Respected local lay minister William Siraj was gunned down while returning home after leading the morning service at All Saints Church. Click the link above for more details, and to hear the Moderating Bishop’s call to pray for the Church of Pakistan.
who has passed the milestone of 30 years since he was consecrated Bishop of Jos.
from the perspective of long time partner in relief, development and advocacy, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (Chair: Baroness Cox).
Gafcon Great Britain and Europe: An evening with Archbishop Ben.
The Gafcon Secretary-General will be speaking to Gafcon GBE supporters, and answering questions, in a Zoom meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd March. Please put this in your diary if you would like to attend. A separate mailing, giving details of how to sign up, Zoom code etc will be sent out before the end of February.
2022 is the twentieth anniversary of a key moment in the life of the Anglican Communion. In 2002 the Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster (Vancouver area) gave his assent to a Diocesan Synod motion approving the blessing of same sex relationships. Clergy and lay representatives from 11 parishes immediately declared themselves in impaired communion with the Bishop of Diocese, and left the Synod meeting. One of them, theologian J.I Packer, later explained what had happened, in an article entitled “Why I walked”. A new book reflects on those events and lessons learned (review here).
The shock waves were felt around the world: calls to reverse the decision, and then to provide orthodox episcopal oversight for the faithful, went unheeded. While the consecration of Gene Robinson in the US over a year later was seen as the primary trigger for global Anglican realignment, the New Westminster decision was a major factor in the irrevocable tearing of the fabric of Anglican Communion.
The courageous and faithful response of local leaders in Canada, and those Archbishops from Africa, Latin America and Asia who supported them, became a model for what was to develop into the Gafcon movement, and the formation of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) as part of the Anglican Church in North America. Please pray for ANiC; for their gospel ministry at this time of turmoil in Canada, for growth in their churches, and for their leadership at a time of transition.
Church of England
Synod news. Give thanks for the growing influence of faithful bible-believing members of Synod. Encouraging moments included:
- the public challenging of C of E leadership on the internal processes leading to the appointment of a senior figure whose lifestyle is at odds with the church’s official teaching
- the highlighting of the persecution of Christians around the world, and the call for greater levels of advocacy and prayer
- appreciation of the importance of local parish ministry, while also recognising the need for more lay-led evangelism
- a call for the Government to scrap the “pills by post” policy for abortion medication which has had a “negative impact” on women. More background to the issue here.
The annual meeting of the Church of England Evangelical Council received substantial input from Gafcon-aligned leaders from overseas: Bishop Rennis Ponniah from Singapore, now Chair of the Global South Secretariat and a speaker at Gafcon 2018, and Bishop Bill Love, who was forced out of TEC for his conservative stance on marriage, and is now a Bishop in ACNA. According to a press release, the Council is encouraging its members to prayerfully consider various options, if the Church of England were to move away from its current teaching on marriage.
Church in Wales
Following the significant change in doctrine agreed by the Church in Wales Governing Body in September, a number of new Anglican congregations have been formed or are in the process of forming, connected to the ACE convocation in Anglican Network in Europe. Bishop Andy Lines inaugurated the Wellspring Anglican Church on 30th January. Meanwhile, clergy and congregations remaining in the CiW for the moment, are looking for ways to ensure continued united fellowship in the gospel with those who have left. Gafcon GBE is playing a role in this. Ongoing prayer for wisdom and grace is needed.
Other news calling for our response
Conversion therapy – ministers consultation letter
Revd Dr Matthew Roberts and Revd Dr Ian Paul authored a letter signed by 2,500 ministers and pastoral workers, and nearly 2500 others, asking Westminster to rethink plans for a ‘conversion therapy’ ban. In this Christian Insititute video, they share why they and their colleagues believed it was vital to make their voices heard, and the considerable media interest that followed.
Organisers present the letter to UK Government Equalities Office, and then 10 Downing Street.
Many churches are already supporting foodbanks, debt management schemes and other local initiatives as prices rise, and a lack of capacity and resilience in many households is leading to genuine hardship in our nations. Let’s pray for wisdom, compassion, generosity and open hearts for the gospel.