GAFCON leaders: we are staying in the Anglican Communion
GAFCON leaders have declared that they will not be leaving the Anglican Communion, but in their communiqué after meeting in London this week they attacked recent developments in the Church of England.
In particular they declared that the use of a Church in Waterloo, south London, to host a Muslim prayer service was not an ‘aberration’ and said it was a betrayal of the Gospel and of those Christians “who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution”.
In their statement they said: “We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith.”
They also outlined support for 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.
The Primates said they would continue to encourage and support the efforts of those “working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth”.
There had been speculation that the Primates would signal the creation of a separate Anglican structure in England, but this was conspicuously absent from the final statement.
They also signaled another GAFCON conference next year and elected Archbishop Foley Beach of the USA as the new chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council.
They declared that they were preparing for expansion and outlined plans to develop their own system of theological education and training of leaders.
“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.”