Farewell Kiwianglo

Dear friends of Kiwianglo, it is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Ron, our much loved husband and father. He lived his 93 years to the full, and despite a cancer diagnosis about six months ago, continued to be active until his final days. Online theological debate was an important focus of his life in recent years and gave him much satisfaction and stimulus. We know he touched many people with his thoughtful (and sometimes challenging) posts. He passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday morning, 10 March 2023. May he rest in peace.

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One More Parish for ‘Diocese of The Southern Cross’, Brisbane

As GAFCON’s new-found addition to its congregational strength in Australia, this new parish under the leadership of former Sydney ‘Anglican’ Archbishop Glenn Davies adds one more local congregation (now totalling five parishes) to his GAFCON-based Diocese of the Southern Cross, raised up initially to accommodate ‘refugees’ from the Australian Anglican Church.

The A.C.A., which – like most Anglican Provinces around the world, in their anxiety to rid the Church of historic sexism and homophobia, remains in Communion with the Founding Church of England in its recent acceptance of LGBTQI+ people as part and parcel of the Gospel Mission of ‘Good News’ to all people – irrespective of their innate gender or sexual orientation.

It is remarkable that, though there have been fights about all newly-formed (usually justice based) polity – based on what those Churches believe to have been a theological call to “Hear What The Spirit is Saying to The Church” in a more scientifically-informed theological response to important questions of human, non-binary, sexual identification; neither the majority acceptance of the Ordination of women, nor the Re-Marriage of Divorcees (which many Conservative Evangelicals have considered to be ‘against the Teaching of Scripture) have been the cause of large-scale schismatic breakaway of the GAFCON/GLOBALSOUTH Churches. mostly on grounds of scriptural interpretation

Apparently, the ‘straw that has broken the camel’s back’ – to the point where GAFCON/GSFA leadership is counselling a schismatic departure from the Lambeth-based A.C.C. has been the justice-based action of the Church of England General Synod in deciding to ‘Bless the Partners in a Same Sex Civil Marriage’ thereby declaring the ancient shibboleth against homosexuality as the ultimate Sin against the Holy Ghost to be no longer acceptable by the Anglican Church as sinful – but, rather; being subject to the same moral judgement as the sexual activities of heterosexuals in the conduct of their own sexual lives. When Saint Paul said ‘It is better to marry than burn’, he could well have said this about homosexual relationships, as well as those of the binary heterosexual majority of the population. Blessings are a gift of God – distributed by the Church, but not exclusively. (Civil Marriage bestows a legal relationship on all its beneficiaries).

In a ‘Christian’ context, where President Putin would like to align his own personal abhorrence of what he personally regards as the ‘sins’ of homosexuality with that of the Russian Orthodox Church; one wonders, does that justify the ‘Blessing’ of Soviet tanks to engage in his deadly attacks against Russia’s Ukrainian neighbours. When, in such a situation, can a ‘blessing’ be recognised as the curse it has proved to be – not only for those attacked, but also for the doctrine of the Universal Church, that is committed to bring the Gospel of Peace and Justice to all? In The C. of E.s acceptance of the Blessing of Same-Sex couples in a stable, monogamous legal relationship – and for its willing recipients no longer to be subjected to an inhumane criticism of their inbuilt human nature as ‘sinful’ and an ‘abomination’ – the decision of the Church of England to follow other partners in the Anglican Communion, who have campaigned against a social and moral situation of ‘Corban’ to be pronounced against a minority community in the Church that happens to be ‘different’; the Diocese of Sydney has publicly teamed up with the schismatic GAFCON-sponsored ‘Diocese of The Southern Cross’ (now consisting of 5 parishes), in its determination to battle against Same-Sex Relationships as a cause-celebre of what GAFCON – and the Sydney ‘Anglican Orthodox Diocese’ – considers to be an ‘heretical’ move against an ‘Anglican Doctrine of Marriage’ that excludes S/S Blessings and is designed to exclude Gays from living into a loving, faithful way of commitment to another human being – outside of the binary model which seems to be subject to the very same problems of unfaithfulness and pain that are clearly evident in the Church – no less than outside of it – in the world of today.

(n.b.) the Diocese of Sydney has a history of prejudice against Women’s Ordination, which its leaders see as being ‘against the teaching of Scripture’ – which is quite consonant with Sydney’s well-known prejudice against the LGBTQI Community, on the same basis. The very co-existence of traditional Anglican reliance upon the 3-legged stool of theology -‘Scripture, Tradition, and Reason’ – thought by some modern scholars as needing the addition of ‘Experience’ (without which – guided by the Holy Spirit – none of us is capable of ‘knowing’ God) seems anathema to the teaching of Sydney’s diocesan bishops – one of whom (former Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies) is already engaged in running the rival, schismatic, GAFCON 5-parish Church diocese. (See Proclamation below the line).

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch New Zealand


Christ our Refuge, Brisbane — new church in Diocese of the Southern Cross

Posted on March 2, 2023 – by ANGLICAN CHURCH LEAGUE (Sydney)
Filed under Diocese of the Southern Cross

“On Wednesday, 22 February, Bishop Glenn Davies formally commissioned Rev Dave Miers as the Pastor of Christ our Refuge – the fifth church in the new Diocese of the Southern Cross

Christ our Refuge is a new church launching later this year in Brisbane’s Inner North.
Our dream is to be a city of refuge within the city of Brisbane, where many people have found refuge, security, and hope in Christ.

