News

“GAFCON is enabling the Anglican Communion to be fit for God’s purposes in the twenty-first century. We are uniting Anglicans around the world in faithful witness to Jesus Christ and recovering Biblical truth where it has been compromised. There is much still to do, but we give great thanks to God for his grace at work among us.”
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh - GAFCON Chairman

In this letter, GAFCON Chairman Nicholas Okoh addresses the recent call of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for "radical inclusion"in the Church of England, and urges faithful Anglicans to remember those suffering in South Sudan and northern Nigeria.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have said, in a statement from 16th February:

we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual. 

Responses from Bishops

The confusion created by the General Synod vote on 15th February makes abundantly clear that a new vision is now needed of what Anglican Christianity in England can and should be.

GAFCON UK welcomes the publication of the OneBodyOneFaith statement “A time to build”.

The statement is admirably clear in its wholesale abandonment of any pretence that OneBodyOneFaith has any respect for Biblical authority or any interest in the wellbeing of global Anglicanism.

While “A time to build” suggests that it seeks “theological diversity” it in fact requires that the whole Church worldwide submit to a view that God has not spoken clearly in his Word about the nature of humanity and human sexuality.

GAFCON UK is grateful that with this statement, the Church of England has ruled out any intention to change its teaching on marriage. The Bishops have taken seriously the views of the global Anglican Communion and the need to maintain consistency with historic and apostolic teaching, while admitting the serious differences in interpretation of this deposit. 

I welcome the Report of the Bishops’ Reflection Group on Sexuality upholding of the doctrine set out in Canon B30. It is to be noted that this Canon is not just about marriage being between a man and a woman but also about its lifelong nature, the birth and the nurture of children and the ‘hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affection’. This cannot go hand in hand with wanting to make pastoral provision for public prayer for those in others kinds of relationships.

[From Christian Today] ...Rev James Paice, a member of the GAFCON UK Taskforce, said he along with other Anglicans in the generally more conservative global south, "are appalled at the lack of discipline by the Scottish Episcopal Church at this continued syncretism and confusion over mission."

Paice's open letter follows outrage from conservative Anglicans and comes after a similar call for punishment by the conservative former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali.

"The authorities of the Scottish Episcopal Church should immediately repudiate this ill-advised invitation," he said in a statement.

An interview with the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, was recently published as an article in the Church of Ireland Gazette…. GAFCON, says the Archbishop, is not a movement of the Holy Spirit because it insists on its own way, causing division, rather than accepting that the church will never be perfect and being willing to work within the existing structures. [Peter Jensen evaluates these claims].

As 2017AD begins, let us not forget that the way we measure time itself bears witness to Jesus Christ as Lord of history. The era in which we live began with his birth and it will end with his return. As global political and economic instability increases and the challenges of terrorism, hunger and environmental breakdown stubbornly persist, we weep with those who weep, but it is also our great duty and joy to be entrusted with the message of God’s love so wonderfully revealed in Jesus Christ for lost people and a broken world...The GAFCON movement has a vital role to play in this task.

We are grateful to God for the gracious, unsolicited affirmation of the recent activities of GAFCON UK given by Archbishop Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council.

As the season of Advent begins, I am calling on all of us who belong to the GAFCON movement to make this a time when we focus our prayer and our giving on the great work God has called us to do.

At the heart of our mission is the task of restoring the Bible to its rightful place at the centre of the Anglican Communion and if we really believe its message, then everything we do will be shaped by the promise of Christ’s glorious, personal and universal return as Saviour, Judge and Lord. In an uncertain world, this is certain... 

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You may find the following links helpful:

To: Mr William Nye, Secretary General, Archbishops’ Council, Church House, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3AZ

From: Revd David Holloway, Vicar of Jesmond, Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DJ

27 November 2016

Dear Mr Nye,

Earlier this year I was speaking with an English friend concerned about the direction of the Church of England. “Where do we draw the line?” he asked. “That’s easy,” I replied: “It’s called Lambeth Resolution I.10.”

The 1998 Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality has been and remains the Rubicon for the Anglican Communion. Those who step over that line will have divorced themselves from biblical Christianity, from historic Anglicanism, and from the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide. Several provinces of the Communion have already taken that step. It appears that the Mother Church is about to follow.

The open letter to Canon Andy Lines of GAFCON UK from the Secretary-General of the Archbishops’ Council is very significant. It can be taken as the official position of the C of E leadership. Helpfully, the letter moves away from matters of tone and motive which tend to dominate discussion and gets to the real issue, namely, what is, or should be, the teaching of the worldwide Church on sexual ethics, and how do we apply this in the Church of England?

We have received inquiries about the way the GAFCON UK Lambeth I.10 briefing was developed, the reasons behind why it was created, and its accuracy.  Below is some more information about each topic.

The Process

For this briefing a large amount of information was gathered by a group of contributors, and divided into four distinct categories:

1)   rumours (little if any credibility)

2)   confirmed private information, (credible, but confidential)

3)   publicly available information, (credible, publicly available, but of lesser significance)

This paper [now updated, with more footnotes] was recently presented as a briefing to the GAFCON Primates on the situation in the Church of England regarding attitudes, teaching and practice on sexual ethics, official and unofficial. It argues that the Church of England has already ‘crossed the line’ by allowing a culture to develop where violations of Lambeth Resolution I:10 are increasingly prevalent. It is published with permission.

 

The Church of England and Lambeth I.10

Introduction

[...] If an Anglican church in the North were to divide, the result is traumatising and horrible. But, if an Anglican church in a Global South country were to divide, the results could be catastrophic not just for the church but for the nation and especially the poor. And what helps the churches to retain their identity and unity is – or was – the Anglican Communion.

My dear people of God,

This month, two ancient cities have hosted meetings which both tell us much about the future of our beloved Communion. With my brother GAFCON Primates, I was present in Cairo for the Sixth Anglican Global South conference at which twenty Provinces of the Anglican Communion were represented. At the same time, a group of Anglican Primates were with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome to celebrate fifty years of ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.

In Cairo, I preached about the peace which Jesus Christ alone can bring.