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