biblically orthodox, broad-based, global Anglicanism

News

13th May 2021
Martin Davie

The Church of England is nearing an urgent and defining decision. In preparation for this, it has launched a suite of resources, Living in Love and Faith, centred on a book of the same title. Is it biblical for churches to bless same-sex couples? How can the church welcome everyone, including LGBTQI+ people, in love and in faith? Scripture’s teaching is clear, but is that clarity reflected in these resources?

The predicament of the Church of England is not taken lightly. As Martin Davie writes in this thorough study, ‘We cannot limp along, endlessly “doing the splits” between two contradictory viewpoints.’ Will the C of E return to its historic roots? Is division inevitable? What should we do now? This book closes with FAQs and four points of action.

194pp £8.99. ISBN 978 1 8380972 6 4

An ebook is available at no cost from 10ofthose.com Use code LOVEANDFAITH

Purchase Martin's book here.

17th March 2021
Gafcon IOW

This week Gafcon IOW (Isle of Wight, UK) was launched. This is a local expression of a global movement, and the Steering Committee are thrilled to be under the umbrella of the largest anglican movement in the world.

The Gafcon movement is a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion. Our mission is to guard the unchanging, transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ and to proclaim Him to the world. We are founded on the Bible, bound together by the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008, and led by a Primates Council, which represents the majority of the world’s Anglicans. 

Gafcon works to guard and proclaim the unchanging, transforming Gospel through biblically faithful preaching and teaching which frees our churches to make disciples by clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ in all the world.

On the Isle of Wight we want to faithfully work out the goals of Gafcon Global, by: 

1. Proclaiming Christ faithfully to all people

2. Defending the church against heretical and false teachers

3. Providing a ‘home’ for anyone looking for authentic Biblical Anglicanism

Rev. James Leggett, Rev. Mark Williams and Rev. Dozie Moneme lead four churches on the island. They are so encouraged to be working together under the umbrella of Gafcon, and as such committed to seeing God’s kingdom grow. They represent churches both inside the Church of England and also the Anglican Mission in England, which comes under the oversight of Bishop Andy Lines. We believe that the Gafcon movement is the most timely provision for the church on the Isle of Wight. We pray that the Lord will bless this initiative by growing his kingdom, as we plant, establish and secure churches across the island. 

Ends 

Website: www.gafconiow.org.uk

16th February 2021
GAFCON UK

Ash Wednesday reflection: 17 February 2021

Joel 2:1-17
Matt 6:1-21

The Book of Joel begins with a pandemic: there have been successive invasions of locusts which have destroyed the Agrarian economy of ancient Israel. Joel regards this ‘natural’ disaster as a judgement on the nation. He doesn’t list, as some other prophets do, the wrongdoings of the nation but we can imagine what they might have been. They will have included a lack of preparedness for sudden disaster, neglect of cultivable land and storage of food to see a nation through such an emergency.

I am sure that some features of this pandemic will remind people of what we have been passing through this last year: our own abuse of the natural world and, in particular, the animal kingdom may well have led to this dangerous virus crossing the species barrier and running riot through human societies quite unprepared for it. There have been other recent instances of viruses crossing the species barrier and we should have been warned.  In this sense, at least, what has happened is judgement which we have called down on ourselves.

Joel calls for a solemn act of corporate repentance to ward off the worst effects of the calamity and to prepare for a better future. It is a pity that many calls for the nation to repent and to pray for an end to the present pandemic have gone unheard in our present situation. All hope has been invested in Science, which is also God given, but can only address part of the damage that has been caused and does not have the resources to bring healing and wholeness of mind, body and spirit.

Joel does not stop at asking for repentance, fasting and prayer only regarding the pandemic. He sees the disaster as presaging the coming Day of the Lord when there will be a final reckoning for which the nation needs to prepare even more than for a natural disaster like an invasion of locusts. He emphasises the corporate nature of such prayer and fasting: everyone is to gather, no one is excused and some have a special function in the intercession.

When this happens the Lord promises deliverance from natural or human danger and promises the blessing which became the Church’s way of understanding what had happened at Pentecost, even as it preached the imminence and the inevitability of the coming Day of the Lord and the way of salvation: whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21).

In Joel the emphasis on the corporate, contains within it, a reference also to the need for personal response: even the bride and the bridegroom are not excused because they are on honeymoon!

Jesus too, in his teaching on Prayer, fasting and giving has both dimensions in mind: general teaching for his followers corporately is immediately followed by personal challenge: when you (singular) give don’t do it to earn recognition in society. Give secretly and you will be rewarded by your Father. When you pray (singular) don’t do it for sake of a public show. Pray inwardly and you will be heard. When you fast ( singular again) don’t look miserable so everyone knows you are fasting. Be cheerful and well turned out and God will heed the intention of your fast.

