Time to move on past Canterbury and seek the renewal, revival and reform of the Anglican way — Archbishop Beach tells GAFCON IV

“GAFCON IV will not spend five days bemoaning the failures of the Church of England, but is focused on recalling the wider Anglican world to renewal, revival and reform, the chairman of GAFCON the Most Rev. Foley Beach indicated in his presidential address tonight. …”

– At Anglican.ink, George Conger shares his take on Archbishop Foley Beach’s address on the first night of GAFCON IV in Kigali.

The Challenge of, and the Challenge to, GAFCON

“As the fourth GAFCON conference begins today in Kigali, we are glad to publish the latest editorial from The Global Anglican, written by Peter Jensen, himself a former General Secretary of GAFCON.

This edition of The Global Anglican is due to be published at much the same time as the fourth Gafcon Conference is meeting in Kigali Rwanda.

In speaking of the challenge of Gafcon, I ought to indicate, of course, that I myself was present when the idea of Gafcon was born in December 2007 and helped organise the first Jerusalem Conference in June the next year. Following that I became the General Secretary of Gafcon, a position I held until 2018. Thus, I am no uncommitted bystander, although I am no longer present at the key policy-making decisions.

However, I can speak with some knowledge about the history and significance of the movement, and I want to discuss something of the challenge that Gafcon represents in the Anglican Communion and a particular challenge that Gafcon faces. …”

Read Peter’s full editorial at Church Society’s website.

Photo: Archbishop Kwashi with Archbishop Peter Jensen in Jerusalem in 2018.

Preview of the ‘Heart of Gafcon’ live broadcast — Starting Monday 17th April

GAFCON IV begins in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday. Here’s a brief preview.

We’ll have a link on our website to the broadcast for each day. Stay tuned!

60 Days of Prayer for the Church

Church Society in the UK has been promoting “Sixty Days of Prayer for the Church“.

“Church Society is calling us to 60 days of prayer for the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion. The Church of England is teetering on the precipice of grave doctrinal error and pastoral disaster. The potential implications will be felt across the Anglican Communion, with many provinces having already made it clear that they cannot continue in fellowship with the Church of England. The situation is extremely serious, and what we most need is to call on the Lord.

For several years, at Church Society, we have made weekday posts throughout Lent on a number of theological, biblical and pastoral themes.

This year, however, it seemed appropriate to use this time to call the church to prayer. The collects of the Anglican church are intended to gather up the thoughts of the people into short, clear prayers, and so we will be using these as the basis for our prayers.

Each day we will be posting a selected collect along with some thoughts about its significance for the contemporary church, and we hope that these will prompt your own prayers.

The sixty days begin on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd, and finish at the end of the GAFCON meeting in Kigali, on April 21st.

Please join us for this important season of prayer.”

It’s not too late to join in prayer. You can see each of the daily posts at the Church Society website.

Today’s post: Withstand the world, the flesh and the devil, by Sandy Grant, is a reflection on the collect for the eighteenth Sunday after Trinity –

“Almighty God,
grant your people grace
to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.”

and Stephen Tong wrote this post on the collect for the fifteenth Sunday after Trinity.

Stephen Noll: The Next Step — Formation of a New Communion of Churches

Dr Stephen Noll has concluded his series of 14 Theses suggesting ways forward for Biblically faithful Anglicans –

“These Fourteen Theses represent an attempt to sketch a providential history of global Anglicanism over the past twenty-five years. …

These Theses describe an ‘Ebenezer moment’ for the Anglican Communion and propose a critical next step: a costly but necessary separation from the Church of England as the mother church and from the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a focus of Anglican unity. In truth, this separation has been happening since 1998, as Global Anglicans have begun charting their own way forward.

Any genuine reform of the Church involves a threefold cord: renewal of faith and mission; reform of doctrine, discipline, and worship; and reordering of church polity at the local, regional and international levels. …”

Read Theses 11 to 14 here.

GAFCON press release 9th March 2023

Press release, 09 March 2023

“Many Anglicans across the world are deeply distressed by the Church of England’s recent decision to separate from the historic faith through the creation and implementation of prayers of blessing for same-sex marriages.

