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.
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
[...] 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.
Ahead of the Church of England's House of Bishops meeting next month, nearly a hundred evangelical leaders from a variety of backgrounds, churches and organisations have sent an open letter to every English bishop warning that 'any further changes to practice or doctrine' over same-sex relationships 'will trigger a process of division and fragmentation among faithful Anglicans'. This initiative is led by the Evangelical Group on General Synod ('EGGS').
The letter follows here:
[Contains a clear reiteration of biblical doctrine on the mission of the Church in the world and sexual ethics, and strong warnings to the Church of England and other Western expressions of Anglicanism. New Steering Committee elected which contains Primates from both ‘Global South’ and ‘GAFCON’ groupings, demonstrating convergence of both movements, speaking with one voice and committed to working together to shape orthodox global Anglicanism now and for the future. ]
There is only one Church of Jesus Christ, his Body and his Bride. In the upper room before his death he prayed that the Father would glorify him (John 17:1-5), that the Father would sanctify his Apostles in the Truth (John 17:6-19) and that his Church may be one, so that the world may believe (John 17:20-26).
All three requests were answered through his death, his resurrection, his ascension and in the gift of the Holy Spirit. The prayer sees the foundation of a church one, holy, catholic and apostolic. In particular it is one.
As I write, GAFCON is about to launch a project which I believe will be very significant for the future of the Anglican Communion. Under the leadership of Director Dr Samson Mwaluda, the recently retired Bishop of Taita Taveta in Kenya, the GAFCON Bishops Training Institute begins its first conference in Nairobi on 29th September for some twenty recently consecrated bishops drawn from GAFCON affiliated provinces....Ungodly bishops have caused grievous tears in the fabric of the Communion, but godly bishops are being raised up to enable a reformed and renewed Anglican future with Bible at its heart.
"The world is our parish", Hull curate says, as AMiE agenda is set out. [Article from Church Times].
GAFCON UK is puzzled as to why the Church of England needs a 'Bishops' Reflection Group' on homosexuality. Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is clear, and the Bible is universally clear. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are same-sex attracted, and faithfully living according to God's revealed plan for human flourishing. As pastors, teachers, friends, and neighbours we can have no other response. The Church of England needs to have the courage of its foundational convictions, return to them, and move on to its mission of calling the nation to turn to Christ as the only Saviour and Lord.
18 September 2016
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales met in Lampeter 14th -15th September, 2016. Following the press coverage of the Archbishop's address [See ‘Wales Online’ report on Archbishop Morgan’s address to Governing Body here] the executive committee of EFCW responds as follows:
We note that the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a statement offering condolences on the death of David Jenkins, former Bishop of Durham. The Archbishop’s tribute makes no mention of the issue for which Dr Jenkins was best known, namely his public denial of miracles in the New Testament, including the Virgin Birth and the Physical Resurrection of Christ in the mid 1980’s.
My dear people of God,
I have just returned from a very encouraging visit to the United States where I met with my brother Archbishop Foley Beach and I rejoice to see how the Anglican Church in North America is growing strong and standing firm.
A group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching.