand.

Watch or listen here, and catch the vision of GAFCON.

A Communiqué from the Gafcon Primates Council meeting in Sydney– 6th May 2019

The GAFCON Primates, meeting in Sydney last week, have released a Communiqué at the end of their gathering. Global evangelism is a key theme:

“Our primary focus this week has been upon the great tasks of mission and evangelism. As a global fellowship we are uniquely positioned to support one another in ministry to a world where mass immigration and globalisation are reshaping our countries.

There are billions who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the field is ripe for the harvest. In this new world every believer has a role in preaching Christ faithfully to the nations. There are even more who have heard, but not understood.  In many situations the main challenge is not ignorance, but unbelief.

We ask you to join us in prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power to break into the hearts and minds of those who have not yet believed.”

Also, the Primates speak of Lambeth 2020 and plan for a Gafcon Bishops Conference in 2020:

“On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020.  On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the Communion to be restored. Therefore, we have decided to call together a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Communion in June of 2020.”

Read the whole Communiqué here.

“Welby’s Lambeth invite apology smooths way for Anglican Consultative Council to walk together”

“Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, working with others, preserved the unity of the 17th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council on May 4 by apologizing for his 2020 Lambeth Conference decisions about bishops in same-sex relationships and agreeing to renew the communion’s 21-year-old promise to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ people.

‘I ask your forgiveness where I made mistakes,’ Welby said.

The April 28-May 5 meeting came close to breaking down during the afternoon of its last business day, not over the Lambeth Conference, but over the larger issue of how much the council ought to say about the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church. …”

– This report from The Episcopal News Service speaks of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s apology for seeking to disinvite the spouses of bishops in same-sex marriages from the 2020 Lambeth Conference.

Photo: Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

For some historical perspective on the trajectory of the Anglican Consultative Council, see this post from ten years ago (June 2009) from the American Anglican Council:

Corrupting the Anglican Communion Listening Process:

“The next stage of the Anglican Communion’s attempt to resolve its differences over theology, sexuality and the authority of scripture will involve more “listening processes,” but this time those processes will be paid for by a retired Episcopal priest who advocates same-sex blessings. The money given by the Episcopal priest will be monitored by a group of sex “experts” who advocate a vision of sexual freedom and “justice” that bears little resemblance to mainstream Christian doctrine or tradition …“

and also this June 2009 statement from then President of the Anglican Church League, Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson –

Apostasy and deception: Statement on ACC-14 from the Anglican Church League:

“The reports from the 14th Anglican Consultative Council meeting being held in Jamaica make for depressing reading. ‘Assume incompetence rather than malevolence’, the old saying goes. That is becoming harder and harder to do, even for the optimists amongst us.

The intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury at crucial points to serve the interests of TEC and its presiding bishop and to thwart the attempts to bring real accountability to bear on those who have abandoned the teaching of Scripture and are pursuing the property of faithful Anglicans through the courts, undermines any suggestion that he is providing genuine leadership at this crucial time. The activities of other officials from the Anglican Communion Office were even more openly serving the revisionist agenda. …”

Plus this report from Canon Phil Ashey in 2012 –

A Report from the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland:

“In terms of what schemes seem to be emerging, I would respectfully suggest the following as a ‘pincer’ movement that ACC/ACO is going to place upon confessing Anglicans:

1.  Through Continuing Indaba dialogue and stories, bolstered by the work of the BILC resources, Biblical interpretation of human sexuality and its limits will be rendered value-neutral with no limits on Biblical interpretation within the Communion. Lambeth 1.10 will be declared in effect non-binding;

2.  Then, through the new Code of Conduct and the Safe Church resolution, any objection to sexual expressions that are not Biblical will be deemed ‘harassment,’ chilling any speech and bringing consequences to those who, in Anglican communion meetings, dare to raise the subject.

I pray I am mistaken, but that is my best look into the future. …”

– and many other posts on our website.

GAFCON Affirms it will not attend or observe Lambeth

“At an event hosted by GAFCON Australia today here in Sydney, Archbishop Foley Beach (Primate of the ACNA and now chair of the GAFCON Primates Council) reaffirmed that they will be turning down Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference. …”

– David Ould reports.

EFAC Press Release – 02 May 2019


The Trustees of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) have read reports of the address by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, to the Anglican Consultative Council currently meeting in Hong Kong in which he attributed the crisis in the Anglican Communion to “largely autocratic Primates and bishops in the Global South who do not behave as Anglicans” and asked the questions, “’How should we respond to GAFCON?” – the Global Anglican Fellowship of conservative Provinces that has been acting increasingly independently in recent years, after a split over sexuality. ‘How do we handle this to prevent schism in our Communion?’”

The Trustees have written to Archbishop Josiah stating that we will want to unpack with him in due course his criticism of GAFCON in circumstances where it is not disputed that the crisis within the Anglican Communion was started by the Episcopal Church acting independently over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson and has been driven ever since by the independent actions of the Episcopal Church and other liberal provinces, acting against the advice of the Instruments of Communion.

