Some thoughts on the New Zealand response to the proposal from Sydney

“On 13 November Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson replied to Archbishop Davies on behalf of the General Synod Standing Committee of ACANZP.

In their reply they note that Anglicanism in New Zealand has been shaped by a specific two hundred year history and that:

‘To be Anglican in this land requires that we, led by our Lord Jesus Christ, face into this shared history so that we can help shape a common future for all people based on peace and justice and righteousness.’ …

As they see it, it would be impossible to recognise as Anglican a body that was not bound by the ‘laws and promises and solemn commitments’ of the current ACANZP.

On this basis they say they are unable to accept Archbishop Davies’ proposal. To an outside observer, however, it is not clear why this should be the case. …”

Anglican theologian Martin Davie devises a simple test to help understand why Archbishop Davies’ proposal (PDF) was not acceptable.

Archbishop Glenn Davies’ Response to New Zealand

Here is the text of Archbishop Glenn Davies’ letter to Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson, of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in response to their letter about his proposal

Correspondence to Primates 13/11/18

Dear Archbishop Donald and Archbishop Philip

Greetings in the name of our risen Saviour.

Thank you for your gracious letter and for providing me with a copy before it is publicly released.

I greatly enjoyed my time with you and other leaders in Hamilton last August. Your hospitality and welcome introduced me to aspects of M?ori culture which I found profoundly moving.

At the meeting, I learned more of the troubled history of colonialism, which clearly still reverberates within the country and the Church. If any part of my proposal was seen as reinforcing any colonial intervention, I am deeply sorry, as this was not my intention.

Growing up as an Anglican in Australia, I have treasured the Bible, the Thirty-nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, which to me express the essence of being Anglican, though I also recognise the cultural differences that Anglicanism may reflect in different countries.

Although I am sorry to hear of the outcome of your deliberations concerning my proposal, I fear that two Anglican Churches will still arise in Aotearoa, but without mutual recognition. While sad, this is now inevitable. Our General Synod Standing Committee passed a resolution at our meeting on Friday last, which will no doubt be communicated to you separately by the General Secretary. In the resolution, apart from noting the recent decisions of ACANZP have impaired our relationships, as they are in contradiction to Resolution I.10 of Lambeth 1998, it also noted that they were not in accordance with the teaching of Christ in Matthew 19:1-12. We also indicated our support for all Anglicans in Aotearoa, not only those who remain in ACANZP but also those who choose to leave.

We live in a broken world, and sometimes brothers and sisters disagree on the way forward. I am very grateful for the consideration of my proposal which I believe you took seriously and conscientiously. While my purpose in the proposal was specific to the context of your Church, it is true that there are ramifications for the wider Anglican Communion. I thought that ACANZP might be able to give a lead in this regard but it may well be that my lack of understanding of your culture has impeded my ability to find an agreeable way forward. Again, if this has caused offence, I offer my sincere apologies.

I trust that relationships between the Anglican Church of Australia and the ACANZP, while impaired by the decision of your Synod, may still find opportunity for fellowship in the name of our risen Saviour in the days ahead.

Maranatha!

Grace and peace

Glenn.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

St. Matthew’s Dunedin ‘to disaffiliate’ from Church — report

“St Matthew’s in Stafford St [Dunedin] this week voted to disaffiliate from the church.

The decision means those in the parish who supported the move — it is understood 79% voted for disaffiliation — will have to find a new place to worship. Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Steven Benford confirmed the move yesterday. …”

– Report from The Otago Daily Times. Photo courtesy St. Matthew’s Dunedin.

Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal

“A proposal by the Archbishop of Sydney for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriage has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP).

In May, the ANZP General Synod passed a ‘compromise’ resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages in a move that was designed to allow both theological conservatives and those campaigning for change to stay in the same church. But a number of Anglicans have responded to the vote by saying that they were seeking to leave the Church as a result of the decision. …”

– Report from The Anglican Communion News Service.

In their reply to Archbishop Glenn Davies (PDF file – via Anglican Taonga), Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson, speak of the cultural and colonial background of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia:

“One of the key messages we hoped you would take to your home from our meeting at Hemi Tapu is the unique consequences of our history as Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are a Church made up of colonised and coloniser.

We have a difficult history. It is a shared history. We know the language, the face and the consequences of colonisation. For Ma?ori, disenfranchisement, alienation from whenua [Land], racism and poverty are consequences of this shared history. …

To be Anglican in this land requires that we, led by our Lord Jesus Christ, face into this shared history so that we can help shape a common future for all people based on peace and justice and righteousness. …

If those disaffiliating want to be committed to that fundamental consequence of being Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand, then they must stay in these constitutional and Treaty-based relationships.