Several churches and Provinces within the Anglican Communion are considering their future with respect to the Church of England. The Primates of The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (who represent the majority of the world’s worshipping Anglicans) have already declared that they are in impaired communion with the Church of England and said that they do not recognise the present Archbishop of Canterbury as the “first among equals” leader of the global Anglican Communion.

The Gafcon Movement is a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to proclaim the unchanging truth of the Bible in a changing world, and to support those who wish to remain Anglican but feel they are no longer able to sit under the authority of their Bishop or Diocese.

On 20 February 2023 the Gafcon Primates endorsed the statement released by the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans pointing to Paragraph 13 of the Jerusalem Declaration (2008) which says: ‘We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed’.

In a number of countries around the world (including Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, the United States, and Wales), Gafcon has supported the establishment of alternative episcopal oversight for those Anglicans who in good conscience cannot remain part of their provincial Anglican Church.

Presently, the Gafcon Primates are meeting regularly with the Primates of The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches and other Orthodox Primates across the world to discern the path forward. The outcome of these meetings will affect the majority of the 85 million Anglicans worldwide.

Gafcon will not be commenting on the content of these meetings while they are ongoing but will be releasing a statement at the end of the upcoming GAFCON IV Conference to be held from 17-21 April in Kigali, Rwanda.”

‘Catastrophic” — Dr Lee Gatiss on the Global South’s rebuke of the Church of England

Church Society Director Lee Gatiss is interviewed by Dave Piper for Trans World Radio about the Global South’s rejection of the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Lee argues this has left the majority of Anglicans worldwide aghast.

He says vicars will essentially be left to decide doctrine themselves – and could get it in the neck if they go against society’s views on marriage and sexual relationships. And he warns some parishes and dioceses could break away and seek oversight from outside of the UK.”

Watch here. 8 minutes.

Church of England departs historic Christian faith – with Archbishop Justin Badi

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“12 Primates of the Global South Provinces have issued a statement saying ‘The Church of England has departed from the historic faith, passed down from the Apostles.’

The Primates – who are all national leaders within the denomination – say that the Church of England has disqualified herself from leading the Anglican Communion.

They say the Church of England has chosen to break communion with those provinces who remain faithful to the historic biblical faith.

The Chair of Global South, Archbishop Justin Badi of South Sudan, says they are withdrawing support for Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who has led his House of Bishops to make recommendations that run contrary to the faith & order of the orthodox provinces in the communion.”

Watch or listen here.

Grieving the Anglican Communion: English Primacy and the Anglican Consultative Council

“After the high drama of the Church of England’s General Synod, we had one day to wash and repack before flying to Ghana for the eighteenth plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-18), hosted by the Province of West Africa.

It was like being evacuated from the battlefield to a temporary sanctuary, where the artillery bombardment is hushed, wounds can be bandaged, and the foot soldiers of rival armies lay down their weapons for mutual refreshment and embrace. Eight days of Anglican bliss, while all around us the Communion implodes. …

The Anglican Communion has been in choppy seas for several decades, but the bishops of the Church of England are now driving it directly towards the rocks. If they do not change course, then what can be salvaged from the imminent wreckage? At the ACC we worked gallantly, with cheerful smiles, trying to believe it was ‘business as normal’, but all the time aware that the epoch-changing statement from the primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) would be waiting for us when we returned home.”

– At Psephizo, Andrew Atherstone reflects on the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council last week and the seismic shift taking place in the Anglican Communion.

He points out,

“Global South provinces have now seized the initiative to establish firebreaks between themselves and the Church of England. Emergency action is needed, if the riches of the Anglican Communion are not to be squandered forever.”

Andrew Atherton is Latimer Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and biographer of Justin Welby.

Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia responds to Church of England General Synod

THE PROVINCE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN SOUTH EAST ASIA

 18th February 2023

PASTORAL LETTER

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

The General Synod of the Church of England recently passed a motion permitting their priests to conduct blessings for same-sex civil unions. Understandably, many members of our Province are troubled by this development and wish to seek clarification regarding its implications for us.

We are deeply disappointed by the Church of England’s decision and unequivocally state that the blessing of same-sex unions has no biblical ground whatsoever, since Scripture teaches unambiguously that marriage is between one man and one woman. The Church of England has said that their doctrine of marriage remains unchanged. Be that as it may, in the Anglican understanding the words used in a church service, whether they are part of the liturgy or are prayers for persons, must be faithful to Scripture. The provision of a form of words for such blessings violates this key theological principle.

