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.

Budget Considerations

Diocese of Armidale“With an election in the offing it is never surprising that the political rhetoric around the Budget indulges self-interest. While we might expect that, and while we are critiquing the Budget, should we not critique our self-interest and how we became so addicted to ourselves? Budget time seems like a great opportunity to consider our hedonistic materialism…”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers asks if we should ‘budget God back into our economy’.

‘The Bathurst Diocese decision and legal personality of churches’

bathurst-diocese-map“Today at the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Annual Conference (5 & 6 May, 2016) at the Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, Cardiff, Wales I presented a paper discussing a recent Australian case on the ‘legal personality’ of churches and how they are held accountable for debts. …

The abstract is as follows:

In the NSW Supreme Court decision of Anglican Development Fund Diocese of Bathurst v Palmer [2015] NSWSC 1856 (10 Dec 2015) (the Bathurst Diocese case), a single judge of the Court held that a large amount of money which had been lent to institutions in the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst, and guaranteed by a “Letter of Comfort” issued by the then Bishop of the Diocese, had to be repaid by the Bishop-in-Council, including if necessary by that body “promoting an ordinance to levy the necessary funds from the parishes”.

The lengthy judgment contains a number of interesting comments on the legal personality of church entities and may have long-term implications for unincorporated, mainstream denominations and their contractual and tortious liability to meet orders for payment of damages. The paper discusses the decision and some of those implications.”

Read Neil Foster’s post, and download the linked files, at Law & Religion Australia.

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.)

Keith and Sarah Condie to spearhead new mental health and pastoral care initiative

keith-and-sarah-condie“Dr Keith Condie, Dean of Students, and his wife, Sarah, have been appointed Directors of the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute with Anglican Deaconess Ministries…”

– News from Moore College.

Sydney Synod votes to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages

Sydney Synod“The Synod of the Diocese of Sydney has voted to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) to better meet the need for their services in the future.

Anglicare is celebrating its 160th anniversary, having been established as the The Sydney Church Society in 1856 by Bishop Barker. ARV was founded by Archbishop and Mrs Mowll in 1959 and has grown to be a significant force in aged care services.

But Archbishop Glenn Davies told a special synod called to consider a merger that the landscape of aged care in Australia has dramatically changed…”

– Full story from Russell Powell at

Here’s a media release from Anglicare: ARV and Anglicare Sydney merge to further expand services in the community.

‘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).

Moore College Open Events coming up in May

mtc-open-events-2016Here’s a good opportunity to learn about Moore College – especially if you are contemplating being better equipped for mission and ministry –

Open Night – Monday 2 May 7:15pm – 9:00pm.

Open Week – Monday 2 May – Friday 6 May.

Pakistan court grants bail to chief suspect in oven killings of Christian couple

pakistan“A Pakistani court has granted bail to the lead suspect in the brutal 2014 killings of a young Christian couple, burned alive in a brick kiln where they worked as bonded labourers, itself illegal in Pakistan…”

– This report from World Watch Monitor.

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.

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