Thousands of Christians in hundreds of churches across the UK and Ireland are preparing for a focused month of mission leading up to Easter 2022. A Passion for Life offers training in evangelism, resources to help plan a local mission, and opportunities to connect with other churches.
African Christians in the UK: a ‘new movement of post-colonial missionaries’, from Christian Today: Dr Harvey Kwiyani, a theologian and missiologist from Malawi, East Africa, is set to lead a freshly launched Master’s degree programme at Church Mission Society (CMS) that will focus on mission by African Christians in the West. Let’s pray that this and similar programmes equip evangelists from Africa working in Britain and Europe, and that academic theological study does not undermine the true gospel.
We give thanks for the privilege in sharing in the great commission with these faithful brothers and sisters, some of whom live in very difficult circumstances.
Archbishop Ben Kwashi says in his latest letter:
- Pray God’s Spirit will work powerfully in the hearts of those around the world who will hear the good news proclaimed. Pray also the Spirit will equip those who proclaim the gospel with wisdom and boldness.
- Ask God for opportunities in your own life to share the gospel with those around you and that Christ would be glorified by your words and actions.
This carefully considered statement expresses clearly the serious damage resulting from the decision of the CiW Governing Body on the 6th September to accept liturgy for the blessing of same-sex civil marriages or civil partnerships. It expresses thanks for the support faithful Anglicans in Wales have received from around the world, and mentions the need to continue to trust in God and preach the gospel.
Gafcon GBE will continue to play its part, through online communication and in-person visits, in supporting the leadership of EFCW. Please pray for them as they lead those who feel marginalised by their own church, and as they meet with Bishops in November to seek clarification on the issues mentioned in the Statement.
Meanwhile, Martin Davie has written an excellent critique of the Bishop of Asaph’s “unpersuasive and unorthodox” speech in favour of blessing of same sex marriages.
Responding to wrong decisions and failure of leadership in Anglican structures – Gafcon GBE’s policy
Gafcon GBE does not advocate either remaining in or leaving the historic Anglican churches, recognizing that faithful Anglicans will make different decisions often depending on local context, and issues of conscience. Rather, our role is to promote the Gafcon movement and vision, and to facilitate fellowship and cooperation between all Anglicans who are inspired by Gafcon, agree with the Jerusalem Declaration, and are prepared to ‘proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations’. Such faithfulness can be costly for those who decide to stay in and those who leave; both groups need support, and encouragement for continued unity.
See here for the recent Statement by the Gafcon Primates following their meeting in mid September: affirming that Anglican unity in mission is based on shared commitment to the essentials of the faith, even if there is disagreement on other important but secondary issues.
So, we advertise a conference such as ‘On the Edge’ (see below), but we also encourage our members to pray for newly elected members of Church of England’s General Synod who are willing to contend for the faith in that arena, and to get involved in local Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships. See here for more information from CEEC.
Future choices in the light of the trajectory of Anglicanism in the West
On the Edge is a confidential gathering for clergy or lay leaders who are thinking about whether they can stay in the Canterbury-aligned Anglican structures of the UK and Europe. The conference offers you the chance to get away with your family, or a trusted friend, for 24 hours in a relaxed and comfortable setting….an opportunity to meet with others who are wrestling with the same ecclesiological, practical and pastoral conundrums in a confidential and supportive environment. More information here.
Church of England
The parish church ‘is under real threat’, says Bishop of Truro, by Julian Mann, Christian Today:
The Bishop of Truro in Cornwall has admitted that “the parish church today is under real threat”. Speaking to members of Truro Diocesan Synod, Bishop Philip Mounstephen said the key threats were “an ageing demographic, declining congregations, the burden of maintaining buildings, the struggle to engage with missing generations, and declining income”.
Similarly, in an interview in the Church Times, Archbishop Justin Welby has denied that there is a conspiracy to abolish the historic parish church’s ministry in favour of new mission methods, or to burden clergy with more work and guilt-inducing growth schemes. Rather, “It’s God who grows the church…we can only do what God enables us to do”.
Can we do more to pray for the church amid the pressures of secularism and more recently, CoVid, and find ways of practically supporting stretched clergy and other ministers?
Assisted dying bill – again
Westminster Parliament’s latest debate on whether to legalise the intentional taking of life to “alleviate suffering” is scheduled for October 22nd. This is the seventh attempt to change the law in the past twenty years. The Scottish Parliament is also debating the issue. Please pray that this dangerous idea would again be rejected.
Article by Gavin Ashenden: “The Church should be at the forefront of a passionate opposition to assisted suicide”, from Christian Today
Resource from Australia: “Fighting the euthanasia debate and what if we lose?” Dominic Steele with Megan Best and Andrew Errington, The Pastor’s Heart: What are the consequences if euthanasia is legalised? And how do we fight the issue?