Anglican Mission in England Pioneering Plan

amie-pioneering-smHere’s an encouraging video on AMiE’s plans to plant 25  churches in England by 2025 and 250 by 2050.

Science and the Bible, debates about committees, hope and courage in mission

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican MainstreamAnother week, another revisionist Church Times leader article penned by an academic heavyweight.

This time a consultant psychiatrist and Professor of Theology insists that we need to allow the latest scientific findings to inform our understanding of Scripture…”

Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes comments the state of the Church of England.

Related: GAFCON UK Statement following the appointment of a ‘Bishops’ Reflection Group’ on homosexuality.

Archbishop of Canterbury expresses sadness at death of Bishop David Jenkins

Bishop David JenkinsThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has expressed his sadness at the death of the Rt Revd David Jenkins, the former Bishop of Durham. …”

– Report and photo from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

For some background about Bishop Jenkins, see also:

Anglican sets off a Theology storm”, The New York Times, 28 October 1984.

A new theological storm brewed in the Church of England today after the new Bishop of Durham, Dr. David Jenkins, compared the Resurrection of Jesus to a ‘conjuring trick with bones.’…

There was no immediate reaction from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, spiritual leader of the 65-million member Anglican Communion.

and “July 9, 1984: Wrath of God the prime suspect as lightning bolt sparks York Minster blaze”, BT.

On this day in 1984, a lightning bolt set fire to York Minster’s south transept, destroying its roof and causing £2.25 million worth of damage. …

Some believed that the lightning bolt was nothing less than fiery retribution for the installation, on July 6, of controversial clergyman David Jenkins as Bishop of Durham under the very roof which now lay in ruins.”

First Church of England Bishop ‘to declare he is in gay relationship’

nicholas-chamberlainThe bishop of Grantham has become the first Church of England bishop to publicly declare that he is gay and in a relationship. … 

Nicholas Chamberlain said there had been no secret about his long-term – albeit celibate – relationship with his partner. …

In a statement, [Archbishop of Canterbury Justin] Welby said: ‘I am and have been fully aware of Bishop Nick’s long-term, committed relationship. His appointment as bishop of Grantham was made on the basis of his skills and calling to serve the church in the diocese of Lincoln. He lives within the bishops’ guidelines and his sexuality is completely irrelevant to his office.’…”

– Story from The Guardian. Photo: Diocese of Lincoln.

See also: GAFCON Statement on the Appointment of the Bishop of Grantham.

We note with prayerful concern the revelation that Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham, is in a same sex relationship.

Our understanding is that the nature of his relationship conforms to the guidelines set out by the Bishops, and that he has not been campaigning publicly for a change in the church’s teaching on sex and marriage. We do not doubt that he has many gifts as a leader and pastor.

However there are aspects of this appointment which are a serious cause for concern for biblically orthodox Anglicans around the world, and therefore we believe that this appointment is a major error.

In 2003, Jeffrey John’s candidacy for the post of Bishop of Reading caused deep divisions within the Diocese of Oxford and beyond, and this news about Nicholas Chamberlain will exacerbate the same divisions within the Church of England and throughout the wider Anglican Communion.

In this case the element of secrecy in the appointment to the episcopacy of a man in a same sex relationship gives the impression that it has been arranged with the aim of presenting the church with a ‘fait accompli’, rather than engaging with possible opposition in the spirit of the ‘shared conversations’.

We remain opposed to the guidelines for clergy and Bishops, permitting them to be in same sex relationships as long as they publicly declare that the relationship is not sexual. This creates confusion in terms of the church’s teaching on the nature of sex and marriage, and it is not modelling a helpful way to live, given the reality of our humanity, and temptation to sexual sin.

The Most Rev. Peter Jensen

General Secretary of Gafcon Global.”

and also: Gay bishop: Appointment of Nicholas Chamberlain ‘major error’ says Gafcon. BBC report.

GAFCON UK responds to Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s August Letter

gafcon-logo-00GAFCON UK welcomes and is very encouraged by the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council’s recent August Letter. In it Archbishop Okoh states that the ‘greatest cause for concern continues to be the British Isles’. We share this analysis and hear Archbishop Okoh’s call on GAFCON UK and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) to ‘demonstrate that they have the necessary courage and faith in a context which to a large extent they alone can grapple with’.

GAFCON UK has recently been reconstituted precisely to meet the challenges that Archbishop Okoh outlines and is committed to grappling with the departure from orthodoxy in the UK. The AMiE is about to launch an ambitious plan for pioneering church-planting in the context of the ReNew Conference in September, where the aim is to encourage regions throughout England that pioneer, establish and secure healthy local Anglican churches.

