Heartbroken Welsh evangelicals speak to Gafcon

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(Photo: Sandy Millar)

Evangelical Anglicans in Wales are looking to leaders of the theologically conservative global network Gafcon for support after the Church of Wales voted in favor of same-sex relationships.

The Anglican archbishops leading Gafcon, the Primate Council, have just met for two days at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya.

The statement from the meeting referred to the situation in Wales.

“Heartbroken Christian faithful in Wales over their province’s formal decision to bless same-sex marriages, have contacted the Primate Council following the unanimous decision of the Wales Bishops Bench to proceed to the blessing of same-sex marriages, ”he said.

“The primates of Gafcon responded with encouragement and solidarity for the sake of the gospel.”

Gafcon President Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America, told conservative Anglicans in Wales: “We understand that the decision to implement the same-sex marriage blessing in your province has been a major disruption to the faith. It is important to say that you are not alone.

“As you discern your responses to the situation, you can be sure that we stand in solidarity with you as you bear witness to the faith that has been delivered to the Saints once and for all.

“Remember Joshua’s words: ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and be of good courage; do not be afraid or be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. go ‘(Joshua 1: 9) – and we are also with you. “

The Executive Committee of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales (EFCW) is appointment monday to formulate a response following the Church’s vote in Wales on September 6.

“For many EFCWs, this decision will come with a sense of sadness that the Church of Wales has decided to stray from a traditional understanding of marriage, and great uncertainty as to how to move forward in good conscience, ”the group said.

“The EFCW Executive welcomes any comments that members would like to be considered at this meeting. This will allow us to ensure that we properly address the extent of members’ concerns.”

Gafcon held his first World Conference on the Anglican Future in Jerusalem in 2008, where his Jerusalem Declaration affirmed the Church’s traditional teaching on biblical authority and on marriage and sexuality.

He then launched the Anglican Network in Europe in 2020. It is headed by the first Bishop of Gafcon to be appointed for Europe in 2017, former Church of England minister Andy Lines.

Bishop Lines headed Gafcon’s Anglican mission to England, which is now part of the European network.

In an article on this site about the Anglican Crisis in Wales, Evangelicals Now Editor-in-Chief, Rev. David Baker, wrote: “In the absence of anything else it seems like many Welsh evangelicals will have no choice but to turn to Gafcon. The newly formed Anglican Network in Europe (ANiE) might just be where they turn for support.

“ANiE – led by Bishop Andy Lines, is described as ‘an authentic expression of the life and mission of the Anglican Church’ and is addressed to those who have abandoned – or are indeed being pushed by – Anglican denominations existing. “

The meeting of the primates in Nairobi also helped to ease tensions resulting from the recent appointment by the Anglican Church of Kenya of its first female diocesan bishop.

In an effort to maintain the unity of their movement, the primates adopted the following resolution: “The Jerusalem Declaration affirms that the Bible distinguishes between matters of salvation and other secondary matters.

“In our discussion, the primates recognized that although there are disagreements and ongoing discussions on the issues of the ordination of women as deacons or priests, and the consecration of women as bishops , we agree in saying that these are not questions of salvation and are not questions that will disturb our mission: to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations. “


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