2018 set for next GAFCON
Members of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Primates Council, meeting in London, say they are encouraged by reports from the newest GAFCON provinces and fellowships in the US and Australia.
A communique issued after their meeting from 13th to 17th April, said they met “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.” the primates said.
The statement referred to the growth of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) , which was established because the move by the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) away from orthodoxy and breaches of the 1998 resolution of the Lambeth conference on human sexuality.
The TEC has been in numerical decline as congregations and in some cases whole dioceses have disaffiliated and joined ACNA.
Archbishop Foley Beach, installed last year as Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America was unanimously elected to the GAFCON Primates Council at the start of April’s meeting.
“Archbishop Beach shared about the remarkable growth being experienced in North America, evidenced by the planting of 483 new congregations since 2009.” the statement said.
The Primates 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.
The statement also mentioned FCA UK & Ireland, established by the council to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans.
“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.” it said.
Under the chairmanship of Kenya’s Primate, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the meeting was attended by seven primates and seven official advisors, including the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies and retired English bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
The communique stressed the Primates were 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.”
As part of the role of ‘uniting faithful Anglicans’, the Primates called the third Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) for 2018. No dates or venue were announced, but like previous conferences it would involve delegations representing every continent and all orders of the church (lay and ordained).
“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.” the announcement said.
Photo: Primates after the meeting. Left to Right - The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America, The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda, The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman), The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America, The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo