A high stakes game of ecclesiastical poker in the Anglican Communion — with Justin Badi Arama and Paul Donison

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“It is almost D day in the Anglican Communion.

Today we give the background for two highly significant meetings. One to take place next week in Rome.  The second in June in Cairo.

The Rome gathering has been called by the rejected Canterbury leadership.  The Cairo gathering has been called by the leadership of the Global South.

As background, The Church of England, the historic mother church of the Anglican Communion, under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury formally abandoned the historic Christian faith when the English General Synod voted to follow Archbishop Welby and his house of bishops in voting for same sex blessings.

In reaction, the majority theologically orthodox have drawn a line in the sand and parted company with The church of England.

The Global South Churches said in their important Ash Wednesday 23 statement that the Church of England has disqualified herself from leading the Anglican communion.

Gafcon said the Archbishop of Canterbury’s leadership has been irreparably damaged.

We speak with  the chair of the Global South Archbishop Justin Badi Arama of South Sudan and the new General Secretary of Gafcon Bishop Paul Donison.”

Watch or listen here.

Asked by Dominic Steele if the Rome gathering is “an attempt to play ecclesiastical poker”, Gafcon General Secretary Bishop Paul Donison replies –

“…I can’t really speak with much clarity or knowledge on what Archbishop Welby is hoping for, but we should assume based on all the games that have been played, I think poker is a good analogy over the last decade and longer from Canterbury that this is yet another attempt to obfuscate, to confuse, to get a win for the traditional revisionist structures.

And my prayer is simply that all of the Bible-loving global primates can see through that.

Hopefully many will see that ahead of time and not go.”

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.)

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.

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.

GSFA Chairman’s 2023 Christmas Message and Year-end Review

The Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, Archbishop Dr Justin Badi Arama, has released this Christmas message and year-end review:


“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness,  to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.”
John 1:6-7

To be a faithful witness to the light of Jesus Christ is GSFA’s self-identity under God.

The work of a person who is a witness is to establish the truth beyond a reasonable  doubt. May all of us continue to be strong witnesses of the God who has revealed  Himself in the holy scriptures. John the Baptist was the faithful witness and the voice  in the wilderness who announced the coming of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings who  rules and defends us, and restrains and conquers all of his and our enemies.

In the week when we are about to celebrate our Lord’s incarnation, let us resolve to be like Him by giving ourselves sacrificially in service to those in need. Let us all resolve to share what God has given us with the poor, the suffering, the destitute as well as with all our fellow men and women who have yet to confess Jesus as Saviour & Lord.

The Year in Review 

In many ways, 2023 was a momentous year for GSFA. The Lord gave us three special  blessings:

1. Courage to stand for the truth

We thank God for the luminosity and the courage He gave to the primatial  leadership of GSFA to stand for the truth by issuing the GSFA Ash Wednesday Statement. The Statement declared that by taking this action, which followed  closely on several revisionist-leaning actions by Canterbury since Lambeth 2022,  the Archbishop of Canterbury had forfeited his role as primus inter pares (“first  among equals”) of the Communion.

The Ash Wednesday Statement emphasised that despite this departure from the ‘faith once for all delivered’ by the founding Province of our Communion, GSFA is not abandoning the ship. We are not leaving the historic Anglican Communion. We are stewards of all the good gifts the Lord has given our Communion through the centuries. We are therefore prepared, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to help re-set the Communion on its biblical foundation and continue our common life as God’s faithful people, rooted in the Word of God and expressed in common worship, distinctive liturgical formation, mutual care and accountability, and collective mission and ministry.

Events that have unfolded since the February 2023 Church of England General  Synod Resolution, including prayers of blessing for a same sex couple for the first  time on 17th December confirm GSFA’s reading of the situation and the timeliness  of our response. A similarly dangerous innovation in pastoral practice on same sex  blessings just announced by the Roman Catholic Church only serves to underline  the depth of the spiritual crisis.

