Is GAFCON divisive?

“The suggestion that Gafcon is a divisive movement, and in particular aimed at breaking up the Anglican Communion, is one I hear from time to time.

It’s heartbreaking to hear it because it is untrue and it is an indication of the power of gossip.

I never tire of telling the story of the meeting of Primates at the end of the Jerusalem Conference 2008. …”

– GAFCON General Secretary Dr peter Jensen answers the question.

‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion rebukes Nigerian primate for boycotting meeting’

“Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has told Premier it is “sad” that the leader of Anglicans in Nigeria has decided to not attend a meeting called by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby.

The meeting scheduled for next month in Canterbury is for the Primates from the 39 provinces.

But Most Rev Nicholas Okoh Primate of All Nigeria has refused to attend because of what he deems as a lack of progress on the issue of sexuality.

The last meeting of its kind was in January 2016 where there was much disagreement about the Church’s view on sexuality.

Archbishop Josiah disagrees with the primate’s stance.

He told Premier: “At their meeting in January 2016 the Primates agreed to walk together.

“The primate of Nigeria was present at that meeting. In effect, he is now reneging on this decision which is very sad. …”

– Report from Premier UK. Photo: Abps Justin Welby and Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

However, Archbishop Okoh’s reasons are much more serious: (emphasis added)

“The only difference between the present and 2008, when Gafcon was formed, is that we have a different Archbishop of Canterbury. Everything else is the same or worse.”

“I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed.

The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making. TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example, the congregations of the Diocese of San Joaquin are currently having to turn over their places of worship to TEC, which has no realistic plan for filling them with worshippers.  At the same time, the Diocese of South Carolina is now facing the potential loss of many of its historic buildings.

My disappointment was shared by the other Global South Primates who gathered in Cairo last October and we concluded in our communiqué that the ‘Instruments of Communion’ (which include the Primates Meeting of course) are “unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide” and do actually help to undermine global mission.

The only difference between the present and 2008, when Gafcon was formed, is that we have a different Archbishop of Canterbury. Everything else is the same or worse. There is endless debate, the will of the orthodox Primates is frustrated and misrepresented, false teaching is not being corrected, and nothing is being done to halt orthodox Anglicans in North America (and maybe soon elsewhere) being stripped of the churches that have helped form their spiritual lives.

In these circumstances, I have concluded that attendance at Canterbury would be to give credibility to a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity. Our energies in the Church of Nigeria will be devoted to what is full of hope and promise for the future, not to the repetition of failure. …”

– Read all of his Pastoral Letter for September 2017.

Territorial Anglicanism?

“The ordination of Bishop Andy Lines as missionary Bishop to Europe by 50 Bishops including 11 Primates has upset some Anglicans.

They protest that this action opposes the 4th Century Canons of Nicaea, though it is not clear how those Canons apply to this situation, nor what authority they have today.

The claim is made that Anglicanism is opposed to having more than one Bishop in one territory. This claim is less plausible when seen in the light of the reality of Anglican practice …”

– Church Society has republished this opinion piece by Dr. Peter Adam. It first appeared in The Melbourne Anglican.

Related: Loose Canons? Andy Lines and the Canons of Nicaea – Dr Mark Smith.

GAFCON Chairman’s September 2017 letter

“Gafcon is about hope and the future. It is about godly unity and faithful witness for generations to come, and I want to state these positive things very clearly as I share my reasons for not attending the Primates Meeting in Canterbury next month.

I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed. The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making.

TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example…”

– Read the latest pastoral letter from The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council.

GAFCON in the Midst of Missional crisis

“We’ve looked at how GAFCON came to be and why it matters. Here we’ll unpack the challenges GAFCON and orthodox Anglicans face as we seek to be a missional movement to win people for Christ.

In what kind of landscape does the GAFCON movement now find itself? In what kind of environment do Orthodox Anglicans find themselves living day to day and doing ministry? To steal a phrase from the General Secretary of GAFCON, we find ourselves in the midst of a missional crisis. That is, in 2017 we are faced with a decision: how will we relate to the culture of our times and do mission within this culture?…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Caitlin Hurley concludes her brief series on GAFCON.

