A safe harbour for faithful Anglicans — Anglican Network in Europe response to the Bishop of Oxford

Here’s a Press Release from The Anglican Network in Europe:

The recent publication by the Bishop of Oxford of a paper ‘Together in Love and Faith’, and the briefing to the Church Times after the College of Bishops’ meeting on ways forward after LLF (31 Oct – 2 Nov 2022), both indicate a situation that is causing widespread dismay: a majority of bishops apparently now claim that maintaining a biblical orthodox position on same-sex blessings or marriage “is not an option” for the Church of England.

In his essay, the Bishop of Oxford, while advocating the full acceptance of same sex marriage within the Church, proposes some sort of provision of an alternative structure of oversight for those unable to accept this radical innovation.

This has been welcomed by some who hold to the historic, biblical teaching on sex and marriage, who acknowledge that there is an irreconcilable division in terms of understanding of the Christian faith, but would like an orderly, negotiated separation to occur within the church. This would have to involve robust protections for biblically faithful ministers, together with their congregations and buildings, should the Church of England be led into accepting heterodox faith and practice.

However a growing number are increasingly uncomfortable with this proposal, as it would require an acquiescence to ‘plural truth’ within the denomination. It would require an acceptance of divergent and irreconcilable views within the same church on a matter about which the Bible is unequivocal. As one commentator has put it, a church with “two integrities” on a primary, gospel issue has no integrity.

When senior Bishops call publicly for the departure from the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, the universal witness of Christian tradition and the great majority of Anglicans worldwide, this is not a matter for polite negotiation, but requires a call for repentance, which if not heeded, must result in an immediate break in fellowship, and the establishment of a faithful jurisdiction under godly oversight committed to the authority of the word of God.

Such a body has already been established: The Anglican Network in Europe, with its constituent members the Anglican Convocation Europe and the Anglican Mission in England. It is the result of gracious provision by the majority of faithful Anglican leaders worldwide. It is a safe harbour and a genuine, authentic and authorised Anglican alternative to compromise and cultural capitulation. Why not look for your nearest ANiE church, or investigate starting a new one?

As Archbishop Foley Beach (Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chair of the Gafcon Primates’ Council) said at the Network consecrations in October 2022, “We are here to say ‘you are not alone’, and as representatives of the majority of Anglicans in the Anglican Communion, we recognise what the Lord is doing in this emerging province.”

ENDS

PDF download here.

New Anglican Bishops for England and Europe

“It was a great privilege to journey from Oxford to Yorkshire last Friday (21 October) to witness the consecration of two of our distinguished Wycliffe Hall alumni as new Anglican bishops. There was a buzz of excitement in the air at the inauguration of their new ministries, and exhilaration at the gospel bonds which draw together the global Anglican family.

In a variation to the usual liturgy, the new bishops were doffed on the head with a Bible and exhorted, “Remember that you are always under the Word of God.”

We weren’t gathered, however, in the Gothic glories of York Minster, but in a converted warehouse on an industrial estate in Hull, lent for the occasion by a local Vineyard church. This was not the Church of England, but a much younger ministry, the Anglican Network in Europe.

Global leaders in the Anglican Communion, associated with Gafcon, gave the consecration their full backing. … The platform was a wonderful global array.”

– At Psephizo, Andrew Atherstone shares his impressions of Friday night’s consecrations in Leeds, as well as giving some background to the Anglican Network in Europe and the Anglican Mission in England. He also has some suggestions for the future of ANiE and ACE.

Calls for Archbishop Welby to repent – with Foley Beach, James Wong and Andy Lines

From The Pastor’s Heart:

Claims today that the global leader of the Anglican Church is out of step with God.

The Primates of the Global Anglican Fellowship (GAFCON), meeting in Kigali Rwanda, have said that Archbishop Justin Welby has,

‘Departed from the authentic exercise of his office by normalising and praising those who have departed from biblical teaching and practice…and giving equal place to practices contrary to biblical norms, as Anglicans have received them.  We urge him to repent.’

And the Archbishop of Canterbury’s explanations are described as disingenuous if not duplicitous.