We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history. ”

Fellowship with New Zealand Appeal

From The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid:

“In May this year the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia decided to allow diocesan bishops to authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Following the decision of the General Synod a number of clergy and their congregations decided to leave the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, while still wishing to remain Anglicans. They felt that they could no longer stay in a Church, which had abandoned the teaching of Jesus and compromised the fundamental principles of their faith.

At the end of September, there were nine clergy and four congregations, representing approximately 1000 members who have or are planning to disaffiliate from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in addition to a parish in West Hamilton, which has already disaffiliated in anticipation of these developments. In taking this step, church leaders have forgone their income and possibly church property.

The Archbishop is encouraging Sydney Anglicans [watch video of his Presidential Address, 15 October 2018] to support these faithful brothers and sisters who wish to remain part of the Anglican family as they seek to establish an extra-provincial diocese. Gafcon Australia, with the support of Synod, has launched an appeal through Anglican Aid to assist them as they set up this new structure. Funds will be disbursed through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand.”

– Read the details, and donate, at Anglican Aid. (Links added above.)

For some background to what’s been happening in New Zealand: Related posts.

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter September 2018

GAFCON Primates Council Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh turns to the situation in New Zealand in his latest pastoral letter:

“This realignment of the Anglican Communion will undoubtedly continue. Compromise leads to more compromise, but can there be a better way forward than the aggressive legalism practised in the Americas?

New Zealand will be a test. Following the decision in May by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) to allow for the blessing of same sex relationships, contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a number of parishes in New Zealand have announced that they can no longer in conscience remain part of the Province, but Gafcon is proposing a fresh approach in order to minimise conflict.”

Read it all here.

Archbishop Davies presents proposal for NZ Anglican future


“Archbishop Glenn Davies has addressed some of the leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP), proposing ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ as a solution to the issues facing the Church after their Synod’s decision to allow the blessings of same gender relationships. …”

Read the full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Be sure to read Archbishop Davies’ A PROPOSAL FOR THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AOTEAROA, NEW ZEALAND & POLYNESIA (PDF file – may download to your computer – Alternative link.).

Preferred new Anglican Bishop chosen for Christchurch — name secret

“A preferred candidate has been chosen as Christchurch’s new Bishop – but their name will remain a secret until a vote by the church’s governing body.

The involved and legal process to determine a new Bishop for the city began after Victoria Matthews stood down from the role in May.…” – The Press, NZ.

Reactions to the Gafcon 2018 Conference Statement from leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia

The GAFCON Media Team have been busy, and have now uploaded this compilation of reactions from Anglican leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia.

Most encouraging.

New Zealand church leaders react to the GAFCON 2018 Statement

Dominic Steele speaks with Michael Hewett, Dave Clancy & Jay Behan, and tell something of their story.

NZ move prompts ‘deep regret’ in Sydney

“A move by the Anglican Church in New Zealand to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions has led to a strong statement from the Diocese of Sydney. …

At its first meeting since the decision, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney passed a motion which ‘notes with deep regret that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has amended its Canons to allow bishops to authorise clergy to bless same-sex unions’…”

– Read the full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Here’s the resolution in full:

Standing Committee conveys to the Primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia that it:

a.     notes with deep regret that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has amended its Canons to allow bishops to authorise clergy to bless same-sex unions;

b.     notes with regret that this step is contrary to the teaching of Christ (Matt 19:1-12) and is contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference;

c.      expresses our support for those Anglicans who have left or will need to leave the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia because of its abandonment of biblical teaching, and those who struggle and remain; and

d.     prays that the ACANZP will return to the doctrine of Christ in this matter and that impaired relationships will be restored.

– Source, SydneyAnglicans.net.

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote

A statement from Bishop Andy Lines, speaking on behalf of Gafcon UK:

“With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage…”

Full statement below:

“We are not surprised, but nevertheless deeply saddened and concerned by the decision by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa to accept Motion 29 and so pave the way for the blessing of same sex relationships.

We note that only those in civil marriages or lawfully recognised partnerships will be eligible for these blessings. This shows that while a short time ago many church leaders around the world were arguing for such blessings but drew the line at same-sex marriage (as in the Church of England’s Pilling Report), now that line appears to have been removed. With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage, and offer the Church’s blessing to relationships which the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition clearly teach that God warns against and cannot bless.

It is encouraging that despite the huge pressure to conform to Motion 29 and the secular humanist ideology behind it, many courageous New Zealand Anglicans not only voted against the Motion, but are already looking to the emergence of new Anglican structures, which remain faithful to the Scriptures in contrast to those who have departed from them.

We pray for Rev Jay Behan and others in Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand, and rejoice in their close association with the majority of Anglicans worldwide who continue to preach the biblical gospel of repentance from sin and new life in Christ. Jay and other representatives from FCANZ will receive a warm welcome and full support from all at June’s Gafcon gathering, and ongoing solidarity from Gafcon UK as they plan for the future.”

– From GAFCON UK.

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