Although we cannot condone the decision made by the Church of England, we affirm that God loves persons of all sexual orientations, and we resolve to do likewise. We cannot approve of relationship choices that Scripture clearly forbids, but we will care for and journey with such persons, praying that the Lord will enable them to live in obedience to His Word.

Since Anglican provinces are autonomous and do not come under the authority of the Church of England, the latter’s decision will not change our position and practice. As a Province, we will remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture. We also reaffirm our commitment to the Anglican Formularies  the Thirty-nine Articles, the Ordinal, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Books of Homilies – while noting that they do not grant any concession for the blessing of same-sex unions.

Despite our grave reservations regarding the Church of England’s decision, we believe that the unity of the Anglican communion should not be lightly abandoned. Hence, we will remain in communion with the Church of England while praying fervently for her and speaking boldly for God’s truth. May His purpose prevail.

With every blessing In Christ,

The Most Reverend Datuk Melter Jiki Tais
(Primate of the Anglican Church In South East Asia, Bishop of Sabah)

The Right Reverend Datuk Danald Jute
(Bishop of Kuching)

The Right Reverend Dr Titus Chung Khiam Boon
(Bishop of Singapore)

The Right Reverend Dr Steven Abbarow
(Bishop of West Malaysia)

Text via Anglican Mainstream. Photo: St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore.

Bishop Alfred Olwa on what the Anglican Communion needs

From The American Anglican Council:

“During his trip to Uganda to be with the leaders of the Church of Uganda, Canon Phil [Ashey] got to sit down with Bishop Alfred Olwa about the work of Gospel ministry in Uganda, the Global Communion and the fighting against false teaching, and how to move forward in faith for the sake of the world.”

The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey speaks with Bishop Alfred Olwa.

He expresses hopes for closer fellowship between GAFCON and the Global South and is looking forward to GAFCON IV in Kigali. (Bishop Olwa is well-known by many in Sydney after his time at Moore Theological College.)

Image: Bishop Olwa speaking at GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem.

What next for the Anglican Communion & Church of England – with Dr Peter Jensen

In this week’s The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with Dr Peter Jensen, former General Secretary of the GAFCON movement and former Archbishop of Sydney.

There is deep sadness over what has happened.

“This has been, and is, the decisive moment,” he says.

Watch or listen here.

Mentioned in the conversation is the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Acra, Ghana. Here are videos of

  1. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Presidential Address.
  2. The opening Press Conference.

Welby proposes pulling Canterbury out of Anglican instruments of communion

“The Archbishop of Canterbury will surrender his authority as first among equals among the primates of the Anglican Communion in light of the General Synod of the Church of England’s adoption of gay blessings.

Speaking to the opening ceremony of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Accra, Ghana on 12 February 2023, the Most Rev. Justin Welby stated ‘I will not cling to place or position as an Instrument of Communion.’

His concession comes the day before 12 of the primates affiliated with the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans meet to offer a united response to last week’s vote in General Synod. The decision to introduce same-sex blessings, without seeking a Scriptural or theological foundation for the decision, or respecting the church’s agreements with other Anglican provinces has prompted the largest provinces: Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya to break fellowship. …”

– Is the Archbishop of Canterbury offering to jump before he is pushed? George Conger has this report at Anglican.ink.

Photo credit: Jaqui J Sze, Archbishop of Canterbury’s office.

“As for me and the Church of Uganda, we will serve the Lord.”

“There is a lot of sexual sin in Uganda. I know that, and you know that. Nevertheless, we haven’t changed our message. Our message is the message of the Bible, which is, ‘Go, and sin no more.’

The Church of England, on the other hand, has now departed from the Bible and their new message is the opposite message of the Bible. They are now saying, ‘Go, and sin some more.’

They are even offering to bless that sin. …

We now want to ask the Church of England, ‘Do you have the integrity to step out of the Anglican Communion because you have departed from the Anglican faith?’ God called you to preach a Gospel of repentance and faith. Instead, you’re like Jonah. You have disobeyed and are running in the opposite direction.

God called the church to go to Nineveh and preach repentance, but the Church of England is running to Tarshish and preaching acceptance of sin. There is no way we are walking together.”