2. Love to build unity with other orthodox leaders

Looking back, I am grateful to God that He was pleased to use the Ash Wednesday  Statement as a catalyst for unity. GSFA was privileged to host the gathering of  Anglican Orthodox Leaders (AOL) in Cairo from 17th-19th October 2023 in which  a total of 13 orthodox Primates participated, and they were joined by 10 Anglican  leaders who were invited as Observers.

The purpose of the meeting was to consult and to develop a collective response to what it means to be a faithful Church in these unprecedented times. What emerged was a commitment to stand together for the truth of God’s word and to work together to take the gospel out to a needy and pain-ridden world (AOL Communique). This wider circle of Anglican primates recognised the viability of the GSFA Covenantal Structure as a locus of unity for the orthodox in the  Communion which enables the full flowering of communion life. Importantly also, the Primates at AOL pledged that they would stand with orthodox Anglicans in revisionist and revisionist-leaning provinces.

3. Joy in God’s provision for the work of GSFA

We marvel at God’s faithfulness in not only providing the human resources for the  work of GSFA but in granting us in 2023 an operational centre in Cairo for our  growing ministry. We are especially grateful to Archbishop Samy Shehata of the  Province of Alexandria for the provision of a beautiful office space in the All  Saints’ Cathedral compound in Cairo. The opening of the Centre on 20 October  2023 captures the joy of this great step forward in our life and mission.

Plans for the coming year 

GSFA plans to start the new year by conducting a Bishops Formation Retreat for  new bishops and their wives in Uganda in February 2024.

We are getting ready for our first GSFA Assembly from 11th – 15th June 2024 in  Egypt. Please be in prayer for this Assembly that it might be a time of spiritual  refreshing and growing momentum. May we be like John the Baptist, fearless in the  declaration of God’s truth and preparing the hearts of many to be faithful disciples of  Christ. To our God and King be all majesty, power, authority, honour and glory,  world without end.

I take this opportunity to wish you all the joy of Christmas and the blessings of the  newborn King and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

The Most Rev Dr Justin Badi Arama
Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and
Chair of GSFA.

Source (with images): GSFA.

GSFA Statement Following the Church of England’s General Synod Resolution (Nov 13 – 16, 2023)

We are saddened to know that the General Synod of the Church of England has passed a resolution to bless same sex unions despite almost 50% of the Synod opposing the bishops’ proposal. This disastrous decision creates the same serious consequences of differentiation and division as in other provinces and further fractures our beloved Anglican Communion.

On behalf of the Primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), I once again affirm the GSFA Ash Wednesday Statement which we made on Feb 20th his year (2023). We wholeheartedly support the faithful bishops, clergy and laity within the Church of England and assure them of our continuing prayers and pastoral commitment as a global body.

“……. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

The Most Rev Dr Justin Badi Arama
Archbishop and Primate of the
Episcopal Church of South Sudan, and
GSFA Chair

Source: Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches.

Statement from the Gafcon Primates Council 6-9 November 2023

In a statement issued at the end of their meeting in London, the GAFCON Primates reaffirm they are not leaving the Anglican Communion.

The Council received the resignation of Archbishop Ben Kwashi, former Bishop of Jos, as the General Secretary and announced that Paul Donison, Rector and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Plano, Texas, will be the new General Secretary.

Much more in their full statement below:


Statement from the Gafcon Primates Council

The Gafcon Primates Council met in Uxbridge, UK from 6-9 November 2023 under the chairmanship of the Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda.

We commenced each day with prayer, praise and reflection on Holy Scripture, encouraged by the teaching of Paul, reminding Timothy of the importance of discipleship, the faithfulness of God and that the servant of God should not be ashamed as a workman who correctly handles the word of truth, and to his letter to the Corinthians regarding the importance of preaching Christ Crucified and nothing less.

Conscious of the forthcoming meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England, the Primates reaffirmed their commitment to the Jerusalem Statement of 2008, which describes Gafcon as ‘a spiritual movement to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we Anglicans have received it.’ The Jerusalem Statement rejects the proposition that authentic Anglicans are only those recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury. On the contrary, the criteria of Anglican identity are outlined in the fourteen points of the Jerusalem Declaration which continue to define authentic Anglicanism, despite the abandonment of many of these features by those who purport to be Anglicans. We have witnessed over the past twenty-five years the slow, but relentless, moral decay in parts of the Anglican Communion where the world’s values have been endorsed and embraced, replacing the clear teaching of God’s word written.

