Recently I had the privilege of attending the launch of the Fellowship of Confession Anglicans Australia in Melbourne. It was truly a wonderful time of teaching, fellowship and catching up with fellow Anglican priests I have not seen in a long time. However there are voices within the Anglican Communion, especially those of the revisionist ilk who have made the accusation that this movement, along with GAFCON is divisive and is promoting schism within the Anglican Communion. GAFCON has responded to this accusation with this communiqué:
GAFCON Primates Communique
A Communique from the GAFCON Primates Council
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. ~ Isaiah 61:11
This week, from 13th to 17th April 2015, we have met in London for prayer and fellowship in order to help chart the future of global Anglicanism. We are uniting faithful Anglicans, growing in momentum, structured for the future, and committed to the Anglican Communion.
Uniting Faithful Anglicans: GAFCON 2018
We are excited to announce that the next GAFCON conference will be in 2018. This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans.
Delegations representing every continent and all orders of the church (lay and ordained) will again be invited to share in this powerful time of fellowship, worship, and teaching. An organising committee comprising global delegates and local representatives of the likely location has been formed. A further announcement will be made when the details of the venue have been confirmed.
Growing Momentum: Newest Province and Fellowships
We were encouraged to hear reports from some of the newest GAFCON provinces and fellowships.
At the beginning of our meeting, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America was unanimously elected to the GAFCON Primates Council. Archbishop Beach shared about the remarkable growth being experienced in North America, evidenced by the planting of 483 new congregations since 2009.
We celebrated the recent launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Australia (FCA AU), the newest GAFCON fellowship, led by the Venerable Richard Condie, Archdeacon of Melbourne. Over 450 participants attended the inaugural conference in March 2015 and this fellowship is now well positioned to contend for the faith in the years to come.
FCA UK & Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.
We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.
We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered.
Wherever they are and whatever their circumstances, GAFCON continues to unite faithful Anglicans under a common confession of Christ’s Lordship and a desire to make disciples.
Structured for the Future
We have planned for the expansion of our movement in order to touch the lives of many more Anglicans with gospel fellowship. As part of this we have identified a clear need for theological education and the training of leaders, especially bishops, and we have started work on both of these priorities. We also recognise an increasing need to be able to respond both to calls for affiliation from other provinces, and requests for support from emerging fellowships where the biblical gospel is under threat.
In order to carry this forward we have put in place the necessary operating structures, people, and financial resources. We invite all of our supporters to be involved in this work.
Committed to the Communion
We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are committed to its renewal. We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.
GAFCON embodies an inclusive and confessionally grounded orthodoxy in continuity with the Scriptures, apostolic tradition, and ethos of the Book of Common Prayer. There is much room for variety within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy, but when the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way. As followers of Jesus we know that it is the narrow way that leads to life.
We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith we can defend and proclaim the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America
The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Nigeria
Emmanuel Kampouris, Esq.
The Most Rev. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney
The Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar
The Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester (ret.)
The Rt Rev. Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes (ret.)
Posted April 17, 2015