The Gafcon Primates statement comes on top of the statement from the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, which if anything, is even stronger.

The Global South Fellowship says,

‘Archbishop Welby’s first position is lamentable; his second is repugnant to our understanding of the authority and clarity of Holy Scripture. The notion of ‘pluriform’ truth is contrary to the Anglican Ordinal which binds duly consecrated bishops to be responsible for the guarding, teaching and imparting of divine truth in Holy Scripture.’

Archbishop Welby’s actions, which have provoked the criticisms, are his appointment of a new Dean of Canterbury (the lead minister of Canterbury Cathedral in the UK) of a man in a civil same sex partnership.

The Global South statement says,

‘It feels as if the present Archbishop of Canterbury has shut the door of the [Canterbury] Cathedral to orthodox bishops, clergy and members of the [Anglican] Communion.’ 

We are speaking today with:

Watch or listen here. A very sobering situation.

Consecration of new Assistant Bishops for the Anglican Network in Europe

Early this morning (22 October 2022), Australian time, Tim Davies, Lee McMunn and Ian Ferguson were consecrated as Assistant Bishops in the Anglican Network in Europe at a service in Hull in the UK.

The service was introduced by Bishop Andy Lines, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe.

Many international guests were present. Archbishop Foley Beach presided at the consecration. Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, Primate of Rwanda, preached and called his hearers to take Jesus’ command, The Great Commission, seriously.

Watch the full service here. Most encouraging.

‘Church of England spokesman’ responds to ‘inaccurate’ statements from GSFA and GAFCON

The Anglican Communion News Service has published an article purportedly correcting “inaccurate” statements from the Steering Committee of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches and the GAFCON Primates Council about the appointment of the new Dean of Canterbury Cathedral.

The unnamed spokesman claims the statements misunderstand –

• the nature of civil partnerships into which “some gay and lesbian English clergy have entered”, and

• the claim that the Archbishop of Canterbury has no “authority to discipline or exclude a church of the Anglican Communion” – even though the Archbishop chose to invite to the Lambeth Conference bishops in same-sex marriages.

Read the full article here.

Related:

Communiqué from the Steering Committee of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches – 17 October 2022.

Excerpt:

“We are deeply saddened, but not totally surprised. The present ABC’s action is part of the direction he had set in the recently concluded Lambeth Conference. There, he indicated that he is not willing for the office of ABC to be used to discipline member provinces in keeping to the Church’s teaching. He also indicated that he felt that the Communion should allow for ‘a plurality of views’ on what the Holy Scriptures teach [1]. Archbishop Welby’s first position is lamentable; his second is repugnant to our understanding of the authority and clarity of Holy Scripture. The notion of ‘pluriform’ truth is contrary to the Anglican Ordinal which binds duly consecrated bishops to be responsible for the guarding, teaching and imparting of divine truth in Holy Scripture.

It saddens us that in this recent appointment of the Deanery of Canterbury, the ABC shows yet again, that his oft-expressed assurance that Lambeth 1.10 remains ‘the official teaching of the Church’ is merely lip-service [2]. If it is the official teaching of the Church, then it ought to be followed through in the ‘faith & order’ of all Provinces. The appointment of a person in same-sex civil partnership to a senior clerical position clearly contravenes the spirit of Lambeth 1.10, which not only rejects ‘homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture’, but goes on to declare that the Lambeth Conference of 1998 ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions.’

The GSFA Churches are committed to upholding Lambeth 1.10 in its entirety. This means that while we hold fully to the moral teaching of Scripture expressed in 1.10 , we also commit ourselves to “assure homosexual persons that they are loved by God and … that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation , are full members of the Body of Christ.” We heed the words of Jesus to all sinners: “Repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15).

It is in our Christian faith to love a person for who he or she is, regardless of the person’s sexual orientation. But this love for the person is always in the context of honouring and obeying God’s revealed Word. The first cannot be at the expense of the second. Indeed, to love a person is to help usher the person, by our word and deeds, into the life-transforming power of the Gospel as revealed in Holy scripture. That, as GSFA understands it, is the unchanging mission of the Church.

