Rejoicing to be safe harbour — ANiE response and endorsement of the 2023 Kigali Commitment

Here’s a statement from Bishop Andy Lines, Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe:

Rejoicing to be safe harbour
ANiE response and endorsement of the 2023 Kigali Commitment

36 delegates from the Anglican Network in Europe, representing both dioceses (The Anglican Convocation in Europe and The Anglican Mission in England) attended Gafcon IV in Kigali, Rwanda.

There was much reason to rejoice and mourn.

Rejoicing in the sufficiency and supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ and his transforming grace, we found great unity in Jesus and partnership with brothers and sisters around the world in proclaiming his word. It has been a significant and memorable experience for us to be part of this momentous gathering. It has been marked by faithful and compelling expositions of scripture, prayerful and heartfelt repentance in personal response, as well as deep concern for the needs of the world. We have been thrilled at the connections made for on-going global partnership as together we ‘proclaim the unchanging truth to a changing world’.

It was a great grief, deep sadness, and with broken hearts that the conference discussed the current crisis in the Anglican Communion. Strong words were used of the ‘betrayal’ and ‘failure’ of the Canterbury-aligned structures to uphold the word of God and banish error. It was with enormous sorrow that we had to conclude the Archbishop of Canterbury and others have ‘abdicated their right to lead’ and their position is now ‘entirely indefensible’. We have rightly mourned.

But we rejoice, therefore, in God’s provision of Gafcon and the ongoing recognition of the Anglican Network in Europe as an ‘orthodox jurisdiction’ and a ‘safe harbour for faithful Anglicans’. We stand with those who are ‘compelled to resist’ within the Church of England, as well as those contending for orthodox Anglicanism within other Canterbury-aligned structures. We welcome Gafcon’s commitment, in partnership with the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans for the resetting and reordering of the Communion and we look forward to playing our part to the glory of God.

We fully endorse the Kigali Commitment.

Bishop Andy Lines
Presiding Bishop

GAFCON Media Release – 21 April 2023 – Statement Committee

Friday 21 April 2023

On Friday 21 April, the GAFCON IV Conference Statement was released. The Conference Statement is a summary of what the Conference wants to say to the world and the Anglican Communion. It is a feature of every GAFCON Conference.

The Conference Committee did not work on the substance of the Statement prior to the Conference. It has always been the desire of the Gafcon Primates that the Statement arise out of the Conference.

On Monday 17 April the Conference Statement Committee met to work on the Statement Framework – ideas of things that could be included in the Statement. The Statement Framework, written in English, was then translated into four other languages – French, Portuguese, Spanish and Swahili.

The Statement Framework was made available to the delegates on Tuesday 18 April via an online survey. The online tool enabled delegates to indicate which ideas they agreed ought to be included in the Statement, and to provide written feedback on areas they felt ought to be included that were omitted. In addition, on Tuesday afternoon in the Clergy and Lay Meeting, delegates were led in a discussion of the challenges facing the church and their hopes for the Anglican Communion.

Feedback on these hopes and challenges was delivered to the Statement Committee on Tuesday evening. The group reviewed the feedback and updated the Statement Framework. Further input was given by a number of the Gafcon Primates.

The Draft Statement was read to all the delegates at 4pm on Wednesday 19 April, and then delegates worked in Provincial Groups to review the Draft Statement and provide further comment. Approximately 600 suggested edits were reviewed by the committee overnight on Wednesday, and feedback incorporated into the Draft Statement.

The Chairman of the Statement Committee met with the Primates on Thursday to review the Statement and further edits were made.

A final Statement was prepared on Thursday afternoon and evening, in preparation for presentation to the Conference on Friday.

Members of the Conference Statement Committee:

Chair – Rt Rev Dr Michael Stead – Australia
Ven Kara Hartley – Australia
Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson – Australia
Rev Anne Kennedy – Anglican Church in North America
Rt Rev Sammy Morrison – Chile
Rev Tim Anderson – Ireland
Rev Andrew Symes – Anglican Network in Europe
Rt Rev Dapo Asaju – Nigeria
Rev Canon Dr John Senyonyi – Uganda
Rt Rev Alfred Olwa – Uganda

Mrs Felicity Stead – Secretary
Rev Nigel Fortescue – Secretary


Source: GAFCON.