We continue to affirm that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion. We are delighted to work with the Global South (GSFA) in the task of resetting the Communion, which was foreshadowed in the 2008 Jerusalem Statement, and explicitly declared in the Kigali Commitment of 2023. Given the failure of the so-called Instruments of Communion, we shall not be attending the 2024 Primates Meeting in Rome, convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and encourage all orthodox Primates to join us in this stand against those who support a revisionist agenda.

Furthermore, we encourage Gafcon Provinces to consider withdrawing all links with any English diocese whose bishop supports the proposals, currently before the General Synod, to sanction the blessing of same-sex couples. We also extend the right hand of fellowship to and support all bishops, clergy and laity who oppose these revisionist doctrines and courageously uphold the teaching of Christ on the sanctity of marriage as God has ordained it (Matthew 19:4-6). We especially commend those English bishops who have distanced themselves from the egregious recommendations of the House of Bishops.

We likewise commend the ministry and witness of the Anglican Network in Europe as the appropriate and necessary provision of Gafcon for those who cannot in good conscience remain in a Church which flagrantly abandons the teaching of Scripture.

We rejoiced in hearing reports of gospel growth in various extra-provincial dioceses authenticated by the Gafcon Primates. Both the Anglican Mission in England and the Anglican Convocation in Europe, which comprise the Anglican Network in Europe, have been blessed with a growth in number of congregations and members. Likewise, the Church of Confessing Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand and the recently formed Diocese of the Southern Cross in Australia have also seen gospel growth as Christ is faithfully proclaimed.

We welcomed Presiding Bishop Glenn Lyons to take his seat on the Primates Council, having endorsed the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of Southern Africa (REACH-SA) as an authentic Anglican Province, after a 150-year history of successive Archbishops of Canterbury, who refused to endorse, let alone acknowledge, what Archbishop Cranmer would have clearly seen as an authentic Anglican Church (Article XIX, On the Church).

As our movement grows, we agreed to refocus our attention on strengthening the nine Networks established in 2018. These networks covered a range of Christian ministries, for the health of the Church.

We have reactivated the Bishops Training Institute (BTI) under the guidance of Bishop Henry Orombi. While the BTI has been in abeyance since the onset of COVID-19, we pledged to work with the GSFA in the education and formation of those elected as bishops in the church of God.

We received the resignation of the Most Reverend Ben Kwashi, former Bishop of Jos, as the General Secretary, a position he has held for five and a half years. We acknowledged the extraordinary gifts of this servant of Christ, his global promotion of Gafcon and his passion for evangelism and equipping the saints. Archbishop Kwashi will continue to be involved in various programs of the Gafcon Movement. We appointed the Very Reverend Paul Donison, Rector and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Plano, Texas, as the next General Secretary and pray that God will bless him as he takes up this significant and strategic role in the Gafcon Movement.

Faithfulness to Christ is costly. We grieved over a report from the Province of Myanmar, whose church and people face significant challenges. We also received news from the Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, that on All Saints’ Day, one of his churches in Omdurman had been destroyed by warring factions in the area. We commended both of our episcopal brothers and their provinces to the gracious care of our Sovereign God. We also prayed for those suffering in South Sudan, in Gaza and Israel and in Ukraine.

Without the gospel, we are lost. Without the fellowship of like-minded Anglicans, we are impoverished. Without prayer, we are powerless. We therefore commend the following Gafcon Prayer to all members of our Gafcon family for regular petition before our gracious God.


