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.

FCANZ Response to the Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

Here’s a response from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand to today’s decision by the Anglican Church in NZ to allow the blessing of same-sex relationships:

“We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned. …”

Full statement below –

FCANZ Response to Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

“It is with deep sadness that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) receives the news that General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui has passed the Motion 29 Report allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships. While we are thankful for the gracious spirit in which the debate was held, we disagree with the final outcome. We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned.

FCANZ believes that God loves all people, from all walks of life, calling each of us to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes speaking of this love involves saying difficult things that run counter to the culture of today. However we remain convinced that it is good for all humanity and the only place for the church to stand.

In light of the decision of the General Synod we are ready to support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure. We will work together nationally and internationally to provide fellowship and support as we look towards new ways and structures of ministering the unchanging good news of Jesus.”

– Source: FCANZ. Photo: FCANZ Chairman, The Rev. Jay Behan.

Related: Yes to blessingsAnglican Taonga, 09 May 2018.

“The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.

At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.

That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.

The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples.

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There was no further discussion this morning about the principles at stake.

That debate was held late yesterday afternoon – and the convenor of the Motion 29 Small Working Group, the Rev Katene Eruera, waived his right as mover of the motion to respond to yesterday’s discussion.

The better part of two hours, however, was spent in a discussion about the process of voting.

Last evening, Mr Tony Hill called for a caucus by tikanga to consider assent to the proposition.

This church’s canons have an in-built mechanism to allow any one tikanga to veto a proposal before the house.

The three tikanga caucused for some time, and decided among themselves as to whether they would assent to the motion being put to the vote.

Each of the three tikanga assented to the vote being taken – and then by voices, the motion was carried.

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The Rev Al Drye from Christchurch then called for a show of hands, then for synod representatives to stand – and these visibly confirmed that the motion, by a big majority, had been passed.

By contrast to General Synod 2016, when the Way Forward report and its recommendations were shelved, the reaction to today’s decision was, after a brief burst of applause, quite muted.

Sadness, perhaps, though, that despite the best efforts of the Motion 29 working group, some have said they can no longer stay in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.”

FCANZ response to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report

“This is the formal response to the Motion 29 Working Group Final Report and Recommendations. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) is thankful for the opportunities the Working Group has provided the Province to offer feedback, and to some extent shape the final recommendations included within the report. …

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has engaged fully and in good faith throughout the Motion 29 Working Group process. But, we repeat, if General Synod adopts recommendations allowing authorized services which contradict our existing doctrine and practice, many Anglicans will have been abandoned by their denomination and will have no alternative but to seek other ways of remaining authentically Anglican. …”

– The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand has released their response (PDF file) to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report.

Remaining faithful to the gospel in New Zealand

“Since 2013 civil same-sex marriage has been legal in New Zealand, and as has been the case elsewhere in the Communion, the New Zealand Anglican Church is committed to the blessing of same-sex relationships.

The journey towards this has involved both formal decisions of Synods, and the independent actions of bishops and clergy. Individual bishops have ordained people in homosexual relationships to the priesthood, and in recent months the Bishop of the Diocese of Waiapu has installed as Dean a man civilly married to another man. …

Should the Provincial church … continue on its stated course of blessing same-sex marriages, many associated with FCANZ will be left with no alternative than to seek new ways of being Anglican.“

At the GAFCON website, Dave Clancey, Vicar of St. Saviour’s and St. Nicholas’ in Christchurch, brings us up to speed on thinking among members of The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – New Zealand.

Christchurch Cathedral to be rebuilt

“More than six years after being destroyed in the deadly earthquake that struck Christchurch, the city’s iconic cathedral will be rebuilt by the Anglican Church in New Zealand. …”

– Report from ABC News.

The Christ Church Cathedral saga

“Lost track of what is going on in the Christ Church Cathedral saga? These 19 questions will get you up-to-date. …”

– Over in New Zealand, six years after the earthquake, the future of Christchurch Anglican Cathedral is still undecided.

This article helps to explain why it is taking so long for the situation to be resolved.

Photo: cardboardcathedral.org.nz.

FCANZ submission to Working Group

NZ SRTM derivedHere’s a media release from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand –

“we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese”

Media Release:

4 October 2016   

 The General Synod of our Church resolved in May to establish a Working Group to identify ‘possible structural arrangements within our Three-Tikanga Church to safeguard both theological convictions concerning the blessing of same gender relationships’. While the composition of this Working Group is yet to be named, suggestions of structural arrangements were to be in the hands of the Working Party by 1st October.  

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand was pleased to make a submission. Regretfully, we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese.  

Such a diocese will be distinct from the current ecclesiastical structures of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and will be authentically Anglican.  A number of extra-provincial dioceses exist globally, and are all recognised as being genuine expressions of Anglicanism.  The existence of two ecclesiastical structures within the same geographic location has occurred in Europe for a number of years and provides a model for a similar overlapping within these islands.  

Either theological conviction could make use of an extra-provincial diocese, and the FCANZ submission suggests that whoever adopts this structure retains their current assets and resources.  Most significantly, the formation of such a structure will ensure that both theological convictions can be held with integrity, and that no one will be required to teach doctrine, or submit to authority, which differs from their theological conviction on the issue of blessing same-gendered relationships.

See a copy of the submission here. [ends]”

(Note: the PDF file linked above may download to your Downloads folder, rather than open in your browser.)

NZ Anglican Synod ‘fails to approve gay marriages’

nz-bishops“Gay Anglicans are reacting with a mix of fury and resignation after the Anglican Synod today failed to approve the blessing of gay marriages. …

This week’s synod voted to set up yet another working party to report back on the issue at the next synod in 2018…”

– Report from The NZ Herald.

See also this report from Anglican Taonga:

“The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has tabled the ‘A Way Forward’ report on blessings of same-sex couples until General Synod 2018, ‘with a firm expectation that a decision to move forward will be made’ at that time.

Archbishop Brown Turei, Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Winston Halapua will appoint a working group to establish a structure that allows both those who can and cannot support the blessing of same-sex relationships to remain within the church with integrity.

‘We are aware of the considerable pain that this decision will cause to those most affected,’ said the three archbishops today.

‘But we are confident that our determination to work together across our differences will bring us to a place of dignity and justice for everyone.’

(Photo courtesy Anglican Taonga.)

NZ “Anglicans’ last-ditch bid to avoid split over gay marriage”

NZ SRTM derived“The Anglican Church is in yet another last-ditch effort to avoid a split over blessing gay marriages.

The Church’s two-yearly General Synod, meeting in Napier, yesterday failed to approve a contentious report from a working party which spent the past two years developing a proposed liturgy for “blessing” same-sex marriages — a compromise which stopped short of actually performing the marriages in a church.

Instead, another small working group has been set up to report back to the synod tomorrow on amendments that might somehow keep the Church together…”

– Report from the NZ Herald.

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