As in the Old, so in the New Testament, the importance of corporate repentance is held together with need for a personal response( Acts2:38-40). Let us then keep Lent together, in any way that is possible in these circumstances, but let us also respond personally with prayer, fasting and giving.

- This reflection has been written specially for Gafcon UK by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
It has also been posted on this website here

Gafcon UK News

CEEC have produced video resources, entitled ‘One’, showing evangelical Anglicans in England discussing the issue of race from a biblical perspective.

Rev Dr Jason Roach, minister of The Bridge Church, Battersea, says:

“The gospel impacts all of life. Churches should be beacons of racial integration and harmony and of unity amid ethnic diversity. This is a matter for all Christians to take seriously.”

See CEEC press release here 

Gafcon is of course a visible, living example of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic fellowship. Gafcon UK endorses the ‘One’ initiative… ‘One’ initiative, adding that membership of and support for the global Gafcon movement can be an important dimension in helping local churches to consciously reflect ethnic diversity and partnership in discipleship and mission across cultures.

Anglican Network in Europe

PASSING THE BATON: The public commissioning of Anglican Convocation Europe will take place online on February 22. ACE, one of the member Convocations of the Anglican Network in Europe, was validated by Gafcon as an authentic Anglican jurisdiction in December 2020. The launch, led by Archbishop Foley Beach and Bishop Andy Lines, will include messages of support from around the world, and an address by Bishop Charlie Masters of the Anglican Network in Canada. All Gafcon UK members are invited to join this meeting, to give thanks and pray for this new initiative.

Sign up using this link: http://bit.ly/ACECommissioning 

Click here to visit the Anglican Network in Europe website.

Ash Wednesday Day of Prayer

There will be four one-hour prayer slots on Ash Wednesday 17 February to which all are welcome. They will be led by 2 churches from AMiE and two from ACE. Sign up here to get the relevant Zoom links. Anglican Network in Europe

Lent resources from Gafcon Global

Gafcon has provided videos to help prepare our hearts and minds, as we enter into the season of Lent. Using songs, cultures, and images and meeting different people from around the world, these  resources provide inspiring visual and audio accompaniment to reflections on the word of God, reminding us of our part in a worldwide fellowship. We might worship in different ways and speak in different accents and even languages, but we who share the same faith are one in Christ.

The Journey Part 1, including contributions from Anglicans in Pakistan, Australia, Burundi and North America.
The Journey Part 2, featuring a conversation between Archbishop Foley Beach and Keith and Kristin Getty, who perform a new recording of a song.
The Journey Part 3 includes more teaching and music from Brazil, Uganda and Kenya.

Click here for these videos on the Gafcon Global website

Other useful resources:

Dr Peter Walker, who led tours of the Holy Land for delegates to the Gafcon Jerusalem conference of 2018, is running an online Lent Course: “Travelling with Jesus to Jerusalem”, with accompanying material from Walkway Books: Seminars each Tuesday and Wednesday through Lent.

30th January 2021
GAFCON UK

Where is the Elijah?

An Anglican leader from outside the UK once told me how he used to view the Church of England. The problem, he thought, was loss of confidence of God’s word in the church, partly as a result of secularism in the culture. The solution would be a strong, inspiring individual to lead recovery of gospel and revival in the church, and/or to establish a new faithful church, and then, a strong, inspiring individual to protect the Judaeo-Christian world view in the nation, and restrict the influence of the secular progressive agenda. Where is that hoped-for ‘Elijah’ figure?

This investment of hope in the individual human leader to stand up against evil, gather the righteous and establish peace and security with “our side” as the winners, seems to be hardwired in us. We always seem to want a personality, a face, a contemporary ‘king’ to inspire us and lead us. That person can become the embodiment of our faith, obscuring Christ himself, so that when things are going well, we defer to these leaders as the fount of all spiritual power and wisdom. But when the leaders turn out to have feet of clay, we are devastated, and sometimes, influenced by the jeering of others, we are tempted to question the faith that these fallen ‘Elijahs’ preached. We need to remember the lesson of 1 Samuel 8, where the people insisted on a king so they could be “like all the other nations” (1 Samuel 8:20); to teach them a lesson God gave them one, and it was Saul.

