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.

FCANZ Opening Conference audio

jay-behanAudio files from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand’s opening conference have now been posted online.

In his closing address, FCANZ Chairman Jay Behan (pictured) reminds his hearers that human sexuality is not the gospel. However it is a gospel issue which must not be ignored.

Take the time to listen, and be urged to pray for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand as they seek godly wisdom for the days ahead.

(The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia meets in Napier 06–13 May 2016.)

‘FCANZ recognises WHCC as authentically Anglican’

fca-nz-boardHere’s an update from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ, who have now posted the media release we previously reported.

While the update on the FCANZ website doesn’t add to the headline, here’s some background on West Hamilton Community Church (WHCC).

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand launched with two conferences

NZ SRTM derived“Nearly 500 Anglicans from around New Zealand, including the Vicars of many larger churches, have met together this week at two conferences in Auckland and Christchurch to launch the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ (FCANZ). FCANZ is a local expression of the Gafcon movement, and a message of support was read out at the conferences from Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala, Chair of the Gafcon Primates.

Video greetings were also received from Most Rev Foley Beach (Primate of ACNA) and the Rt Rev Richard Condie (Bishop of Tasmania and Chair of FCA Australia).

Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s, Oxford) gave 4 talks on True Gospel, True Sex, True Love and True Unity, and was joined by Rev Canon David Short (Vancouver), Dr Peter Adam (Melbourne), Rev. Dr. Sarah Harris (Auckland) and others.

The formation of FCANZ has been in response to the passing of Motion 30 in 2014 and the subsequent release of the ‘A Way Forward’ Report, due to be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia next month. The report proposes the blessing of same-sex civil marriages thereby rendering them as “rightly-ordered” relationships opening up the possibility for those in them to be accepted as candidates for ordination.

Rev Jay Behan, Chair of FCANZ, said ‘This week has been a hugely significant moment for orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand. FCANZ is committed to promoting faithfulness and providing fellowship, and orthodox Anglicans now know that through the FCANZ there is a place for all orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand, whether they are inside or outside the current Anglican structures.

We continue to pray that General Synod will pull back from making a decision which will tear the fabric of the communion, undermining the allegiance to General Synod for many Anglicans in New Zealand.’

– Media release from FCANZ, via Anglican Mainstream.

Anglican Church of NZ report proposes rites for blessing same-sex marriages

New Zealand“The long-awaited report of the Way Forward Working Group has been released.

Today’s publication comes almost 18 months since the 13-member group began its work – and it proposes two new liturgies to be considered by May’s General Synod.

These liturgies have been designed to allow for the blessing of couples who have been married in a civil ceremony … [and] also create a pathway for the people in such relationships to become ordained.

Civil marriages between a man and a woman have long been recognised in law in both New Zealand and in those Pacific Island nations. In New Zealand’s case, of course, an amendment to marriage law came into effect in August 2013 – which allows same-sex couples to legally marry…”

– Report from Anglican Taonga.

Related:

Once were Anglicans (July 2014)

Statement from the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa:

“The bishops again discussed and worked over their draft Pastoral Guidelines in response to Civil Unions within the wider contexts of Marriage and Human Sexuality in readiness for decision at Provincial Synod. These reaffirm our assurance that all baptised‚ believing and faithful persons‚ regardless of sexual orientation‚ are full members of the Body of Christ. However‚ they they do not change our current policy‚ which is that the Province ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’ (Resolution 1:10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998).”

West Hamilton Parish and the wilderness

The Rev Michael Hewat“One of our harshest critics here, a former Diocesan Manager, opined in the Waikato Times that we have consigned ourselves to the religious wilderness.

I can’t help thinking that’s not a bad place to be…”

– The Rev. Michael Hewat, Pastor of West Hamilton Community Church, writes about his experience of being forced out of the Anglican Church of NZ. (PDF file)

Published back in March on the Latimer Fellowship website.

Related posts.

‘GAFCON in talks with New Zealand parish’

The Rev Michael Hewat“The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is in talks to offer alternative episcopal oversight to a breakaway New Zealand congregation, The Church of England Newspaper has learned…

A spokesman for the GAFCON secretariat in Sydney confirmed there had been “initial contact” with the parish leaders…”

– story from Anglican Ink. Please continue to pray for West Hamilton Community Church (as it is now called) and the Pastor, Michael Hewat. (Photo: Affirm.)

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