So, we take exception to the Church of England’s accommodation of a person in a same-sex union being appointed to an office of spiritual authority over the flock of God’s people.

Looking back, perhaps the rot in upholding biblical doctrine on this matter had set in with the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop in the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 in TEC. The rot has since spread through the woodwork of the Communion, and this recent appointment is foreboding because the rot is now blatantly visible in the Communion’s ‘mother church’ under the guise of love, tolerance and human rights.

As GSFA Churches, we believe in the mutual accountability of Anglican provinces to one another, and that we are duty-bound to God to admonish (‘warn with tears’) one another not to compromise ‘the faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) . We shall therefore be writing a personal letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops in the Church of England on the seriousness of this action.…”

Communiqué from the GAFCON Primates Council – 20 October 2022.

Excerpt:

“The original GAFCON in Jerusalem in 2008 was born out of the tragic cost that has come from Provinces that have departed from clear biblical teaching and established historic Anglican Formularies that were unquestioned until recent years. Those departures continue and are even spreading. We were deeply grieved by the recent appointment of a man who lives in a same-sex civil partnership as Dean of Canterbury Cathedral. It is a heartbreaking provocation that such a departure from biblical standards would be thrust upon the Communion in the historic See of Canterbury and in opposition to the established teaching and practice of the majority of Anglicans.

The announcement from the Archbishop of Canterbury distanced himself from this appointment, as it was the recommendation of a Selection Panel, requiring the Queen’s approval. Yet it is difficult to see how a Diocesan Bishop, let alone the Archbishop of Canterbury, could not influence the appointment of the Dean of his own Cathedral, especially given the published process for the Appointment of Deans. Moreover, filling this position was the responsibility of Mr Stephen Knott, the Archbishop’s Secretary for Appointments, who is himself in a same-sex marriage. It is disingenuous, if not duplicitous, for the Archbishop to claim that the Church of England has not changed its doctrine of marriage …”

Mark 7:1-23 – ESV.

Image: Anglican Communion News Service web banner.

GAFCON Primates Council Communiqué: Welby’s Language “Disingenuous, if not Duplicitous”

From David Ould:

The GAFCON Primates Council have issued a communiqué with very strong language challenging Welby’s statement over the appointment of the new Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, a man living in a same-sex relationship. They write,

The announcement from the Archbishop of Canterbury distanced himself from this appointment, as it was the recommendation of a Selection Panel, requiring the Queen’s approval. Yet it is difficult to see how a Diocesan Bishop, let alone the Archbishop of Canterbury, could not influence the appointment of the Dean of his own Cathedral, especially given the published process for the Appointment of Deans.

Moreover, filling this position was the responsibility of Mr Stephen Knott, the Archbishop’s Secretary for Appointments, who is himself in a same-sex marriage. It is disingenuous, if not duplicitous, for the Archbishop to claim that the Church of England has not changed its doctrine of marriage, when he has engaged an Appointments Secretary, whose own union is a living contradiction of marriage as God has ordained it, and which the Church of England claims to uphold. …

Read the full communiqué.

Gafcon Primates’ Council meets in Kigali

Prayer point from GAFCON:

“The Gafcon Primates’ Council meets in Kigali Rwanda today for three days.

Pray for warm fellowship, encouragement in gospel partnership, and for the Lord’s help as they work through a busy agenda.”

New bishops for the Anglican Network in Europe

Here’s an announcement from GAFCON (via e-mail):

It is with great joy that we announce the appointment of two new bishops for the Anglican Convocation in Europe. Ian Ferguson and Stuart Bell will serve as Assistant Bishops under the leadership of Bishop Andy Lines.

Bishop Andy’s appointments were affirmed by the ACE Synod on 4th October after a thorough process of references, conversations and interviews.

Together with Bishop Andy, Ian and Stuart will seek to provide support and encouragement, oversight and accountability to the ACE ministers and congregations, enabling and assisting them to ‘proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations’ of Europe.

Bishop Andy writes: “I am passionate to see the peoples of this great continent have the opportunity to hear of the biblical Christ and to see lives transformed by him. Ian and Stuart share this concern and have already been demonstrably used by the Lord to this end. I look forward to seeing what more the Lord will do with and through them.”