The leader who asked ‘where is the Elijah?’ realised that this was the wrong question. Or at least, he was looking in the wrong place - for a person rather than a vision. The answer to the problem of secularism in society and turning away from the truth in the church, is not another charismatic human leader. We already have one for all time - the man Christ Jesus. Nor is the answer to be found in an institution, as if the New Testament shows God setting up his kingdom through respected political, technological and educational establishments.

A vision is something more than an idea. We can see it; it’s tangible - communities being established around the world, of ordinary people whose lives are changed by encounter with the crucified and risen Lord, who quietly and humbly resist the deluge of lies fed to them by false teachers in church and culture, build their lives on the Rock, and proclaim his salvation and his values to those around them, to others in their nation, and to the ends of the earth. They know they are not starting from scratch, but stand on the shoulders of godly men and women before them; they use trusted forms of governance to ensure accountability and liturgical worship to align with the Scriptures and the wider movement.

Among Anglicans, it is Gafcon which articulates and guards this vision of global, faithful Christian life and witness. While we give thanks for the courageous and wise leaders of the movement, our faith is not in them or in the respectability of the institutions they represent, but in the vision summarised in the Jerusalem Declaration, and lived out in thousands of parishes in different countries: ethnically and culturally diverse, united in the Lord and his truth. So if a leader fails, or the movement faces a problem, we are saddened and moved again to pray for the Lord’s mercy, but our faith in God and in his gospel is not shaken. We need a focus to inspire, to point out what’s wrong, to show the right path, to encourage us to walk in it. The Elijah for our time is not a contemporary leader, but the Gafcon vision.

Gafcon UK News

Anglican Network in Europe:

As reported in our December issue, the formation of ANiE was approved by the Gafcon Primates in December. This means that existing and new Anglican congregations which join the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) or Anglican Convocation Europe (ACE) are recognised as authentically Anglican by the majority of the Communion, and come under accountable episcopal oversight. The official launch of AMiE took place online on 14th December, and the launch of ACE is planned for February. Please pray for Bishop Andy Lines and for the congregations of ANiE as they share in gospel mission. 
See the ANiE website here and an interview with Andy Lines and others here.

Scotland: 

Dave McCarthy of St Thomas, Edinburgh, writes:

All places of worship are currently closed but gathering continues online. Westhill Community Church in Aberdeen continues to negotiate with the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) over property - pray for a swift resolution of this so that they can make decisions about their future. St Thomas’, Edinburgh and Christ Church, Harris (Western Isles) have recently voted to confirm affiliation to the new Anglican Convocation in Europe - praise God for this. Pray also for St Silas’, Glasgow (ACE) - for fruitfulness in  ministries to students and families at a time when physical meeting is impossible. 

For those faithful Anglicans remaining in the Scottish Episcopal Church - there are several clergy and lay people who have raised complaints of bullying by bishops. Pray that these will be taken seriously and that a just process of investigation will be followed. 

Wales:

Our correspondent from the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales (EFCW) sent this report:

In September 2021 the Governing Body of the Church in Wales will consider a bill to allow the use of a liturgy that will ‘bless’ Same Sex Marriage. Should the Bill be passed, the Bench of Bishops will ask the Doctrinal Commission to begin work on redefining marriage. 2021 will be a challenging year for faithful Anglicans in Wales. There is a feeling amongst orthodox Anglicans of being under threat at the moment, and of the continuing growth of the liberal agenda at all levels of the Province.

The Archbishop of Wales has announced his retirement in May. It is unlikely a new Archbishop will be appointed in 2021 in the current circumstances. This raises questions over the leadership, and gives a feeling of uncertainty. We rejoice, though, that God is at work in Wales. We praise God particularly for a new generation of leaders being raised within Evangelicalism. We praise God for conversations taking place across churchmanships amongst orthodox Anglicans, and we praise God for the growth of lay membership and involvement in EFCW.

Please hold us in your prayers, and we particularly ask for strength, courage and wisdom as we face a difficult year.

England: CEEC

The annual meeting of the Church of England Evangelical Council took place on 12-13 January. It is a gathering of evangelical Bishops, clergy and lay people representing different networks, some of which are supporters of Gafcon.. There is determination to remain united in commitment to biblical truth despite differences on secondary issues. Discussions included how to best use the Beautiful Story video, how to ensure that biblical teaching on sexuality and marriage generally is disseminated through the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships, and how to prepare for General Synod later in the year by ensuring that good evangelical candidates stand for election. Also, new resources on how to engage biblically with issues of race and ethnicity were unveiled. See the CEEC website here.

Global news

We want to encourage our readers to follow the Gafcon Global site, which has now been re-designed so regular news updates, items for prayer for the church around the world, and daily devotionals can be easily accessed. In particular, let’s remember the ministry of the key Networks - recently we’ve been asked to remember those places where the church is under persecution, and also the development of effective theological education and training of pastors which is appropriate for local contexts.

