ACL congratulates the Rev Gary Nelson on his election

The Anglican Church League congratulates the Rev Gary Nelson on his election as the seventh bishop of the diocese of North West Australia. Gary has been a godly and effective minister of the gospel in the diocese of Sydney since his ordination in 1983. Having served curacies in Seaforth and Dapto, he was rector of Panania for 17 years before he took on responsibility for the Department of External Studies at Moore College.   Read more

ACL tribute to John Stott

The President of the Anglican Church League, Dr. Mark Thompson, has paid this tribute to John R. W. Stott, who was called home to the Lord this morning:

John Stott was well known and well loved in Sydney. He visited Sydney many times. Some attribute very largely to his influence a transformation of preaching in Sydney churches in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mark writes:

“Christian men and women all over the world will be sad to hear of the death of John Stott, one of the leading evangelical voices of the twentieth century. A man of first class intellect, of personal integrity of the highest order, and of passionate commitment to Christ and so to the Scriptures, John Stott enthused and equipped generations of preachers to present the word of God clearly, insightfully, and memorably. His ministry at All Souls, Langham Place in London made it a beacon for evangelical Anglicanism throughout the world. His powerful written legacy of commentaries, expositions of biblical doctrines and perhaps especially his The Cross of Christ, will continue to bless Christian men and women for years to come. Basic Christianity and Your Confirmation were profoundly influential in the lives of countless new Christians. John Stott’s strategy in providing the means for training future evangelical leaders in the two thirds world has borne rich fruit.

Those who knew John Stott well speak of his warmth and generosity, his wit and his unswerving commitment to gospel priorities. He never failed to encourage young men and women to give their lives to the spread of the gospel and the edification of Christ’s people. Even in disagreement, he was never defensive, always courteous and unfailingly humble and gentle.

John Stott was well known and well loved in Sydney. He visited Sydney many times. Some attribute very largely to his influence a transformation of preaching in Sydney churches in the 1960s and 1970s. He was always an advocate and one of the world’s best exponents of expository preaching. He encouraged young men to preach the Bible and understand the world into which they were preaching the Bible. The Bible Speaks Today commentaries, which he edited for a period and to which he contributed quite a number of memorable volumes, continues to be a valuable resource for preachers.

I last spoke to John Stott a year ago. He was being cared for in a home for retired clergy south of London. He was lucid, gracious and as insightful as ever. His smile was disarming. He was aware of what was happening in the evangelical world and in the Anglican Communion. On that occasion he spoke warmly of the diocese and its current archbishop. In particular, he was encouraged by the leadership role Sydney was beginning to take in the international Anglican arena. Though his body was failing, his mind was active and his concern for biblical truth and the spread of the gospel of Christ undiminished.

We have great cause to thank God for this giant disciple of Christ who served his Lord and us for so long and so well. He has now been called home and we rejoice that he now rests from his labour in the presence of the Lord he loved. Sad though we are, at being parted from him, we look forward to the day when we will be united again with him in the presence of the Lord and have opportunity to testify to the way God used him to nourish the faith of so many by his own example as well as by his teaching. Few men have had the worldwide impact for the gospel that John Stott had during his lifetime. May God continue to use his legacy to advance the cause of Christ until He returns.”

(Photo: Langham Partnership International.)

Notice of the ACL’s 2011 AGM

For our members — please note:

The Annual General Meeting of the Anglican Church League will be held on Thursday 16th June 2011 at  6:00 pm at The Mission to Seafarers, 320-334 Sussex Street, Sydney.

More details closer to the date!

The ACL protests Katharine Jefferts Schori’s visit to Australia

The President of the Anglican Church League, the Rev Dr Mark Thompson, has issued this statement on behalf of the ACL’s Council:

We note with profound sadness that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, has been invited to preach in a Brisbane church in early July. This invitation shows an appalling lack of judgment and contempt for those who have suffered at the hands of the revisionists in The Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop has defied the vast majority of the Anglican Communion, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, by pursuing a program of moral and doctrinal revision, endorsing homosexual behaviour and approving the appointment of a lesbian bishop. Her actions have been taken in full awareness of the widespread international concern which has led to an official call for a moratorium on any such measures.

As recently as April 2010, the Statement issued at the end of the 4th Global South Encounter spoke of TEC’s ‘total disregard for the mind of the Communion’ and the way these churches ‘continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved’. The statement continued, ‘Such actions violate the integrity of the Gospel, the Communion and our Christian witness to the rest of the world’.

This alarming behaviour has been compounded by a virulent attack on Anglicans in America who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture. The Presiding Bishop has been responsible for pursuing, in the secular courts, those who oppose her program of revision, as her agents seek to remove orthodox clergy and take over the property of faithful, Bible-believing congregations.