Resetting the Communion ‘urgent’ says GAFCON IV

“After a five-day meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the 1300 clergy and lay delegates to the fourth Global Anglican Future Conference have agreed on a statement calling for an ‘urgent resetting’ of the Anglican communion.

The largest gathering of Anglicans since GAFCON III in Jerusalem five years ago had to grapple with the fallout from the Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex couples. …”

– Russell Powell has this report on the Kigali Commitment and its implications.

The Kigali Commitment — GAFCON IV Conference Statement — resetting the Anglican Communion on its biblical foundations.

The Kigali Commitment –

Released on the final day of GAFCON IV, 21 April 2023

PDF version here. Or full text below:

(Also available in Swahili, French, Spanish and Portuguese.)

Read more

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel speaks with Jennifer Hercott at GAFCON IV

In this clip from GAFCON media, Jennifer Hercott from the Diocese of Rockhampton speaks with Archbishop Kanishka Raffel after his Thursday morning address.

She also speaks with Bishop Bill Atwood and Rico Tice. Rico has strong words for the Bishops of the Church of England.

Glenn Davies interviewed at GAFCON IV

At the start of GAFCON IV, Jodie McNeill spoke with Bishop Glenn Davies – on GAFCON and also the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

GAFCON IV – Day 4, Thursday, highlights

With thanks to GAFCON Media. Direct link.

GAFCON Day 4: Remarkable Repentance

The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey continues his encouraging reports from Kigali.

Here, he discusses Thursday’s events. The final day of GAFCON IV begins this evening, Australian time.

“The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16-17) and, therefore, it is worth paying whatever cost to stand up for and share this power-of-God Gospel with the world. Along the way, we need to ask ourselves about this cost. What lessons can we learn from the Church of Uganda, and others, about breaking Communion with Anglican Churches that will not uphold the Gospel? What is the cost of breaking Communion with the Mother Church of England? How can we reset the Communion on a Gospel basis? What can GAFCON and Global South do in this new reset to address the needs of African Anglicans in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ faithfully to all nations? These are among the questions the Rev. Canon Dr. Alison Barfoot (Church of Uganda) and I discussed in our Anglican Perspective Podcast yesterday evening. [See below]

We need the power of the Gospel more than ever in the cultures we are evangelizing where identity politics and divisions are deepening. This morning, we heard the power of the Gospel in the exposition of Colossians 3:1-17 by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel (Sydney) who contrasted the identity politics and divisions of the world with the identity of the Church and the unity we experience as followers of Jesus Christ. The identity of the Church finds its source in Jesus Christ and his saving work alone (Col. 3:1-4). “Therefore,” said Archbishop Raffel, “let Jesus be the counselor whose advice and approval is our sole focus.” The identity of the Church is shaped by the character of Christ (Col. 3:5-14) whose death on the cross calls us to “put to death whatever belongs to our earthly (sinful) nature” and “clothe ourselves” with the new nature Christ has given us, his very life, especially his forgiveness and love. Finally, the identity of the Church is formed by Christ-centered habits of the heart (Col. 3:15-17) especially the practice of peace as we gather around God’s word with thankfulness for all Christ has done for us. “Therefore,” he said, “there is no room for grumbling or pride or self-congratulation when we gather together.”

Archbishop Raffel also focused on two things at the heart of identity politics and divisions in our cultures: sex and speech. “Put to death therefore…sexual immorality,” and “rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language…” (Col. 3:5, 8-9). Because of these two things, the wrath of God is coming (Col. 3:6). Why? Because God cares about relationships, and sexual immorality and destructive speech are at the heart of unraveled relationships in our secular cultures.

