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Genesis of the Anglican Church of Britain?

Genesis of the Anglican Church of Britain?

Are we, at last, at the point of actual rupture within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion?

In an open letter to members of the Church of England, a grab-bag of tradition-minded “Anglicans” has claimed that the  General Synod of the Church of England has “crossed a line.”  Further, they seem to be threatening the formation of a separate and distinct church.

The letter has nineteen signatories include Mark Burkill, the Chair of Reform, Andy Lines, the missionary bishop recently consecrated by the ACNA for Europe, and Daniel Leafe, of GAFCON, UK.  Other signatories represent organizations such as the Anglican Mission in England, the Free Church of England, and Anglican Mainstream.

There seems to be no support from any church of England bishops or prominent clerics, and only one actual General Synod member.  This looks similar to the formation of the Anglican Church in North America which also drew on GAFCON support, the separate efforts of African prelates, disaffected clergy, and church bodies long separated from the Anglican Communion.

The letter, in full

Many will share our dismay at the recent decisions of the General Synod of the Church of England and the pursuing principles, values and practices contrary to Holy Scripture and church Tradition.

Given the persistent failure of the majority of the House of Bishops to fulfil the God-given duties which they have sworn to discharge these tragic developments were, sadly, not wholly unexpected.

Accordingly, and in preparation for such eventualities we, as some of those committed to the renewal of biblical and orthodox Anglicanism have already started to meet, on behalf of our fellow Anglicans, to discuss how to ensure a faithful ecclesial future.

We now wish that we have done so to be more widely known.

Our number is drawn from bishops, clergy and laity, from across Great Britain and from a breadth of traditions. Much more importantly, however, we meet joyfully united by a shared endorsement of the terms of the Jerusalem Declaration.

We will meet again, as planned and with external facilitation, mediation and episcopal advice, in October. It is our intention to welcome on that occasion an even greater diversity of contributors.

We would value your prayers and any expressions of interest from those who feel they might be able to make a valuable contribution to our deliberations.

Anyone desiring to contact us can do so through any of the organisations or churches listed.

Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden, Former Chaplain to the Queen

Mrs Lorna Ashworth, General Synod of the Church of England, Archbishops’ Council

Revd Nigel Atkinson, Vicar St John’s, Knutsford and Toft

Revd Andrew Bawtree, Chair of the House of Clergy, Diocese of Canterbury

Revd Mark Burkill, Chairman of Reform

Rt Revd John Ellison, Anglican Mission in England Executive

Rt Revd John Fenwick, Bishop Primus, Free Church of England

Rt Revd Josep Miquel Rossello Ferrer, Free Church of England

Ven Dr Amatu Christian-Iwuagwu, Vicar St Mary’s Harmondsworth & PiC Anglican Igbo Church of the Holy Trinity, London

Rt Revd Paul Hunt, General Secretary, Free Church of England

Canon Nigel Juckes, Incumbent, Llandogo, Monmouth

Mr Daniel Leafe, Gafcon UK

Mrs Susie Leafe, Director of Reform

Rt Revd Andy Lines, ACNA Bishop with Special Mission

Revd David McCarthy, Coordinator of the Scottish Anglican Network

Revd Lee McMunn, Mission Director, Anglican Mission in England

Revd James Paice, Trustee, The Southwark Good Stewards Trust

Rt Revd Jonathan Pryke, Senior Minister Jesmond Parish Church, Anglican Mission in England Executive

Revd Dr Peter Sanlon, Convenor of Anglican Partnership Synod

Ven Dr Will Strange on behalf of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales

Revd Andrew Symes, Executive Secretary, Anglican Mainstream


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Prof Christopher Seitz

What a cliche and historical error! Oliver Cromwell in the present debate would be outside all parties and would certainly have resisted any internal anglican party representing such a conservative account of catholic anglicanism. The whig anglicanism we now have before us in dominance he would have judged progressive and anti-statist and so his best option.

If you are a progressive, Oliver Cromwell is your ally. His puritanism in his age was an attack on sloppy anglican generosity and traditionalism; it was progressive and modern by the standards of the age, which condemned him for that.

Philip B. Spivey

I’m surprised not to see Oliver Cromwell among these signators.

Prof Christopher Seitz

TEC had the potential for diocesan challenge given its history, in a way that does not obtain “in the church by law established” — so the CofE will have/has had an independent challenger outside its own jurisdictional remit. They could ignore it but if its own conservative Bishops begin to feel coincé and use it to leverage their position, it could end up having a role of some kind, leaving aside what it may be off its own bat as an alternative. In all events, it is a sign of considerable resistance to just muddling along as if this were a unique CofE charism, as is sometimes claimed. Just muddling along was not the catholic claim of the Church of England when it disputed Roman authority. If it defaults to this it will just prove itself to be another geographical protesting option for those who want such things on whatever terms the age demands.

Zachary Guiliano

ACNA’s formation was rather more impressive actually. Whole diocese leaving and all that. Bishops. This is quite different.

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