Archbishop of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, responds to those week’s Church of England General Synod vote.

Gafcon Press Release in response to Church of England General Synod Vote

Archbishop Foley Beach, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, has strong words about the leadership of the Church of England:

“It is time for the Primate of All England to step down from his role as ‘first among equals’ in leading the Anglican Communion. It is now time for the Primates of the Anglican Communion to choose for themselves their “first among equals” rather than having a secular government of only one nation appoint our leader. We are no longer colonies of Great Britain.”

Full statement below:

10 February 2023

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the Name of God our Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessings to you as you behold the beauty of the Lord and his immense truth and grace on display through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul so eloquently writes, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”’ (Rom 1:16-17).

The decision taken today by the General Synod of the Church of England and the explanations given are clear indications that the Church of England is moving a step at a time to fully accept the practice of homosexuality as part of the life and practice of the English Church. To some of us who have been hoping that the Church would remain with her distinctive identity from those who don’t believe the teaching of Scripture, this hope is diminishing.

We have lived through this with other Western Anglican Provinces that continually wavered on the ‘faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) and now outright deny the doctrine of biblical anthropology regarding gender identity and moral behavior. Those in the secular press and culture will argue that these are matters of justice, but God’s justice can never contradict God’s righteousness, and we know these changes attack the very core of biblical authority. Have the Scriptures been clear on human sexuality through the centuries? Yes, they have. The majority of Anglicans around the world have concluded the same. And yet, now, the Church of England has authorized the blessing of sin and declared that sin is no longer sin.

From Lambeth Conference 1998 (and its overwhelming endorsement of Resolution I:10), following the Kuala Lumpur Statement in 1997, to Dar Es Salaam in 2007, to the Jerusalem Declaration at GAFCON 2008, to the Nairobi Communique at GAFCON II 2013, and the Letter to the Churches at GAFCON III 2018, we have remained resolute in speaking both the truth of Christian witness on matters of practice and ethics and calling the Anglican Communion Establishment to repent and return to the teaching of Scripture and the historical teaching of the Church.

This decision by the Church of England raises questions regarding the relationship of Anglican Provinces around the world with the Church of England and the continued role of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Gafcon provinces and other Global South provinces are already in impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church of Brazil, The Scottish Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and the Church in Wales. We shall now have to make a decision about the Church of England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has abrogated his fiduciary responsibility and violated his consecration vows to “banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word” with his advocating this change in the Church of England. He is shredding the last remaining fragile fabric of the Anglican Communion. It is time for the Primate of All England to step down from his role as “first among equals” in leading the Anglican Communion. It is now time for the Primates of the Anglican Communion to choose for themselves their “first among equals” rather than having a secular government of only one nation appoint our leader. We are no longer colonies of Great Britain.

In 2017 the Gafcon Primates (representing more than 60 Million Anglicans worldwide) authorized the creation of a new mission into England because unbiblical practices had already been occurring in many dioceses of the Church of England. Many faithful Anglicans could no longer serve under bishops who had departed from the teaching of Scripture. We consecrated the Rev. Andy Lines to be its first Missionary Bishop, and have since constituted the Anglican Network in Europe. Last year the GAFCON Primates consecrated the Rev. Lee McMunn, the Rev. Tim Davies and the Rev. Ian Ferguson, to assist in the growing work in the United Kingdom. The Rev. Stuart Bell will be consecrated in March. We believe the Lord is raising up a biblical alternative for the Christian faithful in Great Britain.

Many in the Church of England have made faithful and courageous speeches upholding biblical teaching. We thank God for them and acknowledge their faithfulness to the Gospel, and our ongoing fellowship with and support for them. For those who are feeling alone and vulnerable during this time, please be assured of the fervent prayers of your brothers and sisters around the world. You are not alone. And you do not have to endure this alone. The Lord will guide you as you honor him and seek to follow His will.

In April the Gafcon Primates will be hosting over 1,100 participants in GAFCON IV in Kigali, Rwanda. In collaboration with the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA), we shall have more to say and do about these matters. Please come, and we’ll make room at the table for you.

On behalf of the Gafcon Primates, I am
Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chair of the Gafcon Primates Council

Download PDF version here.

← Previous PageNext Page →