23rd December 2019

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.”

Many point to his Presidential Address in March 2017, where, having reminded clergy that he was their Father in God and that they, and other licensed ministers, had made him an oath of canonical obedience, he explained his thinking on issues of human sexuality.

At the moment”, he said, “there is no consensus in the Church of England for those relationships to be formally blessed in Church, or for the Church of England to embrace same-sex marriage, but the current arrangements do welcome lay people and clergy into civil partnerships and there is no reason why prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships – perhaps a Eucharist - cannot be offered.”  

He went on, “Therefore, let me be loud and clear on this issue: whether you believe there should be same sex marriage or the blessing of same sex unions or whether you do not, you are still a faithful Anglican.”

One of the clergy who has resigned his licence is Rev John Parker.  In a recent interview, he described how he, and others, sought to contend for a more biblical perspective, but ended up resigning because,

“To be faithful to the words of Jesus I cannot be in fellowship with those who twist and change the grace of God into a license to do whatever they want…”

His story can be read here.

Bishop Stephen has consistently denied claims that he has suggested conservative clergy are unwelcome, however, many clergy would disagree and some felt they needed to respond to the Bishop’s claims in a statement earlier this year.

 “We noticed it was carefully worded,” said Kieran Bush, Vicar of St John’s, Walthamstow. “It gave the impression that the Bishop had never suggested that John Parker should leave the Church of England. The truth is that Stephen Cottrell has, on more than one occasion, told clergy, including John Parker, that if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave. There were more than thirty clergy at one of the meetings.”

On hearing about the appointment Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester and President of Gafcon UK, said, “We need to pray for the Church of England and for Bishop Stephen at this time because I am very concerned that someone who has openly argued and worked for a change in the Church’s teaching on human sexuality should have been nominated to such a senior position.  I urge Bishop Stephen to publicly affirm the teaching of the Bible, the universal teaching of the Church, the Lambeth Conference Resolution 1:10 and the 1987 Resolution of General Synod on matters of sexuality.  Without this, orthodox believers in the CofE will have to ask what place there is in this church for them”. 

Gafcon UK calls on all faithful Anglicans to join them in the words of this week’s Collect.

“O Lord Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming sent your messenger

to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.”
 

*Audio clip from a recent interview with John Parker here

 

26th June 2019

In the light of recent reports in the media, Bishop Andy Lines, describes his own experience of spiritual manipulation.

“Those with spiritual authority are like all in authority. All authority is open to abuse or manipulation.

I have been coming to terms with elements of spiritual manipulation in my own life. It has been a very hard and painful process requiring months of professional counselling for me to come to terms with what I have experienced. It took considerable time before the light went on, and has required lots of support during three months in Australia. However, I now realise the nature of what was happening. I have come to realise that this can happen to strong as well as vulnerable people. I have become aware that the particular manipulation and control I have experienced has been experienced by a number of others.

We do not always act in accordance with our stated belief in a God of grace. However good our intentions are, Christian leadership in encouraging spiritual growth in others, needs to draw on the grace of God as experienced in the Bible for motivation rather than on external coercion. When we fail cheap grace is not what we need. What is required is recognition of our sinfulness and repentance, confident in the forgiveness Jesus alone provides.

I am grateful to those who have reached out to me in support. As I pray and think about my own experience, I trust that I will be able to share with and help other survivors.

Since September last year, I have not exercised formal episcopal duties as such. The authorities to whom I am accountable have carried out a thorough investigation and have cleared me to return to such duties. But it is apparent that such a return can only be gradual, both because of the need to recover from all that this ordeal has involved, and also to allow time to consult with those whom I am called to minister to.”

 

In response to this statement the following comments have been made

 

“The betrayal of trust by a mentor is a terrible wound, and when things like this take place in the Church it only increases the pain. Bishop Lines is a survivor who has shown the willingness to do the hard spiritual and emotional work of coming to grips with the actions of an abusive father-figure. He has my full support as he works to support other victims and cares for those churches leading the reformation of Anglicanism in Europe.”

Archbishop Foley Beach,
Primate of the Anglican Church in North America
Chair of the Gafcon Primates’ Council

 

“Bishop Lines has immense gifts for ministry, and through this difficult personal trial has shown himself to be a leader of character. He has my full support, and I look forward to working beside him in the years to come.”

Archbishop Ben Kwashi,
Gafcon General Secretary

 

 

If you would like to contact Bishop Andy Lines, please email gafconuk@gmail.com

14th June 2019

St Silas Church is leaving the Scottish Episcopal Church

10 June 2019 

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.    