Eternal God and gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ died for our redemption; commissioned His disciples to preach the good news;
and sent the indwelling Holy Spirit in every generation to embrace and proclaim salvation in Christ alone:
Arise and defend your Church, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
Shine the light of your Holy Word upon hearts darkened by error and strengthen the work of Gafcon so that the Anglican Communion throughout the world proclaims Christ faithfully to the nations, that captives may be set free, the straying rescued, and the confused restored.
Bind your children together in truth, love, unity and courage, that we, with all your saints, may inherit your eternal kingdom, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

The Gafcon Primates Council
The Most Reverend Laurent Mbanda – Rwanda
The Most Reverend Miguel Uchoa – Brazil
The Most Reverend Foley Beach – North America
The Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba – Church of All Nigeria
The Most Reverend Stepehen Kaziimba – Uganda
Presiding Bishop Glenn Lyons – The Provence of REACH Southern Africa
The Most Reverend Tito Zavala – Chile
The Most Reverend Stephen Than Myint Oo – Myanmar
The Most Reverend Ezekiel Kondo – Sudan
The Most Reverend Samy Shehata – Alexandria
The Most Reverend James Wong – Indian Ocean
The Rt Reverend Malcolm Richards – representing the Archbishop of Sydney

9 November 2023

Source: GAFCON.

Rolling out the Global Anglican rescue – with Archbishop Justin Badi Arama

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Slowly, carefully, but quite deliberately, a new locus of leadership is emerging within the global Anglican Communion, a locus that significantly is intentionally focussed on Christ and biblical authority and not focussed on London, England or the Archbishop of Canterbury.

An important meeting of the Primates of the Global South and other leader of the Anglican Community has just wrapped up in Cairo.

Significantly and surprisingly the 13 orthodox Primates were joined at their meeting by Nicky Gumbel, the pioneer of the Alpha Course and London’s Holy Trinity Brompton’s massive UK church planting network.”

Watch or listen here.

Communique from GSFA leaders meeting in Cairo

Leaders of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches have just released this Communique after their meeting in Cairo last week –

“Anglican orthodox leaders met at All Saints’ Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 17th – 19th October 2023. The theme for the meeting was ‘I will make you as a light to the nations’ (Isaiah49: 6b). This resonates deeply with the essence of our faith and the mission of the Church.

In his opening address, the chairman of GSFA, Archbishop Justin Badi encouraged us as followers of Jesus to be bearers of God’s light by living and proclaiming His Truth in a sin-ruined and broken world. …”

Do read it all here.

Also see this summary of the meeting:

GSFA brings hope and builds orthodox unity in the Anglican Communion


Historic meeting backs world mission and a ‘firewall’ against false teaching – Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net

Who is Noticing?

Posted last week at the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches website, Bishop Keith Sinclair reflects on Ephesians 6 and asks who is noticing what is happening in the churches –

“It turns out that the ones who are noticing what is happening in the church are not disinterested observers, but those opposed to all that God has established in the gospel and made manifest in the life of the church.

What happens in the church matters not only to those in the church, but also in the cosmic struggle with the rulers of darkness and the powers of evil.”

A very timely reminder.

Photo: Bishop Keith Sinclair at GAFCON IV in Kigali in April 2023.
(See his remarks here.)

GSFA Chairman’s Letter September 2023

“The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) is a covenantal fellowship of orthodox Anglican provinces, dioceses and network of churches. We praise God for our history since Limuru, Kenya in 1994 which led to our re-formation under a new Covenantal Structure in October 2019. To date, eleven provinces have already joined GSFA as full members, with others considering to do so. Our Fellowship is world-wide in composition while remaining rooted in the traditional Global South provinces.

GSFA is committed to guarding , living out and propagating the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, so we are deeply saddened by the growing revisionism in our Communion …”

– The Most Rev Dr Justin Badi Arama, Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches Steering Committee, has released this letter for September 2023.

“We are the Anglican Communion; we represent 85% of all church-going Anglicans” — Bishop Glenn Davies

“We have a de facto re-ordered Communion now. We are not leaving the Anglican Communion, but reforming it along Cranmerian lines, where the Scripture is supreme and obedience to Scripture is essential; we represent 85% of Anglicans worldwide and are moving forward. …”

– David Virtue at VirtueOnline has published an interview with Bishop Glenn Davies.

Photo: Bishop Davies speaks at GAFCON IV in Kigali.

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

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.

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