He then turned the spotlight on the Church and said we, too, must repent of the same things. He noted that our championing of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) often only focuses on one aspect of sexual immorality, whereas the Resolution also includes the following expressions of sexual immorality:

“Promiscuity, prostitution, incest, pornography, paedophilia, predatory sexual behaviour, and sadomasochism (all of which may be heterosexual and homosexual), adultery, violence against wives, and female circumcision. From a Christian perspective these forms of sexual expression remain sinful in any context.” (Called to Full Humanity, Section 1 Report, subsection 3)

Noting the voices of the victims of these forms of sexual immorality especially victims of predatory sexual behavior, prostitution, and violence in marriage, and our failure to address these dimensions in our focus on homosexuality, Archbishop Raffel concluded that “there is a self-serving blind spot for which we must repent lest the wrath of God fall upon us.” He was followed immediately by Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney, ret.) who invited all GAFCON members to first repent of our sins and to turn away from our own impurity before we call others to repent.

A remarkable moment of repentance followed—a time of quiet self-examination for repentance of our own sins and prayers for forgiveness. I was reminded of the challenges we are facing in ACNA in responding to accusations of clergy misconduct by victims of predatory sexual behavior and other abuses of position and power. To what degree are we experiencing the cutting edge of God’s wrath for our failures? What can we do to repent?

Our time of prayer was followed immediately by an unexpected presentation by GAFCON leaders regarding the financial challenges facing GAFCON. It was very surprising and sobering. The leadership challenged those present to respond with extraordinary giving to raise a multi-million dollar endowment to fund the ongoing operations of GAFCON. This “ask” raises questions about the operations of GAFCON. But in the spirit of Archbishop Raffel’s challenge from Colossians 3, is this financial crisis one of the ways God is trying to speak to and shape GAFCON in its operations, vision, and mission? Is there a blind spot in the way GAFCON has functioned for which there needs to be some repentance?

At the heart of true repentance lies the heart of God and the heart of sinful people like you and me. This was the subject of the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null’s plenary presentation on “The power to love: the heart of historic Anglicanism.” Dr. Null reminded us that the human heart requires repentance because it is at the center of human sin. It is also at the center of humanity’s restoration. Our insecurities lead us to act in sinful ways driven by the disordered desires of our hearts. The only way out of sin is to discover a burning love for God that turns us outward away from self.

Medieval Catholic repentance was a combination of fear and hope, but the English Reformers like Thomas Cranmer thought the love of God, rather than the fear of God, leads to true change. The Reformers realized that the sins we struggle with draw us away from the love of God and act as replacements for it. They recognized that the devil’s principal strategy is to make us doubt that God really loves us, to turn away from God’s love, and to feel good about ourselves through “the devices and desires of our own heart.” By ourselves, we do not have the capacity to love God rather than sin.

In returning to the power of the Gospel, the Reformers rediscovered the truth of I John 4:19: We love God because he first loved us. So, Cranmer makes this the central theme of our liturgies and prayers in the Book of Common Prayer! God’s love comes first and always, not our own works and efforts. Through these prayers, we are reminded constantly of the love of God for us whose voice in our hearts can never be extinguished.  Only God’s love for sinners can inspire sinners like you and me to love God more than sin!

This is the heart of remarkable repentance and the heart of true discipleship. This is what GAFCON stands for and what also must be at the heart of a reset Anglican Communion. We need GAFCON not only to remind us of this remarkable repentance but also to lead by example.”

– Received via e-mail.

Top photo: GAFCON.

On the Threshold of the Great Anglican Communion Reset

The American Anglican Council‘s Canon Phil Ashey writes from Kigali –

“The first official draft of the GAFCON statement was read today to GAFCON Kigali delegates. The hard work to create an in-depth, thorough, and sweeping evaluation of the issues facing the Anglican Church, the proposed solutions, and the future for biblically faithful Anglicanism were positively received. We are grateful for their hard work and transparency. Tonight, these primates and church leaders will gather again to gather feedback from delegates who met after the reading of the statement in regional gatherings to discuss the draft and make suggested changes. We eagerly await the reading of the final statement on Friday morning!

This morning, Archbishop James Wong (Indian Ocean) taught from Colossians 1:28-2:23 on being “Rooted and Grounded in Christ.” Ultimately, this is what I believe the GAFCON Conference Statement is calling us to be. As Archbishop Wong noted, St. Paul actually uses a mixed metaphor, both a garden and a building, “rooted and built up” (Col. 2:7). We are to bear fruit and grow up to be a place together where God himself may dwell. That is the future of the great Anglican Communion reset.

