Archbishop Welby: the Communion’s challenges

Archbishop WelbyIn his Presidential address to the Church of England’s General Synod, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby  spoke about the issues faced by the Anglican Communion and possible ways forward.

While emphasising that “the Anglican Communion exists and is flourishing in roughly 165 countries”, he also conceded,

“There are enormous problems. We have deep divisions in many areas, not only sexuality. There are areas of corruption, other areas where the power of the surrounding culture seems to overwhelm almost everyone at one point or another.

Our divisions may be too much to manage.

In many parts of the Communion, including here, there is a belief that opponents are either faithless to the tradition, or by contrast that they are cruel, judgemental, inhuman. I have to say that we are in a state so delicate that without prayer and repentance, it is hard to see how we can avoid some serious fractures.”

Read or watch it here.

Reform calls for ‘decisive intervention’ to save shared conversations on sexuality from collapse

Reform“At its most recent meeting on Wednesday, 1st October 2014, the Reform Council expressed its dismay that the objectives of the ‘shared conversations’ on Scripture, Sexuality and Mission had been changed and that as a result orthodox Anglicans had been in effect excluded. It called on its members not to participate in the conversations under these conditions…”

– A media release from Reform.

Related: Church of England College of Bishops meeting, 17 September 2014.

GAFCON backs English renewal

augustine“GAFCON understands the challenges that faithful Anglicans face in England, according to the Chairman Eliud Wabukala.

The Archbishop made the comment in a message to the recent RENEW conference, organised by the groups Reform, Church Society, and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).

Archbishop Wabukala, who chairs the GAFCON Primates Council, recently issued a pastoral letter in which he said “AMiE is authorised by the GAFCON Primates to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society”.

The conference committed delegates to “work for a nation of healthy, local Anglican churches throughout England.”

In particular, it committed to looking at opportunities for church planting, training and to “to contend together for the faith once delivered to the saints by developing a joint approach to working within our diocese /region given the theological convictions and teaching of the diocesan leadership.”

The conference also approved a doctrinal statement which began “Knowing that unity is a work of the Holy Spirit which can only be established through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ, we rejoice in the fellowship of all those who subscribe to the 2008 Jerusalem Declaration.”

The Jerusalem Declaration was agreed to by the first Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in 2008.”

from GAFCON.

Related:

GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter September 2014.

Anglican Mission in England.

ReNew: united, confessing, missional

The Rev Andrew Symes“Is the Commitment signed on Tuesday by delegates at the ReNew conference a manifesto for schism? In a word, no. …

The partnership of Church Society with Reform means that there remains a strong commitment to working within the existing structures of the Church of England. There is a real desire to take Archbishop Welby at his word,  that as Conservative Evangelicals are considered to be part of authentic Anglicanism and encouraged to “flourish” (according to the July statement on Women Bishops), so churches in this tradition should be encouraged to grow and multiply.…

The controversial part of the commitment is the recognition that there will be times when pioneering new congregations will on occasion mean operating without Diocesan approval, and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is the mechanism to enable this.”

– Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes looks at the new vision for growing evangelical churches in England.

‘Gay rector faces backlash in pews’

Dominic McClean“An Anglican clergyman is facing opposition from parishioners over a service in his local church to bless his same-sex civil partnership.

The Rev Dominic McClean, the Rector of 13 parishes around the village of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, invited parishioners to the special service this weekend to mark his civil union with his partner…” – Story from The Telegraph. (h/t SydneyAnglicans.net) Photo: Market Bosworth Benefice.

UK must offer asylum to terror refugees — Abp of York

Archbishop of York John Semantu“The Archbishop of York has urged the government to do more to offer asylum to Christians and others being persecuted by Islamic State terrorists…”

– Report from BBC News. (Photo: Diocese of York.)

Dear prime minister: what is the UK government’s strategy in Iraq and Syria?

bp-nicholas-baines-leedsDear Prime Minister …

The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yazidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why…”

– Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, writes to Prime Minister Cameron.

‘All you need to know about christening’ — without mentioning…

Church of England "Christenings" website“The Church of England has created a new website which promises to tell you ‘all you need to know about choosing, planning and going to a Church of England christening’. How far does it succeed in this endeavour?

Let’s start with a positive. The fact that the church is seeking to provide clear and accessible resources for those considering having their child baptised is much to be welcomed. …

Unfortunately, problems start to crop up when we begin to read what the website actually says…”

Mark Smith at Church Society looks at the new Church of England “christening” website – or you might want to check it yourself first. (And compare 1 Corinthians 2:2.)

Flourishing after the consecration of women bishops?

Lee Gatiss“Many of us in the Church of England today see the consecration of women as bishops to be a departure from God’s revealed plan for the flourishing of his church. As Christians, our basic confession is ‘Jesus is Lord’, and so we believe he must decide how the church is governed…”

– Church Society’s Director Lee Gatiss addresses the new situation in the Church of England.

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