Andy Lines

Chairman of the GAFCON UK Task Force.”

– via GAFCON.

Statement from the Task Force of GAFCON UK in response to John Bingham’s article in the Daily Telegraph 29/8/2016

Peter SanlonGAFCON UK warmly commends the initiative of Rev Dr Peter Sanlon and others from a number of parishes in the Home Counties to set up a ‘shadow synod’ as stated in John Bingham’s article ‘Parishes begin Church split’.

This is a grass-roots initiative by local congregations which is representative of the views of many across the country, and is in line with the concerns of Anglicans from the GAFCON movement worldwide…

A statement from the GAFCON UK Task Force – via AMiE. (Photo: Dr. Peter Sanlon, St Mark’s, Tunbridge Wells.)

And here is the online version of the article by John Bingham in The Telegraph.

The Rev Dr Peter Sanlon, Vicar of St Mark’s Church in Tunbridge Wells, who is hosting this week’s meeting, said: “If senior leaders of the Church of England water down the teaching of the Church of England on key issues like homosexuality, then this synod could easily evolve in to a new Anglican jurisdiction in England.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has signalled that he is aware of the possibility that a significant proportion of the church will not accept a change in the church’s teaching.

“This could be the beginning of that playing out.”

The C of E: Limits to diversity and the inevitability of separation?

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican MainstreamIs the Church of England basically orthodox in its beliefs, and if so, is this a good thing for the Church’s mission to the nation and in fact its very survival? …”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes asks what is the future of the Church of England if so many in its leadership see orthodox belief as a stumbling-block to connecting with the nation.

Amazing Love? A review article from Church Society

amazing-love-coverFrom Church Society in the UK:

‘Amazing Love: Theology for Understanding Discipleship, Sexuality and Mission’ is a new book, edited by Andrew Davison, which seeks to promote a change to the Church of England’s doctrine of marriage.

In an extended two-part review, Dr Peter Sanlon, Vicar of St Mark’s Church, Tunbridge Wells, analyses the claims of the book –

Part 1:

This aim of this book can be given in the authors’ own words: ‘This short book explains why we think it’s good for Christians to embrace their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and to celebrate their relationships … We think that the Church should be willing – delighted even – to hallow and strengthen such commitments.’…”

Part 2:

This volume has the appearance of being a digest of thoughtful and considered academic research. However that is just the surface reality – a carefully curated image. Academic publisher, long sub-title, titled academics listed as authors. It looks like academic work; but upon closer examination the mirage fades.…

It is stated on numerous occasions in the book that the aim of the authors is the embrace and acceptance of homosexual relationships by the Church of England. In reality the book has a much larger goal. The goal is nothing less than a wholesale revision of the Christian Faith into a different religion.

Shared Conversations: How not to handle the Word of God correctly

Canon Phil AsheyI have just returned from a two-week holiday and a graduation in the UK, mindful of the Church of England’s General Synod.

While there, I disciplined myself to avoid comments and to simply enjoy my time away with my wife and friends. But, towards the end, my attention was drawn to an article written by the Rev. Dr. Ian Paul, reporting as a participant in the ‘Shared Conversations’ on human sexuality, as part of the reception of the Pilling Report (which seems to recommend to the Church of England, in the end, ‘pastoral accommodation’ in the form of the blessing of same sex civil partnerships)…”

– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey calls us back to the authority of God’s word.

Related: 32 Synod delegates publicly express “lack of confidence” in C of E Shared Conversations process – Anglican Mainstream.

“We, the undersigned members of the General Synod, wish to express our lack of confidence in the process of the Shared Conversations. Whatever their stated purposes, the outcome has not led to a greater confidence that the Church will be guided by the authoritative voice of the Scriptures, and its decisive shaping of traditional Anglican teaching, in any forthcoming discussions.”

Mike Ovey on Faithful Teachers in an Age of Confusion

Dr Mike OveyMike Ovey spoke at this year’s Church Society Conference on the major threats to the gospel in the Church of England.

Sober, challenging, rebuking, and very helpful.

The talk and Q&A (34MB mp3), is linked from this page.

Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes to stop Sunday schools being affected by anti-terrorism laws

Archbishop Justin Welby“The Archbishop of Canterbury has reportedly persuaded the government to drop some aspects of a counter-terror law after arguing it would unfairly affect church Sunday schools…”

– Story from The Independent.

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