What Paul described in Colossians is similar to the struggle we now face in the Anglican Communion. The church in Colossae was divided between those who had a simple faith in the supremacy of Jesus Christ and those who believed in “fine sounding arguments,” “hollow and deceptive philosophies,” and the “human traditions and elemental spiritual forces” of the world (Col. 2:4,8). What a perfect description of the context in which the Anglican Communion finds itself today, divided between those who believe in the supremacy of Jesus Christ and the clarity, authority, and superiority of his Word—and those who have produced “find sounding arguments” that have seduced people away from the love of Christ and his teaching, including his teaching on marriage. What St. Paul said is what GAFCON says today: “Do not be deceived.” In the context of our divided Communion, Archbishop Wong concluded, “Look up to Jesus and see that no one takes you captive to anything that takes you away from Jesus!”

In Colossians 2:2, St. Paul describes his mission to the Colossians and others who have not yet met him in these words: “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love.” Just as he encouraged the Colossians to put love and unity together said Archbishop Wong, so GAFCON and the Global South are calling all orthodox Anglicans to stand firm by coming together “in love and unity to overcome the spiritual forces that draw us away from Jesus Christ.” The unity of the 85% of global Anglicans represented by GAFCON and the Global South must, therefore, be rooted in love of Jesus and love for one another.

That’s what I heard in the GAFCON Statement today. It is a call to evangelism, discipleship, and mission. But it is also a call, in the words of Archbishop Wong, “to good order, to be like an army in lines unbroken, in discipline, following the great tradition and rule the Colossians had already received, ‘So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Col.2:6-7).

May this be the word and the spirit of the great Anglican Communion reset!”

– Received via e-mail.

Two highlights from Day 2 of GAFCON IV

There is much to see – but here are two highlights –

Bishop Glenn Davies’ background on what led up to GAFCON I, 2008 and what came after.

It’s a very sobering accounting of recent history. Do watch and share:

He mentions the Kuala Lumpur Statement, 1997.

See also: The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns – by Dr. Mark Thompson, March 2008.

And Bishop Keith Sinclair’s address:

“What we have seen over the past years is the unfolding of a tragedy.”

Bishop Sinclair refers to Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10,

and Peter Jensen’s editorial in the current issue of The Global Anglican.

GAFCON 23 – Day 2. Revived, Reformed, Re-Ordered

“Tuesday draws to a close and GAFCON has seen a momentous day.

The morning opened with Morning Prayer which included a Bible study given by Bishop Jay Behan of New Zealand. This week the conference is working it’s way through Colossians. Behan pointed us towards the supremacy of Christ in all things.

The morning plenary began with Bishop Glenn Davies giving an overview of the past few decades, helping those who were not clear on the facts understand the history that has brought us to this significant moment. He was followed by Stephen Noll speaking on the nature of the Jerusalem Declaration and Statement. But the most significant address was given by Bishop Keith Sinclair. …”

David Ould reports on Tuesday’s events at GAFCON (which finished Wednesday morning Australian time).

And also please uphold in prayer Archbishop of Rwanda, Dr Laurent Mbanda, and his family, after news came of the unexpected death of his son, Edwin, in the USA.

Gafcon23 – Second Day Morning Tea Stream

The Heart of GAFCON livestream at morning tea on the second day of GAFCON IV

Interviewees include Glenn Davies and Vaughan Roberts and William Taylor. (Links are to their segments.)

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, 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.

Watch the Heart of GAFCON Broadcasts

Livestream on YouTube (when live) is above.

The full list of available interviews can be found at The Pastor’s Heart.

And here are the recordings of the full broadcasts.

Live video is also available on the GAFCON 23 Vimeo channel below:
This channel covers the plenary sessions, as well as other interviews from time to time.

For an idea of what’s happening at Kigali each day, see the Conference Schedule. (Times are Central African Time, UTC+2.)


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