In his address, Archbishop Josiah also suggested that, for a solution to the present crisis, one should look to the example of EFAC “which, in the 1960s, had deliberated breaking away to form an independent Evangelical Church, but had been dissuaded by the late Revd Dr John Stott”. In our communication with Archbishop Josiah, the Trustees of EFAC have stated that this is an inapt and unhelpful analogy, even if it were correct in fact (which it is not). The current crisis in the Anglican Communion is caused by a different issue, same-sex marriage and partnerships, an issue on which the views of the Revd Dr John Stott were clear:

“If you want me to stick my neck out, I think I would say that if the Church were officially to approve homosexual partnerships as a legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage, this so far diverges from biblical sexual ethics that I would find it exceedingly difficult to stay. I might want to stay on and fight a few more years, but if they persisted, I would have to leave.” (John Stott, Balanced Christianity, p. 63)

This is also an issue on which EFAC is clear. EFAC’s constitution provides expressly, inter alia, as follows:

“We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.”

There is no division between EFAC and GAFCON on issues of human sexuality and any attempt to create division will be resisted prayerfully and strenuously.

We have asked Archbishop Josiah publicly to correct the false analogy (in the same way as he has corrected his perceived critique of the Roman Catholic Church).

Bishop Keith Sinclair (Chairman)
Stephen Hofmeyr QC
Revd Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Carl Hughes.

Received by e-mail. Text extracted from this PDF file.

File image: Anglican Communion crest.

Foley Beach on Canterbury’s invitation to ACNA to observe Lambeth 2020

“Yesterday I received a letter from Archbishop Justin just moments before the invitation was reported online. I read the online report first and was disappointed to see that the original ‘news’ source had furthered a partisan, divisive, and false narrative by wrongly asserting that I left the Anglican Communion. I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so. …”

– Via Anglican Ink, Archbishop Foley Beach (who is currently in Sydney, and will succeed Archbishop Nicholas Okoh as Chairman of GAFCON on Tuesday) responds to an invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Welby: British law prevents ACC from debating his decision to exclude same-sex spouses from LambethEpiscopal News Service.

Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion (20 February 2019).

Lambeth Hypocrisy: Disinviting the Spouses – Dr. Stephen Noll (17 February 2019).

Toronto bishops issue statement in support of Kevin Robertson and same-sex spouse

“The same-sex spouse of Kevin Robertson, area bishop of York-Scarborough in the diocese of Toronto, will go to England at the time of the Lambeth Conference in 2020, though it’s as yet unclear to what extent any of the spouses of Toronto bishops will participate, the diocese’s College of Bishops said in a joint statement released March 25. …”

– Report from Anglican Journal, Canada.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

University hosting church summit where same-sex partners are banned to raise ‘ethical concerns’ with archbishop

“A university which has come under fire for hosting an Anglican summit that will exclude same-sex partners is due to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury to raise ‘significant ethical concerns’.

The University of Kent, which is hosting next year’s Lambeth Conference, faced criticism when it emerged partners of gay bishops had not been invited.

The institution has now said it will ensure accommodation is available on campus for spouses affected who wish to be in Canterbury with their partners. …”

– Report from The Independent.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

TEC Bishop Michael Curry questions ‘gay bishop spouse ban’ at Lambeth Conference

“Anglican bishops in the United States say they are ‘aggrieved and distressed’ by a ban on the spouses of gay bishops from attending a major Church summit next year.

The Episcopal Church (TEC) said it was ‘concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion’ ahead of the 2020 Lambeth Conference, which is being hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. …”

– As expected. Report from Premier.

Related post: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

GAFCON Chairman’s March 2019 Letter

In his March 2019 Pastoral Letter, GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh highlights the confusion surrounding the 2020 Lambeth Conference:

“A recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, had confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby’s own previous statement that all bishops’ spouses would be included.

The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.

But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as ‘incompatible with Scripture’.

The inconsistency is obvious to all. …”

– Read it all at the GAFCON website.

G19 Conference Statement

The GAFCON G19 Conference in Dubai released their Conference Statement: Streams in the Desert: A Letter from Churches in Restricted Situations.

Read it at the GAFCON website.

Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion

“When the boundary markers of biblical and apostolic faith are set aside, confusion enters the Church.  …

The Archbishop of Canterbury has changed the long-established convention that spouses are invited to Lambeth Conferences and contradicted the blanket statement he made in a recent video when he affirmed “of course, bishops’ spouses will be invited as well as bishops”.

The reason for this change in policy follows from another, which was to include for the first time at Lambeth 2020 same-sex partnered bishops in contrast to the policy of his predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, who did not invite Bishop Gene Robinson and his same-sex partner to Lambeth 2008…”

– The latest from GAFCON on the latest Lambeth confusion.

Screenshot above from this video produced to promote the Lambeth Conference (cued to the statement about bishops’ spouses):

Stephen Noll and Lambeth 2020 — Anglican Unscripted 489

On the latest Anglican Unscripted, Kevin Kallsen speaks with Dr. Stephen Noll about Lambeth 2020 and the current state of play.

(Dr. Noll also writes at Contending Anglican.)

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