Global South Communiqué
The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches is a body of church leaders representing the large majority of the Anglican Communion in terms of local church membership. Go to the website here, and scroll down the home page for a list of member Provinces and Dioceses. Gafcon Provinces are members of Global South; Global South is wider than Gafcon, but it is equally committed to “guarding the faith once delivered”. It takes a less overtly confrontational line towards Western liberal leadership in the Anglican Communion compared to Gafcon – in fact Archbishop Justin Welby addressed their recent gathering in October. But the Communiqué issued after that meeting emphasised the danger of “unchecked spread of revisionism”, and reaffirmed their fellowship based on theological orthodoxy as a basis for cooperation in witness and mission.
Canon Dr Phil Ashey of ACNA explains in this piece why he thinks the developing mutual accountability and ‘conciliar’ process of Global South/Gafcon offers “a hope and a future” for faithful Anglicans.
Martin Davie shows that the Archbishop of Canterbury is mistaken in continuing to promote "good disagreement" between incompatible views on doctrine and ethics, and in accusing Gafcon of being motivated by power.
Dr Michael Nazir-Ali’s move to the Roman Catholic Church
has generated a great deal of reaction. Gafcon GBE’s statement reflects our appreciation for his past ministry and particularly his encouragement and help for us. In the statement we continue to affirm our confidence in Gafcon’s vision of global, biblical, Spirit-led Anglicanism as a robust and safe spiritual home and vehicle for mission. But we do not see the need to attack Dr Nazir Ali personally or for that matter the church he has joined, even if we do not agree with his choice.
Church in Wales
There will be a Day of Prayer on 23rd Nov as leading orthodox clergy and laity meet with the CiW Bishops, to discuss their serious concerns following the decision of Governing Body to mandate the blessing of same sex relationships in church.
Please continue to uphold in prayer those Welsh Anglicans who cannot accept the new policy. One example is Rev Josh Maynard from a parish in Pembrokeshire, who is looking to set up a new ministry under Anglican Convocation Europe. His sermon explaining his decision, an interview and detail on how to offer support can be found on the ‘ACE Anglicans’ website here.
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. Please pray for the next conference which takes place in mid-November.
C of E General Synod
Conservatives are encouraged that a good number of biblically orthodox clergy and laity have been elected to the new body. Some well known names in evangelical circles have been elected for the first time, and some observers estimate that there are enough conservatives to block any vote to change liturgy and canons in a revisionist direction. A full list of elected members can be found here. The next meeting of General Synod is 15-17 November.
Prayer support for theologically orthodox Synod reps is encouraged through Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships, national networks and social media. Gafcon GBE wants to play its part in standing with those committed to standing firm for the faith on General Synod, and support the work of CEEC in its promotion of the biblical gospel in the Church of England, and evangelism through local churches. We also want to warn against complacency, and encourage a clear-eyed understanding of the power of the forces of secularism in the nation impacting on the body of Christ from without, as well as issues of theology and politics within the church.
The Church Times reported on 27 October how the Archbishop of Canterbury has publicly rebuked the Anglican Church of Ghana for supporting a draft Bill proposing to criminalise LGBT identity and same sex relationships. The Archbishop’s intervention has been followed by a number of Church of England bishops, and a statement which supporters can sign has been set up on the evangelical blog site Psephizo.
Some points to bear in mind in response:
- How can we best express our desire to see all people, especially historically despised minorities, treated with justice and dignity?
- In making critical statements about our brothers and sisters in different cultures, can we be honest about our motivation: is it genuine concern for the global church, or ‘virtue signalling’ to peers in the West?
- As we pray and consider action, we could ask ourselves: do we actually have any relationship with the Church in Ghana? Do we understand the local context? How will they feel about being told what to do by affluent white Europeans, especially those who showed no interest in their country and church before this?
- The Church in Ghana has distinguished between those with same sex attraction and those involved in same sex relationships, and has called for an end for “harassment” of LGBT people. In what ways could this positive shift become a basis for engagement in fellowship with the Ghanaian church, building on shared concern for upholding of biblical truth and wholesome family life, standing together against negative impacts of secular Western ideologies, showing compassion and pastoral care for individuals struggling with sexual attraction and gender identity issues?
Gafcon GBE 2022 conference
Please watch this space for information on a series of one day Gafcon GBE conferences across GB in March 2022, to coincide with a visit to London by Gafcon General Secretary Archbishop Ben Kwashi.
UK government and the church
Please pray for the response of many Christians to the consultation around the proposed ban on ‘conversion therapy’ (deadline: 10th December). Join with us in asking God to guide the government to stand firm against the LGBT lobby (both inside and outside churches). Pray that laws would not be passed in 2022 which would restrict freedom of pastoral care and counselling, and which would make it very difficult for those who have embarked on a gay or trans identity and lifestyle, to access help, if they wish, to turn back and find a more wholesome and fruitful path. Pray that faithful Christian leaders would develop appropriate plans for the church’s ministry in the event of these laws being passed.
From Christian Institute
From Evangelical Alliance
and this excellent opinion piece:
In praise of conversion, by Matthew Roberts, The Critic