St Silas describes itself as a growing, welcoming, diverse church family of many nationalities and all ages. The Rector, Martin Ayers, says, “We welcome anyone and everyone to spend time with us and discover how Jesus answers the big questions of life.” The church has a congregation of 225 on average each Sunday, making it one of the largest churches in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway.

The Church has made the following statement:

Recent decisions of the Scottish Episcopal Church have made clear to us that the denomination does not regard the Bible as the authoritative word of God.  With deep sadness, we have therefore decided that for reasons of integrity we can no longer continue as part of the Scottish Episcopal Church.  We want to leave with goodwill towards those with whom we are parting company, and sincerely pray for God’s blessing for the SEC in the future, and its renewal around God’s word.

Mr Ayers, said: “There are many presenting issues that have caused difficulty within the Scottish Episcopal Church in recent years, but for us this is simply about the central place of Jesus and his words in the life of our church.  We feel that the Scottish Episcopal Church has moved away from the message of the Bible, and that we cannot follow them.”

Mr Ayers added, “We have taken the decision to leave because of our commitment to Jesus Christ and his word.  Above all, though, our vision remains unchanged.  We are a community of ordinary people who believe in an extraordinary God, and we are seeking by our words and actions to make known in Glasgow the life-transforming news of His love, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

St Silas Church now says it will accept the offer of alternative oversight and fellowship from the Anglican Archbishops who lead the “Global Anglican Future” movement (Gafcon), which represents over 50 million of the 70 million Anglicans worldwide. 

Mr Ayers said, “Our goal now is to be part of a network of faithful Anglican churches in Scotland, serving our communities, making Jesus known, and working in partnership with bible believing churches of any denomination.  We welcome others to join us.”

Ends

Further Information

The congregation was established in 1864 as an independent private chapel committed to the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer.  For much of its history, it was under the oversight of Bishops from the Church of England, particularly the Bishop of Carlisle, but a few decades ago the congregation took the decision to join the Scottish Episcopal Church as a Private Chapel.  It is the fourth congregation to decide to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church since 2016.  However, the Rector, Martin Ayers, identified the decision of the denomination in the 1980s to move away from the 39 Articles, the historic Anglican basis of faith which continues to be an essential part of the SEC’s sister denomination south of the border, the Church of England, as a key moment.

For further information, contact:

Ruth Davison
Administrator
St Silas Church Office
69 Park Road
Glasgow G4 9JE

admin@stsilas.org.uk

0141 337 2276

13th June 2019

“We are used to being told that we don’t belong”

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.

“We noticed it was carefully worded,” said Kieran Bush, Vicar of St John’s, Walthamstow. “It gave the impression that the Bishop had never suggested that John Parker should leave the Church of England. The truth is that Stephen Cottrell has, on more than one occasion, told clergy, including John Parker, that if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave. There were more than thirty clergy at one of the meetings.”

It was after a smaller meeting, in September 2018, that John Parker and another colleague felt compelled to break fellowship with the bishop.

“We are all concerned about the growing climate of intolerance and the number of clergy who are finding their position in the Church of England increasingly untenable,” said another member of the group, Mark Holdaway, Rector of St Michael’s Kirby-le-Soken with All Saints, Great Holland.

[This statement has also been published on the Church Society website, here. ]

28th January 2019
GAFCON UK

Gafcon UK publishes briefing for PCC’s.

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.

This has caused considerable concern amongst lay and ordained members of the Church of England for a variety of theological and pastoral reasons. This briefing seeks to summarise some of those concerns and suggest ideas for further reading.

* Three ways in which the Guidance undermines the biblical understanding of baptism…

* How the Guidance ignores biblical teaching and pastoral issues…

* Why a ‘celebration’ of gender transition is inappropriate…

* Some ethical concerns about gender transition therapy…

* The view of other parts of the Anglican Communion about this development…

Here: Download the full briefing (2 sides of A4, PDF)

 

 

11th January 2019
GAFCON UK

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.

This document makes it clear that, contrary to the assurances of some Bishops, this Guidance specifically encourages the liturgy to be used to “mark a person’s gender transition.” As many have pointed out, this is a grave misuse of a sacrament which should refer only to a person’s conversion to Christ and not to celebrate their own identity.

The perception in many quarters, including large parts of the Anglican Communion, is that the Guidance does indeed represent a novel theological position on issues of sex and gender. As such it certainly preempts the Living in Love and Faith process, despite the Secretary’s assurances.

