Time to remove Canterbury as the guardian of the entrance door to the Anglican Communion?

From Church Society:

Canterbury and the Future of the Anglican Communion

Two crucial Anglican gatherings take place in the next few weeks. First in Rome (29 April to 2 May), a gathering of the Anglican Primates, called together by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon afterwards, in Cairo (11 to 15 June), a gathering of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, for their inaugural assembly. High on the agenda at both meetings will be the future structures of the Anglican Communion. But twelve Primates from the Global South Fellowship have already publicly rejected the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as leader of the Communion. It remains to be seen whether any of these twelve will be present in Rome. Several younger Anglican provinces, like Chile (founded in 2018) and Alexandria (founded in 2020), have begun the process of deleting Canterbury from their constitutions. Other Global South provinces will soon follow suit.

Yet in our Anglican polity, to be “in communion with the See of Canterbury” is often viewed as an essential part of Anglican identity. For example, in the controversy over the failed “Anglican Covenant” proposals, the Church Times declared: “Communion with the see of Canterbury has always been the defining feature of what it means to be an Anglican”. Likewise, Paul Avis asserts in his popular textbook, The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology (2008): “The litmus-test of membership of the Anglican Communion is to be in communion with the See of Canterbury.” Avis goes so far as to call it “the ultimate criterion”.

Almost a century ago, the 1930 Lambeth Conference include the phrase, “in communion with the See of Canterbury”, as part of its famous description of the Anglican Communion (Resolution 49). This idea has cascaded down the generations and still holds sway in the 2020s. But its origins and contested meaning are interrogated in a new article in the Spring 2024 edition of The Global Anglican, written by Andrew Atherstone, an Oxford historian and member of the Anglican Consultative Council (one of the four so-called “instruments of Communion”). He argues that our Anglican textbooks should be re-written, and that the time has come for Canterbury to be removed as the guardian of the entrance door to the Anglican Communion.

Church Society has made Andrew Atherstone’s article available for free download as a PDF file. Well worth reading and pondering.

(Emphasis added.)

“The Lord who gives the vision gives the provision.”

A new Global Anglican Podcast from GAFCON:

“In this second interview, Archbishop Miguel Uchoa speaks about the boldness required to put the gospel mission first when church planting. His vision for Brazil is to see no less than everybody reached by the ministry of Christ, and doing so requires church leaders to reject a spirit of maintenance as they seek after the lost.

Anglicans can become a cultural conquerors when our compassion for the world consumes more of our time than merely combating heresy. Archbishop Uchoa urges us to ‘send the best’ leaders among us to plant new churches, trusting that God will multiply his people.”

Listen here.

Raising Leaders and Leading with Scripture — Archbishop Miguel Uchôa

The latest Global Anglican Podcast, Episode 3, has been released by Gafcon:

“No leader works alone. Archbishop Miguel Uchôa, Gafcon Vice Chairman and Primate of Brazil, joins Bishop Paul Donison for a candid conversation about the need to raise up godly leaders in the pews of our local churches. Scripture plays a central part.

Archbishop Uchôa shares the ways he has brought the Bible back into secular communities, and also describes how Gafcon brought support and structure to the faithful in Brazil in their time of need.”

Listen here.

Why Gafcon? A Global Fellowship in the Word

The second Global Anglican Podcast has been released by Gafcon.

General Secretary, Bishop Paul Donison continues his conversation with Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda.

This time they speak about the redemptive power of Biblically orthodox mission in Archbishop Mbanda’s home country of Rwanda.

Listen here.

Introducing the Global Anglican Podcast

Terrific new resource from GAFCON.

My battle with Cancer, how God healed me — Kwashi, Anglican Archbishop

“Anglican Archbishop, The Most Revd Benjamin Kwashi has recounted how he was afflicted by cancer to the point that he bought a coffin, prepared his funeral programme, and waited for death.

Kwashi was archbishop of Jos Province of the Anglican Church. He retired as Bishop of Jos in 2023 after putting in 31 years as bishop so he could face his orphanage which had about 400 children and also serve in the Global Anglican Future Conference.

He shared the testimony in a programme aired on Advent Cable Network on Tuesday, February 27. …”

Church Times Nigeria shares Archbishop Kwashi’s testimony.

Image: GAFCON.

Pray for Mothers Union Sydney

Today’s GAFCON Prayer Request:

“The Mothers Union (Sydney) is hosting an event at the Cathedral on February 23: ‘It takes a Village – stronger together in the family of God.’

Pray for a good attendance, online and in-person, and warm fellowship of Word and Spirit.”

See more here.

Pray for the Upcoming Church of England General Synod

Prayer request from GAFCON:

“The General Synod of the Church of England meets February 23-27.