Looking forward to Jerusalem 2018

“As I write, invitations to the next Global Anglican Future Conference are beginning to go out to people around the Anglican Communion. The first Jerusalem Conference occurred in 2008. The second was in Nairobi in 2013.

The Primates are summoning representatives from all around the Communion to Jerusalem in June 2018. …”

– Dr Peter Jensen shares a personal testimony in the run up to Jerusalem 2018.

GAFCON: What it does and why it matters

“At GAFCON 2013, Dr Peter Jensen (the General Secretary of GAFCON) moderated a session entitled We are not alone.

In this session Dr Jensen introduced and encouraged members of the Anglican Communion to share their experiences as Anglicans standing up for and promoting the authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Christ. A constant refrain from those who presented was that the GAFCON movement had shown them that amidst severe persecution from governments or litigation by their own diocese they were not alone. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Caitlin Hurley continues here three-part series on GAFCON. (Part 1 here.)

What’s the go with GAFCON?

“In November last year, the date and location of the next GAFCON conference were announced – 17-22 June 2018, in Jerusalem. It is expected that over 2000 will attend.

But how did GAFCON start? What is it and what does it do? And why is it such a big deal? …”

– At The Australian Church Record, ACL Council member Caitlin Hurley begins a short series on GAFCON. Worth passing on to church members.

The Mythical Middle


“It has not worked. It cannot work. It will not work.

I mean the idea that we will be able to find a middle ground, where we will be able to be quietly or relatively conservative, while allowing for a denominational variety which blesses sexual relations outside the bonds of traditional marriage.

The present tactic of those looking for a change is to say that there is a middle way…”

– Archbishop Peter Jensen examines the idea that you can hold a ‘middle ground’ position when the Bible’s teaching is clear. At the GAFCON General Secretary’s blog.

FCA Australia commends Abp Davies and Bp Condie for their involvement in the consecration of Andy Lines

“An open letter to the members of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – Australia:

Grace and peace to you in the name of our dear Saviour Jesus.

I am writing to you on behalf of the Board of FCA-Aus following the recent consecration of Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop to Europe, which took place in Wheaton Illinois, USA on Friday 30 June 2017.

FCA-Aus Chairman, Dr Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania participated in the consecration, along with Board member, Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney and Bishop Gary Nelson of the Diocese of North West Australia. The consecration took place under the auspices of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America at the request of the GAFCON Primates, and the Australian bishops joined more than 50 other bishops including 11 Primates (presiding bishops within Anglican Provinces).

The Board of FCA-Aus warmly and unanimously commends and supports the participation of the Australian bishops in the consecration of Bishop Andy Lines. …”

– Read the full letter from Kanishka Raffel, Dean of Sydney, on behalf of the Board, FCA-Australia.

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter July 2017

“False teaching is restless and relentless, and the Church of England itself is in grave spiritual danger. It is much to be regretted that there has been far more concern about alleged ‘boundary crossing’ than about the contempt of God’s Word that made a missionary bishop necessary. In fact, the Bishop of Edinburgh, who has strongly supported the Scottish Episcopal Church’s adoption of same sex ‘marriage’ was invited as a guest of honour to the Church of England’s July General Synod meeting.”

– The Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, has released his Chairman’s letter for this month.

A Tale of Two Communions

“Whenever a church leader makes an important decision, takes a strong stand and then explains their action, they not only reveal their own priorities and convictions but also, more significantly, shape the future of the church they serve and represent. For good reason, such steps are often called ‘defining moments’ and, with the passing of time, are frequently shown to be, what might be called, ‘determining moments’. A series of such moments seems to have taken place in recent days.

On June 30, 2017, Canon Andy Lines was consecrated as the Missionary Bishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to provide spiritual oversight to Anglican churches in Europe that exist outside the current Anglican structures.

As well as the principal consecrator, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach (Archbishop of the ACNA), 11 Primates, 3 Archbishops, and 13 other GAFCON-linked Anglican bishops were involved in Lines’ consecration. …”

– Here’s a must read article from Rob Smith, in which he examines allegations made by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia concerning participation in the consecration of Bishop Andy Lines. See it at The Australian Church Record.

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