Ian Ferguson was converted through the ministry of St Silas’ Glasgow. Married to Heather, he trained for ordination at Oak Hill Theological College under Maurice Wood and his ministry in Scotland involved pioneering and leading a new church plant in Westhill, Aberdeen for over 30 years which has, in God’s goodness, enjoyed significant growth. Despite the ‘success’ of Westhill, Ian has faced many difficulties along the way. This has particularly equipped him to empathise with and help those who are struggling in ministry.

Bishop Andy writes: “I am excited that Ian has agreed to serve in this way. His and Heather’s knowledge of Scotland and the Scottish Anglican scene will help me care for the Scottish Anglicans who look to me but I expect his long experience and wisdom to help me far more broadly than that geographical dimension. Indeed Ian has already been helping others struggling a long way from Scotland.”

Ian will be consecrated on Friday 21 October in Hull, along with 2 new assistant Bishops for the Anglican Mission in England, Lee McMunn & Tim Davies.

Stuart Bell is originally from Devon, but along with his wife Pru, was called to serve the gospel in Wales. Under his leadership St Michael’s Aberystwyth became the largest Anglican church in the principality and from where over 50 people have gone on to ordained Anglican ministry.

Now leading Fellowship 345, Stuart says, “For more than half a century I have been concerned to bring Christ to the people of Wales and the people of Wales to Christ. I am primarily a preacher / teacher with a strong evangelistic focus. My eyes are constantly searching for the people in the congregation who have not yet embraced the Gospel in its fullness. This is true of my relationships pastorally with members of our church as well as those which have been established in our local neighbourhood.”

Bishop Andy writes: “I am delighted that Stuart, with his wife Pru, have agreed to help me care for Anglican churches in Wales. Their long and distinguished service and their recognised knowledge of Welsh culture and language will be invaluable as I seek to serve the orthodox Anglican witness in the country. Stuart’s evangelistic focus is an added gift, as is the wisdom the Lord has given him in both difficult and good times.”

Stuart’s previous commitment to serving at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem this autumn means his consecration will be delayed until sometime in 2023.

Photo: Ian Ferguson (left) and Stuart Bell.

GAFCON UK on the Church of England teaching on sexuality, relationships and marriage

“Two new reports have been released in September as a follow-on to the Living in Love and Faith process. …

This process appears to be leading in the same direction as the Lambeth Conference’s ‘Call to Human Dignity‘. The conference leaders attempted to affirm two mutually contradictory views on sexuality and more broadly, on how the bible functions in the life of the church. Scottish and Welsh Bishops have followed this path – will English bishops do the same? Much prayer is needed!”

GAFCON GB & Europe has brief news items on LLF, the just concluded ReNew Conference, and planning for GAFCON 4 in Kigali.

Archbishop Foley Beach’s tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

As Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference Primates Council (Gafcon) and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, I join with Anglicans across the world in praying for the royal family at this most difficult time.? …

Read it all at the GAFCON website.

GAFCON Chairman reminds Justin Welby why the Diocese of the Southern Cross is needed

After the creation of the Diocese of the Southern Cross last month, Archbishop Foley Beach wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to clarify what was happening.

His letter has now been published by the Anglican Church in North America (PDF file):

“Your Grace,

Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord!

I assume that you have heard by now of the creation of the Gafcon extra-provincial diocese in Australia called the Diocese of the Southern Cross, and Archbishop Glenn Davies’ appointment as the bishop. I am writing to remind you that this action is not done because of rebellion or defiance, but out of a genuine pastoral concern and care for the clergy and congregations whose consciences will not allow them to go along with the unbiblical and immoral practices allowed and encouraged by bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia. As Archbishop Rowan Williams encouraged a structure in North America so “we can keep these fellow Anglicans in the fold,” we will continue to offer safe harbor for those in Provinces whose leaders walk away from the moral teaching of the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and our Anglican heritage.

Some may unfairly slander us as schismatics, but you know that in reality it is those who depart from the established teaching of the Church who are causing the division (Epistle of Jude 18, 19). I implore you to call us all to repentance and to return to the Apostles’ Teaching of the Bible.

In Christ Jesus,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chair, Gafcon Primates Council.”

New Missionary Bishops for the Anglican Network in Europe

From The Anglican Network in Europe:

“On October 21st the Anglican Network in Europe plans to celebrate the consecration of four new bishops. They will assist Bishop Andy Lines as he leads the growing alternative to Canterbury-aligned structures in Europe.

Over the past two years the Anglican Network in Europe, with its two constituent Convocations – the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE) and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) – have grown, with new congregations and mission initiatives being formed in Wales, Scotland, continental Europe and England. Individuals and families have found faith in Christ, and mature believers have found a hope and a home in historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional Anglicanism.

The clergy have also found proper support and encouragement, accountability and oversight from a highly relational model of episcopacy which includes opening the Bible and praying with the Bishop week by week.

In order to maintain this relational episcopacy and provide for continuing growth, both AMiE and ACE will have two additional bishops who will serve the wider Convocation in addition to their local pastoral responsibilities.

The names of the two AMiE bishops, Tim Davies and Lee McMunn, were announced in June. The two ACE bishops will be formally named shortly.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi, General Secretary of Gafcon, said: ‘The election and appointment of these servants of Christ is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit in the mission.’

The consecration service will take place in Hull on 21st October, led by Bishop Andy Lines and Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of the Gafcon Primates’ Council.”

– Source: Anglican Network in Europe.

False teaching revisionists caused the Australian Church schism – with Foley Beach, Glenn Davies, Richard Condie and Jennifer Hercott

On a special edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with

Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania and Chair of Gafcon Australia

Glenn Davies, Bishop of the new Anglican Southern Cross Diocese and Former Archbishop of Sydney

Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Chair of the Gafcon Primate’s Council

Jennifer Hercott, Member of Gafcon Australia Board and registrar of the Diocese of Central Queensland.

Watch or listen here. 30 minutes. (Main programme starts at 55 seconds.)


Related:

An open letter to the Archbishop of Brisbane – 11 July 2022.

Archbishop of Brisbane’s Presidential Address  – 25 June 2022 (PDF file).

Dr Robert Tong on the Appellate Tribunal Opinion – 12 November 2020.

Many posts relating to General Synod 2022.

The Line in the Sand: The Appellate Tribunal Opinion and the Future of the Anglican Church in Australia – Joint publication of The Australian Church record and The Anglican Church League.

The Line in the Sand Author Interview: Glenn Davies.

GAFCON leading the way

“A game of AFL is taking place on a local oval when a small group jump the fence and start kicking a round ball along the ground. The game stops. Players approach the group and ask them to desist.

They retort, ‘we’re also playing football’.

The players answer, ‘no, you’re playing a different game. Different ball, different shaped ground, different goals….if you’re interested, you can join us but first of all, get rid of the soccer ball’.

The group insist, ‘no, we are playing football. We can all play together at the same time.’ …

A significant announcement was made this week, one which may change the Church landscape in Australia. The decision is not so much about changing the game but is confirming that we will not change the game. GAFCON is responding to what is a tireless intrusion onto Christian Churches by certain bishops and leaders who are trying to change the Gospel beyond recognition. They are not playing the same game as Christians Churches, but something quite different.”

– Murray Campbell looks at why it was necessary to form the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

A new Anglican diocese, bishop and church in Australia

“The first congregation of the new Diocese of the Southern Cross started at Beenleigh in Brisbane last Sunday and the Diocese’s first bishop Glenn Davies will be appointed on Thursday.  …”

– The very latest news – from The Pastor’s Heart.

Related:

An open letter to the Archbishop of Brisbane – 11 July 2022.

Dr Robert Tong on the Appellate Tribunal Opinion – 12 November 2020.

Many posts relating to General Synod 2022.

The Line in the Sand: The Appellate Tribunal Opinion and the Future of the Anglican Church in Australia – Joint publication of The Australian Church record and The Anglican Church League.

The Line in the Sand Author Interview: Glenn Davies.

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