While we welcome the clarification that there is no obligation on clergy to use the Guidance, we believe that it represents a departure from  faithfulness to biblical teaching on the nature of humanity. We join with others in calling for this guidance to be withdrawn, and will support those who require alternative episcopal oversight on this and related matters.

End.

A selection of recent articles critiquing the Bishops’ Guidance follows here:

Statement in response House of Bishop’s Guidance on welcoming Transgender people by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

A response to the House of Bishops’ “Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition”, from Church of England Evangelical Council

Wisdom and folly: the bishops’ guidance on transgender welcome by Ian Paul, Psephizo

Transitioning a liturgy, by Lee Gatiss, Church Society

New C of E guidance on gender transition services follows ‘devastating trajectory’, from Christian Concern

Lex orandi, lex credendi and the proposals for the affirmation of same sex relationships and gender transition by the Church of England. By Martin Davie

 

13th December 2018
GAFCON UK

Statement from Rt Rev Andy Lines, Gafcon Missionary Bishop to Europe

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.

Our meeting was timely in the light of the “Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition,” issued by the House of Bishops of the Church of England. The sacrament of baptism is designed to signify the new identity that is given to us in union with Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection, so we were dismayed that this guidance commends using the same service to “recognise liturgically a person’s gender transition.”

 In doing this, the House of Bishops has denied the teaching of Jesus Christ, not least by rejecting his words, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” (Matt 19: 4) in favour of celebrating a self-created identity.  The baptismal liturgy should never be used in a way which invites confusion between the glorious salvation found in Jesus Christ and humanly devised rites of passage. It is because our hearts go out to all those who struggle with their gender identity that we cannot commend this false gospel or walk with those who promote it.

Further Comment from AMiE and Gafcon UK

“It is a great joy to watch the maturing of AMiE as an Anglican mission society. Without taking our eyes off the priority of church planting, we are eager to develop more robust Anglican structures that will help serve the gospel ministry of our congregations. We know this will also reassure those faithful Anglicans in the Church of England who continue to be aghast by the guidance being issued by the House of Bishops, and who will be seeking an alternative home if this appalling trajectory isn’t stopped.”

Revd Lee McMunn - Mission Director of the AMiE Executive Team

“In the face of false teaching, it is a joy to be able to support AMiE and other developing networks, as they take positive, creative, Anglican action for the glory of God and the honour of Jesus Christ in our nation.  We can feel powerless when we see the Church that we love succumb to the spirit of the age but Gafcon UK exists to offer hope and a home to all Anglicans who wish to uphold orthodox faith and practice.  No one need feel alone.”

Mrs Susie Leafe – Director of Operations for Gafcon UK

 

For further information please contact susie@gafconuk.org

5th October 2018
GAFCON UK

Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman-designate of Gafcon, will be visiting mainland Britain in October. He will be accompanied on his speaking tour by Bishop Andy Lines.

Sunday 14th - Cornwall

Preaching at Fowey Parish Church (CofE) at 11am

and Grace Church, Bude (AMiE) at 4pm. Meeting at Bossiney House, 1 Flexbury Park Road, Bude, EX23 8HP; 01288 488296

 

Tuesday 16th - Wales - Speaking at the Conference of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales (contact here)

 

Wednesday 17th - Tunbridge Wells - Speaking at the Anglican Partnership Synod, St Mark's Church TN2 5LU - 8pm

Book via Eventbrite here

An overview of the Partnership Synod here

 

Thursday 18th - Sheffield – Speaking at Christ Church Central S1 4HA - 7.30pm

Book via Eventbrite here

More about Christ Church Central here

 

Saturday 20th - Scotland - Speaking at Scottish Anglican Network Evangelism Conference, St Thomas, Edinburgh

Full details and booking form here

 

Sunday 21st - Preaching at St Thomas', Edinburgh EH12 8LJ at 10.30 am

and St Silas', Glasgow G4 9JE at 6.15pm

 

 

27th September 2018
GAFCON UK

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.

EFCW is absolutely correct to warn of the serious implications of the Welsh Bishops’ plan to push ahead with sanctioning services of blessing for same sex relationships. Such a move rejects the unambiguous teaching of the bible on God’s guidelines for human flourishing, and will indeed “lead to impaired communion with our Anglican brothers and sisters in the majority world”.

It is a serious matter when faithful Anglicans conclude that their own Bishops are departing from their commitment to promote and defend the apostolic deposit of doctrine and ethics. We will stand with EFCW and those Anglicans in Wales who take a similar view, praying for them as they consider the next step, and we urge all orthodox Anglicans around the world to do the same.

Bishop Andy Lines, Gafcon Missionary Bishop to Europe; Chairman, Gafcon UK

 

Below: Full statement from EFCW received on 27 September 2018

The Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales: A Statement following the discussion at Governing Body on “Formal Measures” for Same-Sex Couples

 

EFCW recognises that churches have often failed in their pastoral care of people with same-sex attraction. We recognise that the way we have spoken about this issue has at times been unloving and judgemental, and that this has caused personal hurt and left people feeling unable to be honest about their sexuality. We repent of these failures, and commit to doing all we can to ensure our churches are fully welcoming and inclusive of all. We welcome the Bishops' wish to offer pastoral support and care for all same-sex attracted people and commit to doing so with Christ-like love.

However, we believe that God’s revelation to us regarding the nature of marriage and the proper place of sex is beyond doubt, and that this must be what guides our teaching and practice as an apostolic church.

Throughout the whole of Scripture, beginning with God’s creation of humanity in Genesis 1 & 2, and continuing until the beautiful picture of the marriage of the Lamb to his bride the church at the end of Revelation, the following things are consistently affirmed:

-That marriage is between a man and a woman.

-That the appropriate place for sexual activity is within marriage.

-That sexual activity outside of marriage is outside of God’s will and therefore sinful.

Jesus explicitly affirms this understanding of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6. The authority of Scripture, its consistency and utter clarity are what make this matter so important.

We therefore do not believe that it can possibly be right for the church to bless what God has clearly said he does not bless, nor to say that what God has said is sin is not sin.

We are all sinners who fall far short of the glory of God, and who stand before him only by his grace through our faith in Christ. This faith challenges all individuals and all cultures in different ways, and Christians are called to live counter-cultural lives, being in the world but not of the world. The difference between the church’s teaching on sexuality and the views of modern Western society is just one example of this.

We stand with the large majority of the Anglican communion and the large majority of the world-wide church in affirming that which the church has always believed and practised regarding marriage and sex. We urge our Bishops not to encourage the Church in Wales to take steps that would lead to impaired communion with our Anglican brothers and sisters in the majority world.

We do not believe that it is “pastorally unsustainable” to teach that which our good and loving Creator says is the right way for his creatures to live: the way Christians have lived for almost 2000 years across a world-wide diversity of cultures.

We affirm Living Out, True Freedom Trust, and other organisations providing support for same-sex attracted Christians, showing the plausibility of living according to the biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality, and challenging churches to be families where all may find deep, loving, supportive and fulfilling relationships.

We commit to doing all that we can in our teaching, personal actions and church communities to ensure that the two gifts of marriage and singleness are equally affirmed and supported as good ways of life in which all people can flourish as the fully authentic selves God has created them to be.

The Executive Committee of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales, 26th September 2018

 

25th September 2018
GAFCON UK

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.

Speakers:

Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Chairman-Designate, Gafcon.

Bishop Andy Lines, Gafcon Missionary Bishop for Europe, Chairman, Anglican Mission in England, Chairman, Gafcon UK

 

Wednesday 17th October, 8pm - 9.30pm 

St Mark’s Church, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5LU 

Let us know you’re coming by signing up here  

 

Thu 18 October 2018 7.30pm – 9:30pm 

Christ Church Central - DQ Centre, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield, S1 4HA 

Let us know you’re coming by signing up here  

10th May 2018
Bishop Andy Lines

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.

We note that only those in civil marriages or lawfully recognised partnerships will be eligible for these blessings. This shows that while a short time ago many church leaders around the world were arguing for such blessings but drew the line at same-sex marriage (as in the Church of England’s Pilling Report), now that line appears to have been removed. With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage, and offer the Church’s blessing to relationships which the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition clearly teach that God warns against and cannot bless.

It is encouraging that despite the huge pressure to conform to Motion 29 and the secular humanist ideology behind it, many courageous New Zealand Anglicans not only voted against the Motion, but are already looking to the emergence of new Anglican structures, which remain faithful to the Scriptures in contrast to those who have departed from them.

We pray for Rev Jay Behan and others in Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand, and rejoice in their close association with the majority of Anglicans worldwide who continue to preach the biblical gospel of repentance from sin and new life in Christ. Jay and other representatives from FCANZ will receive a warm welcome and full support from all at June’s Gafcon gathering, and ongoing solidarity from Gafcon UK as they plan for the future.

15th December 2017
Anglican Network in Canada

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." 

8th December 2017
Daniel Leafe

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.

But this Friday was the morning after the night before - the night of the first Anglican Mission in England ordinations.