Katherine Jefferts Schori bears a great deal of responsibility for the current turmoil, division and anguish in the Anglican Communion. It is entirely inappropriate that she should be welcomed into any diocese in the Anglican Church of Australia.

Faithful Anglicans throughout Australia will be offended by this decision. The Council of the ACL calls on Archbishop Aspinall to reconsider and rescind the invitation.

Mark Thompson
President, Anglican Church League,
on behalf of the ACL’s Council,
26 June 2010.

ACL message of support for Vancouver churches

“The Anglican Church League commends the leadership of the Anglican Network in Canada on its godly response to the  decision of the B.C. Supreme Court.

We remain committed to supporting the  faithful men and women of the four congregations (St John’s Shaughnessy, St Matthew’s Abbotsford, St Matthias & St Luke West 49th Vancouver, and Good Shepherd Church East 19th Vancouver) who have suffered over the past months and now face a measure of uncertainty about the future.

Throughout this ordeal it has been apparent to those who have been watching around the world that these four congregations are facing persecution for their steadfast resolve to remain true to the word of God. In this they have shown themselves to be faithful disciples of Christ and true heirs of the Anglican heritage of Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley and others. We have been encouraged by their graciousness amidst extraordinary provocation and by their refusal to surrender biblical principles for the sake of an illusory peace. With or without their buildings they are the blessed people of God who by their example are blessing others.

The ACL Council encourages all its members to continue in prayer for these four congregations, and in particular those who serve them in leadership, at this difficult time.

Mark D Thompson
ACL President.”

Related: Nov 25, 2009 letter from St. John’s Shaughnessy Leadership.

ACL 2009 AGM reminder — Thursday 16 July

ACL AGM 2009The Anglican Church League’s 2009 Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 16th July 2009 from 6:15pm to 7:00pm, following the monthly Council meeting.  Read more

Apostasy and deception: Statement on ACC-14 from the Anglican Church League

Rev Dr Mark ThompsonStatement on the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica, from the President of the Anglican Church League, Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson:

“We have once again been shown how firmly apostasy and deception is embedded in the international structures of Anglicanism. There is no hope for the future there.”

The reports from the 14th Anglican Consultative Council meeting being held in Jamaica make for depressing reading. ‘Assume incompetence rather than malevolence’, the old saying goes. That is becoming harder and harder to do, even for the optimists amongst us.

The intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury at crucial points to serve the interests of TEC and its presiding bishop and to thwart the attempts to bring real accountability to bear on those who have abandoned the teaching of Scripture and are pursuing the property of faithful Anglicans through the courts, undermines any suggestion that he is providing genuine leadership at this crucial time. The activities of other officials from the Anglican Communion Office were even more openly serving the revisionist agenda.

We have once again been shown how firmly apostasy and deception is embedded in the international structures of Anglicanism. There is no hope for the future there. Generous-hearted faithful Anglicans have been willing to keep trying for a resolution through those structures and once again they have been betrayed at the highest level. The goodwill of faithful men and women has been presumed upon and taken as a sign of weakness or a lack of resolve. We need to pray for those who have been so seriously disillusioned this week.

The future of the gospel mission does not ultimately depend upon the structures of Anglicanism, of course. God’s determination to save men and women will be realised. All over the world men and women are being brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ and confident Christian discipleship in the light of all that he has done. The 14th Anglican Consultative Council meeting is ultimately irrelevant. The prayerful proclamation of Christ and his gospel continues despite the political machinations in Jamaica.

Gospel-minded men and women are banding together in the midst of this Anglican chaos. It is not easy and there are certainly significant hurdles that will need to be negotiated in the future. However, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans that emerged out of GAFCON is all the more important in the light of recent events. The international chaos has touched the lives of local congregations in other parts of the world. If we do not stand together at this crucial time, that struggle will become the personal experience of more and more faithful Anglicans.

I encourage all members of the ACL to pray for wisdom for the GAFCON primates and for the leaders of our own diocese. Real leadership often means isolation. We need to pray that these faithful men will continue to be prayerful, humble and courageous, dependent upon God’s Spirit and submitting all their thoughts and decisions to the scrutiny of God’s word. The ancient enemy of the gospel will be hard at work to turn us against each other. We should pray that God himself would preserve our unity and give us that proper sense of proportion to know what matters and what does not.

Yet let us learn the lesson from this most recent meeting of the ACC. We cannot afford to pin our hopes on ecclesiastical structures or even on individual leaders. The hope for a vibrant, robust, faithful Anglican witness to the gospel of Christ in this century rests in God and his work to bring about genuine repentance and faith in the lives of men and women.

Mark D Thompson
ACL President
Sydney, 9th May 2009

Greetings from the Anglican Church League, Sydney, to the new Province of North America


1.   The ACL welcomes this new development while remaining deeply saddened by the circumstances which made it necessary. Faithful Anglicans have been marginalised within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada because of their determination to remain faithful to the Scriptures as expressed in the Creeds and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. We rejoice with these our brothers and sisters in this way forward out of the difficulties that have plagued them over the past five years and more.

2.   The Statement on the Global Anglican Future published in Jerusalem in June 2008 said ‘In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council.’  The ACL recognises the new Province of North America as fulfilling the vision of the GAFCON Primates’ Council.

3.   There can be no doubt about the authentic Anglican character of this new province. It contains Anglicans from a variety of traditions who, though different at significant points and committed to taking seriously those differences, share the same prior commitment to the supreme Lordship of Christ and the authority of the Scriptures in all matters of faith and life. They have proven themselves to be faithful men and women who embrace the classic Anglicanism of the Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, and more recently, the Jerusalem Declaration.

4.   It is a matter of profound regret that Lambeth 2008 and the other so-called Instruments of Communion (the Anglican Consultative Council, The Primates’ Meeting and the Archbishop of Canterbury) have failed to address the crisis with any urgency or meaningful action. Their delay has given further opportunity to those who are using all means possible to hinder the faithful gospel ministry of orthodox Anglican Christians in North America and beyond.

5.   We congratulate Bishop Bob Duncan on his election as Archbishop and Primate of the Province of North America. We pledge him and the members of the new Province our support and our prayers for the future. We call on all Anglicans around the world to join with us in these prayers and in congratulating the churches of North America for taking this bold but necessary step.

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever! (Rev. 5:13)

Mark D Thompson, President
Robert Tong, Chairman
On behalf of the Council of the Anglican Church League
3 December 2008

(ACL President, Dr. Mark Thompson, pictured.)

Anglican Church League President: Statement on GAFCON

Mark ThompsonACL President, Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson, has released this Statement about GAFCON:

“Nobody present last week in Jerusalem wanted to split the Anglican Communion. No one wanted to leave the Anglican Communion. All wanted to see a robust and authentic Anglicanism which could courageously play a part in God’s great mission of reaching out to lost men and women with the gospel of redemption in Christ.”

Full text —

I have just returned from the GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem. It was a time of rich fellowship, clear thinking and firm resolve. It was also a time of very deliberate dependence upon God. Authentic Anglican doctrine, grounded in the Scripture, reflected in the Thirty-nine Articles and joyfully embraced by the majority of the world’s practicing Anglicans, was once again on centre stage. The Lordship of Christ, who is the only Saviour of men and women, the supreme authority of the teaching of the Bible for Christian faith and life, and the urgency of mission in a world lost in rebellion against the living God, were all unambiguously proclaimed in fresh ways which encouraged God’s people and nourished faith. The Conference statement offered hope and order where time and again official Anglican pronouncements have only given further cause for disillusionment, confusion and disarray.

GAFCON has provided us with a way forward that is sober, serious and faces the realities of global Anglicanism in the twenty-first century. It has addressed directly the crisis brought about by various departures from biblical teaching and faithful Christian living in parts of the Communion and exascerbated by ineffective leadership. It has issued a call to biblical faithfulness and effective mission in the face of overwhelming need.

One further thing is beyond doubt. Nobody present last week in Jerusalem wanted to split the Anglican Communion. No one wanted to leave the Anglican Communion. All wanted to see a robust and authentic Anglicanism which could courageously play a part in God’s great mission of reaching out to lost men and women with the gospel of redemption in Christ. In the words of the Primates from almost six years ago now, the Communion has been ‘torn at the deepest level’ and we are now seeking God’s wisdom for how we are to live in the light of this new reality which is not of our making.

Gospel minded men and women all over the world will rejoice when they read this conference statement, just as the assembled crowed burst into spontaneous applause and rejoicing when it was first read to them last Sunday. Here at last is the leadership we have been praying for. The Primates who called this conference are passionate and biblically faithful. They are humble and bold at the same time. And they will not flinch when faced with the hostility of the revisionists, who continue to prosecute, depose and defame men and women who will not accept their false gospel.

We have much to thank God for as we reflect on the GAFCON and its outcome. Of course there will be opposition and it is likely to be intense. You cannot challenge such entrenched self-interest and it be otherwise. Yet there is every cause to hope and pray that many, many others will join with us in getting on with the most important job of all: testifying to God’s saving mercy in Jesus Christ and living transformed lives in the light of that good news. To that end I trust the GAFCON documents will be very useful indeed.

Mark Thompson
ACL President
1st July 2008.

← Previous Page