Pray for the orthodox faithful representatives. ‘Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ … striving side by side for the faith of the gospel’ (Phil. 1:27 ESV).”

Plans for Consecration of GAFCON General Secretary Paul Donison announced

Here’s an Announcement from The Most Rev. Dr. Laurent Mbanda, Chair, Gafcon Primates’ Council, Primate & Archbishop of Rwanda:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters within our Gafcon family,

On behalf of the Gafcon Primates, it is my joy to announce the upcoming consecration of our General Secretary, the Reverend Canon Paul Donison, as a Bishop in our Lord’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic church on 4 February 2024 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kigali, Rwanda.

At our November 2023 meeting in London, the Primates passed a resolution asking that Dean Donison be consecrated, as the role of General Secretary is episcopal in nature: guarding and expanding the mission and unity of the Church, and helping to convene the Councils of the Church.

In December 2023, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Rwanda agreed to consecrate Dean Donison as Bishop if the ACNA College of Bishops approved. Furthermore, in January 2024 the synod of the Metropolitan Diocese of Gasabo unanimously resolved that Dean Paul be consecrated as assistant Bishop of Gasabo Diocese.

On 9 January, 2024, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), consented to the proposal that following his consecration, Bishop-elect Donison will be transferred to the Anglican Church in North America, and Invested as Vicar General (Area Bishop) of the Texas Deanery of the Anglican Diocese of the South. A service of Investiture and Celebration of his New Ministry as Gafcon General Secretary will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, Plano, Texas, USA, on 17 February 2024.

One of Gafcon’s priorities is to raise up a next generation of global leaders, and the Primates are unanimous in our conviction that Paul is the right person to assume this office “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

I ask your prayers for Bishop-elect Paul, his wife, Monika, their daughters, and for our whole Gafcon movement. …”

– Source: GAFCON.

Riding the wave of significant growth — with Indian Ocean Archbishop James Wong

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Gospel ministry in the Indian Ocean is growing rapidly.

Anglican Primate James Wong leads the ministry in Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius and is visiting Sydney, on a speaking tour of the Church Missionary Society Australian Summer Conferences.

Archbishop Wong charts a course for further growth in ministry in his region.

Plus he outlines the detailed back room work taking place to reset the Anglican Communion, following the failure of the Church of England leadership to repent, ahead of the significant Global South meeting in Cairo in June.

Archbishop Wong is an advisor to the Gafcon Primates Council and serves on the leadership group of the Anglican Global South Fellowship.”

Watch or listen here.

Pray for Dr. Siegfried Ngubane as he prepares to become REACH-SA Presiding Bishop

Here’s today’s GAFCON prayer request:

“Rev. Dr. Siegfried Ngubane is the Presiding Bishop elect for the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA), a welcomed new Gafcon province. Pray for Dr. Ngubane as he prepares to assume the role from Presiding Bishop Glenn Lyons.”

Related: REACH SA website.

Photo: Dr. Ngubane with Bishop Glenn Lyons.

Reformational Anglicanism and a New Global Communion — Dr. Ashley Null

Dr. Ashley Null gave the Inaugural John H. Rodgers Lecture at the Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania on Reformation Day 2023.

“At the first Gafcon conference in Jerusalem in 2008, the Rt. Rev. John Hewitt Rodgers, Jr., in whose beloved memory this new, annual lecture series is now held, gave a landmark address entitled Where do we go from here?

In his Zoom Memoirs, recorded with the Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll, who is with us tonight, John commented that he considered this address to be the high point of his ministry in the wider Anglican Communion after retirement. High praise indeed for its message to which we should pay attention.

John began by noting a need to define what authentic Anglicanism actually is. Here is his brief description …”

The American Anglican Council has now published his address here.

Photo: GAFCON.

Pray for St. Patrick’s Bible College

Prayer focus from GAFCON:

“Following a huge increase in the numbers of believers, St. Patrick’s Bible College (Madagascar) is expanding its capacity to train leaders.

Praise God for the increase in students and the new dormitories to accommodate them.”


The Rev Berthier Lainirina, Principal of St Patrick’s Theological College speaks at Moore College Chapel, September 2023.

New Gafcon General Secretary asks for your prayers

Dean Paul Donison has released this video as he assumes office as Gafcon General Secretary.

Source: Gafcon.

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi steps down as Gafcon General Secretary

Archbishop Ben Kwashi has concluded his time as General Secretary of Gafcon. He has recorded this encouraging video.

Do give thanks for this dear brother.

And pray for Paul Donison, Rector and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Plano, Texas, as he takes up the mantle.

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