For those of us who have longed for an Anglicanism where, as Paul Simon would say “You can call me Al”- BiblicAL, HistoricAL, GlobAL, EpiscopAL and MorAL and who have been “unchurched” by capitulation to an agenda of “good disagreement” and plural truth, it was all there. A new Anglican home.

Biblical throughout- not least in the preaching of the Reverend Rico Tice as he presented King Jesus in all authority, over all nations, in all truth and for all time.

Historical- rooted in the 1662 liturgy with the same charge that has been given to ordinands for centuries.

Global- with prayers and greetings from four GAFCON Primates and in the presence of four representatives of the Anglican Church of North America.

Episcopal- led by Bishop Andy Lines four bishops ordained the men and did so alongside a phalanx of “other presbyters” with bishops of at least three other Anglican churches in attendance.

Moral- we were warned that the Lord will not go with any church in mission that does not strive for purity.

As we had been reminded in prayer on the Thursday evening Christians live with the sure and certain hope of going home to glory. It is a home where people of every tribe and language and people and nation gather around the throne of the lamb who was slain and proclaim his glory in truth. Thursday evening was a foretaste of that eternal home. That is why I was buzzing come Friday.

I didn’t notice him at first - he was sitting on his own at the underground station, slightly hunched over and absorbed in his thoughts.

“It’s a home he said, isn’t it? It’s a home”.

One of the best known conservative evangelicals in England was sat on an East End tube platform talking about the hope of home because he too had been at the AMiE ordinations.

3rd December 2017
Anglican Mission in England

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.

We were delighted when Andy Lines was consecrated as Missionary Bishop to Europe, on 30th June 2017, by the Anglican Church in North America. One of Bishop Andy’s primary responsibilities is to give oversight to the current congregations of the Anglican Mission in England, and to make provision for future growth. A new generation of ordained leaders will be essential if AMiE is to achieve its gospel desire of planting 25 churches by 2025 and 250 by 2050.

Up until now, AMiE's clergy have either come from the Church of England, or have been ordained by overseas Bishops. Now, for the first time, nine men will be ordained together by an English Bishop who can give them regular oversight as they begin their ministries.

The ordination service on 7th December will be a celebration of the commissioning and sending out of new ministers of the gospel, who have gone through a process of rigorous discernment and training. We are praying that these newly ordained leaders will be used by God to grow his church both in number and maturity. Some will serve in existing AMiE congregations, while others will lead teams engaged in planting new churches.

25th November 2017
Scottish Anglican Network

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.

At a meeting with Bishop Pearson, they explained their decision and asked if the Scottish Episcopal Church would keep the church they have built and the money they have given. The bishop insisted that the SEC would retain all assets. In response the congregation made it clear that they would walk away rather than submit to a decision which departs from scripture, tradition and the teaching of Jesus Christ,

The people of Christ Church will maintain a faithful Anglican witness on Harris under the oversight of the Right Reverend Andy Lines, who was consecrated as a missionary bishop for Europe in June and who will act under the authority of the GAFCON primates.

10th November 2017
Bishop Andy Lines

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.

She has for all this time considered that it is worth being present at the Synod meetings, graciously but fearlessly putting forward a biblically faithful perspective even when she found herself in a minority or even alone in doing so, and encouraging less courageous colleagues to stand up when needed. But clearly a tipping point has been reached, where she has felt that her presence in these senior governing bodies is no longer achieving anything positive. “I refuse to be mistaken as one participating in the fanciful notion of ‘good disagreement’”, she says in her resignation letter. She saw that her presence as a conservative on Archbishop’s Council was no longer a moderating influence, but being used to legitimize the revisionist agenda on which she believes the Church of England has embarked.

The question with which she ends her letter is a telling one which is relevant to all faithful Anglicans around the world: given the inability of the Church of England leadership to articulate clearly and fully the saving message of Jesus Christ, for how long will God continue to use this institution to as his witness in the nation? And for how long can the wider Anglican Communion be expected to look to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England for credible leadership?

Lorna has said that she will continue to support those who share her orthodox understanding of the Christian faith, but choose to remain on Synod. And of course there remain  hundreds of faithful clergy and congregations at local parish level in the Church of England, many of whom identify with Gafcon. However, increasingly their gospel work is confused and even contradicted by other theologies found in the higher structures of the institution. Whatever happens with the Church of England, as Lorna says, God is continuing his work through other ecclesial expressions, both Anglican (outside the C of E, connected to Gafcon) and non-Anglican.

Gafcon UK applauds Lorna Ashworth, who has been a member of the Gafcon UK Task Group, for her courageous stand for the truth, and will look to continue working with her in her future ministries.

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