A round up of the news from Gafcon UK.
The Archbishop of York is the second most senior cleric in the Church of England and the appointment of Bishop Stephen Cottrell will clearly shape the future direction of the Church. It is therefore concerning to hear about the experience of some conservative clergy in his current diocese. At least four clergy have resigned their positions in recent months and others have spoken publicly of how they are used to being told they “don’t belong.”
In the light of recent reports in the media, Bishop Andy Lines, describes his own experience of spiritual manipulation.
St Silas Church in the West End of Glasgow has voted to discontinue its status as a licensed private chapel within the Scottish Episcopal Church. After a process of consultation and prayer, a members vote was held and an emphatic majority of 86% voted to leave.
Representatives of conservative evangelical clergy from the Diocese of Chelmsford met on Wednesday 12 June to discuss, among other matters, Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s letter to clergy of June 2019.
Just before Christmas, the House of Bishops published pastoral guidance which “welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people” - and encourages clergy to use existing liturgy (of Baptism, Confirmation or the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith) if a transgender adult wishes to reaffirm their Christian faith and mark their transition.
Gafcon UK notes the clarification from the Secretary of the Archbishops’ Council regarding the Guidance from the House of Bishops, on how the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith liturgy can be used for adults who identify as transgender.
Yesterday, I met with leaders of AMiE (Anglican Mission in England) and Gafcon UK to discuss plans for future growth and global partnership. We gave thanks to God for the joy that is found in the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ in our unstable times.
Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman-designate of Gafcon, will be visiting mainland Britain in October.
Gafcon UK welcomes the recent statement by the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales, which gives a pastorally sensitive and doctrinally clear summary of the biblically orthodox position on the issue of same sex relationships.
Two meetings are being held in October to celebrate the vision and work of GAFCON. You’re invited to join in prayer, fellowship and inspiration.
Hear how Gafcon is making a practical difference through the Anglican Church in North America, in Britain, Europe and across the world.
Be challenged and encouraged as we hear from God’s word on what it means to be a faithful Anglican today.
Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Chairman-Designate, Gafcon.
Bishop Andy Lines, speaking on behalf of Gafcon UK, said today:
We are not surprised, but nevertheless deeply saddened and concerned by the decision by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa to accept Motion 29 and so pave the way for the blessing of same sex relationships.
Anglican Network in Canada, part of the Anglican Church in North America, and the Diocese into which Andy Lines was consecrated Bishop in June 2017, has recently launched a new website. They say: “We are a continent-wide family of churches which, like the majority of Anglicans worldwide, remain faithful to established Christian doctrine and Anglican practice...We believe the Bible is the word of the one true God and that the good news about Jesus Christ and what he's done for us is the power of God for salvation."
Friday morning I woke up buzzing. This is “not normal” for me at the end of the working week. I was buzzing about the Anglican Church. This, in part by my own fault, is for me, not merely “not normal”, it is a something I had missed for quite some time. A member of Archbishop’s Council and General Synod summed-up how I have been feeling in her recent resignation statement,
“…as a corporate body [the Church of England has] become unable to articulate the reality of sin, repentance and forgiveness- without this message we do not teach a true gospel and people do not get saved”.
That is not the sort of stuff to make you wake-up buzzing about the Church on a Friday.
Statement about AMiE ordinations:
A significant event in the life of the Church will take place on Thursday 7th December 2017 in London. The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) will be holding its first ordination service led by the newly consecrated Missionary Bishop, Andy Lines.
AMiE is a growing network of churches who are Anglican by conviction. They are not part of the central structures of the Church of England but are connected to the global Anglican family through Gafcon.
The people of Christ Church, Harris, announced today that they can no longer remain under the oversight of the bishop of Argyll and the Isles, the Right Reverend Kevin Pearson. This follows his decision to support the change to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) which introduced the innovation of same-sex marriage.
The fact that Lorna Ashworth has served on General Synod for 12 years, and was chosen to serve on Archbishops’ Council, shows the respect in which she is held by her peers. Her people skills, her considerable abilities in mastering complicated church business, and in articulating a point of view clearly and consistently, are well known to many. And yet Lorna is not interested in power, in making a name for herself or in being the centre of attention; rather she has simply wanted to serve, whether in Synod, in her local church, in her workplace, or as a wife and mother.
The Primates’ Communiqué appears to continue promoting the narrative of Anglicans ‘walking together’ despite the absence of four Provinces representing millions of Anglicans, and despite profound disagreement expressed within the meeting on understandings of what it means to be Christian, and how we know what is right and wrong.
Many church leaders, parishes and individual Anglicans in Britain now increasingly identify with the values and global vision of Gafcon, rather than the all too familiar trend to follow “another Gospel”: theology and practice that is seen to be more in keeping with our rapidly secularizing culture. Here is a suggested PCC resolution for those who want to publicly affiliate to this global fellowship committed to preserving and proclaiming historic, apostolic, biblical Christian faith. In this way we can support the Gafcon movement and be refreshed by the spiritual wisdom and vitality of the worldwide Church.