Church of England
A Church of England Press Release features this headline following the vote on the amended motion at General Synod on February 9th:
The Church of England’s General Synod has welcomed proposals which would enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or civil partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing.
Church of England Evangelical Council has sent out a document to all who have signed up to the CEEC Bulletin , entitled ‘Every Voice Matters’, which sets out options for clergy and parishes in response to the Synod motion and the wider trajectory.
David Baker, writing in Christian Today, reviews the alarmingly candid admissions about the manifest failure of the Living in Love and Faith process by the Chair of LLF, the Bishop of Coventry. He advocates a solution in an amicable global split similar to what Methodists are doing.
An article in Evangelicals Now summarises the Synod vote and its implications:
“C of E evangelicals in watershed fight for own bishops, structures and training…a battle of historic Reformation-era significance as they fight to secure guarantees that might enable them to continue in the denomination.”
Includes reaction from a number of evangelical voices inside and outside the Church of England, notably GSFA.
John Yates, former Rector of the historic Falls Church in Virginia, explains in an article in The Gospel Coalition why, in response to the move towards ‘progressive’ secular versions of Christianity in the Anglican churches of US and Canada, he along with many other clergy sacrificially led his congregation out to the Gafcon-authorised, biblically faithful Anglican Church in North America.
Archbishop Foley Beach, speaking on behalf of Gafcon, has said in a statement: “the Church of England has authorized the blessing of sin and declared that sin is no longer sin”. The decision has major consequences for the global church, as the Archbishop of Canterbury himself is “shredding the last remaining fragile fabric of the Anglican Communion”.
Archbishop Foley thanks God for those in the Church of England remaining faithful to biblical teaching: “We thank God for them and acknowledge their faithfulness to the Gospel, and our ongoing fellowship with and support for them.” In the Anglican Network in Europe, “We believe the Lord is raising up a biblical alternative for the Christian faithful in Great Britain.”
The Anglican Network in Europe has recently issued two statements: the first in response to the General Synod decision, and the second outlining ANiE’s ongoing relationship with faithful clergy and congregations remaining in the Church of England.
On 18th March in Aberystwyth, Archbishop Foley will lead the service of consecration of Stuart Bell as the second bishop of the Anglican Convocation Europe, part of the Anglican Network in Europe. Stuart will assist Andy Lines in the oversight of ACE churches in Wales and England. Details of how to attend or view the consecration service can be found here.
The Free Church of England and the Reformed Episcopal Church are part of the Gafcon GBE family. After a detailed and protracted investigation following allegations against Rt Rev John Fenwick and Rt Rev Paul Hunt, the Charity commission stated in September 2022 “we are assured that there has been no misappropriation of funds by the Charity or its Trustees.” The case is now closed.
The FCE General Secretary says: “FCE remains ready to bear faithful witness in an age when there are very great challenges to the Anglican family in the United Kingdom.” Recent initiatives include re-opening a church in Morecambe, planting a new church in York, and developing improved pathways to ordination.
Gafcon Kigali, the fourth global conference, 17-21 April 2023. Please pray for those organising the programme, for the speakers and seminar leaders as they prepare. Gafcon GBE will be convening the delegation from our branch, with representatives from different Anglican jurisdictions. Pray for good organisation, preparation and unity, so that all who attend from our region will gain as much as possible from being part of the conference.
Kate Forbes and faith in the public square
The openly Christian, Scottish Nationalist MP’s conservative views on marriage and abortion have provoked a furious reaction as she puts herself forward to lead the pro-independence party. Important questions arise: does the SNP necessarily need to position itself as ultra-progressive on social and cultural issues, or should it focus on competence in economic and administrative governance? And does faith still have a place in the public square? Is it no longer possible, because of media pressure, for a bible-believing Christian to be elected to high office? A collection of articles and videos has been compiled here.
Pray for Kate Forbes, other Christians in politics, and for opportunities to share the gospel in Scotland as a result of the media attention on what Christians believe.
Once again, after several attempts in recent years, lobbyists are trying to persuade MP’s to put forward a Private Member’s Motion in support of “assisted dying”. Some recent articles:
Canada considers allowing assisted suicide for children without parental consent, from Christian Today
Britain must heed Canada’s dystopian example, MP says, from Christian Institute
A Japanese professor at Yale floats the idea of mass suicide for the elderly, from MercatorNet
Pray for MP’s to continue to resist changes in the law in the UK.