We see a mature, generous, and kingdom-minded community with a prayer to plant four new gospel-centred Anglican churches in Brisbane by 2032.

Find out more about our weekly gatherings, joining our team, prayer updates, and financial partnership here: christrefuge.co

– News as well as photos of the Commissioning service can bee seen on their Facebook page.

See also the Diocese of the Southern Cross church directory.

Give thanks for all who are stepping out in faith to make Christ known – and especially Dave Miers and the members of this new church in Brisbane.

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Bishopsgate parish announces break with C.of E.

It should not surprise many in the Church of England that William Taylor, Rector of CON/EVO Parish of St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate in the C. of E’s Diocese of London, has made the announcement (shown below) of his and his parish’s break with the Bishops of the Church of England. Nor should it surprise Anglicans around the world that among the prelates who have pledged their support to Taylor’s announcement should include people from other Churches that have declared their own disaffection from the historic Church of England and the Anglican Communion; on the important issues of sexism and homophobia. Among these prelates are: –

1: Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney; whose immediate predecessor has now been elected to head the breakaway Diocese of the Southern Cross in Australia, which has been set up by the GAFCON movement. (Raffell heads a diocese that once spent one million dollars (part of Sydney’s extensive ‘Mission Reserve’) in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the Australian Government from legalising Same-Sex Marriage in that country). The Anglican Diocese of Sydney declares itself ‘In Communion with GAFCON and the Diocese of the Southern Cross, while yet claiming membership of the ACA.

2: Foley Beach, Primate of the schismatic ACNA and current GAFCON Primates Council Chairman (ACNA is NOT a member of the Anglican Communion)

3: Jay Behan, Bishop of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand; (GAFCON NZ), who was recently ordained the 1st bishop of CCAANZ, in Christchurch, New Zealand, by Foley Beach (CCAANZ is NOT a member of the Anglican Communion)

4: Glenn Lyons, Presiding Bishop of REACH South Africa. (When I looked him up on Google, the first entry was for ‘Reach Cosmetics’) However, it seems that Lyons has broken away from the Anglican Church in South Africa, in order to lead a new quasi-Anglican(?) Church ‘REACH SOUTH AFRICA’, that might well have direct links – like the other 3 prelates here – with GAFCON. (REACH SA is NOT a member of the Anglican Communion),

One thing that surprised me, was that Lyons was a one-time admirer of ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, whose support for the LGBTQI Community in the Church was legendary, helping the Anglican Church in South Africa to avoid the sexism and homophobia of most other African and Gobal South Provinces.

Obviously, from Lyons’ alliance here with GAFCON-related prelates; his former regard for Archbishop Desmond Tutu has not prevented him from supporting the homophobia and sexism of William Taylor – together with the GSFA/GAFCON Movement that seeks to remove itself from what it sees as the ‘contamination’ of the Mother Church of England and the Anglican Communion Provincial Churches loyal to Canterbury and Lambeth.

One is left to wonder; what is keeping the Parish of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate out of GAFCON/U.K.? – A mere matter of church property, perhaps, which cannot be alienated from the Church of England?

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


William Taylor: The Bishops have chosen to walk apart – but others stand with us

Posted on February 27, 2023 
Filed under Church of EnglandCulture warsGAFCONSydney Diocese

William Taylor, Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, has made an important announcement – and he speaks with the support of Anglican bishops worldwide including

Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney;
Foley Beach, Primate of North America and GAFCON Primates Council Chairman;
Jay Behan, Bishop of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand;
Glenn Lyons, Presiding Bishop of REACH South Africa.

– See William Taylor’s announcement and the messages of support from these Anglican leaders.

William Taylor: The Bishops have chosen to walk apart – but others stand with us

Posted on February 27, 2023 
Filed under Church of EnglandCulture warsGAFCONSydney Diocese

William Taylor, Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, has made an important announcement – and he speaks with the support of Anglican bishops worldwide including

Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney;
Foley Beach, Primate of North America and GAFCON Primates Council Chairman;
Jay Behan, Bishop of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand;
Glenn Lyons, Presiding Bishop of REACH South Africa.

– See William Taylor’s announcement and the messages of support from these Anglican leaders.

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ACC & LAMBETH not going away!

Despite the unseemly whiff of rebellion surrounding the latest Statement by the GSFA/GAFCON, the ABC (+Justin Welby) – out of the koinonia/fellowship of the recent A.C.C. meeting, which committed its members to ongoing ‘research and development on issues of Gender and Sexuality – speaks the obvious when he reminds the G.S. Prelates that there can be no substantive changes to the relationship between the provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion without the agreement of each of its four ‘Instruments of Communion’. In other words: There can be no takeover bid by dissident provinces.

Intentional schism, however, is quite another matter. If GSFA wants to follow in the footsteps of the GAFCON/ACNA sodality – in drawing away from the Instruments of Unity in a common cause of differentiation from the provinces that remain loyal to the Canterbury/Lambeth Foundation of the ACC – then that is their concern and on their own conscience as one-time members of the ACC.

A salient point here, is that the ACC is the only one of the 4 Instruments of Unity that includes the Faithful Laity among its members – making it the most representative in the Anglican Communion.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


Lambeth Palace responds to GSFA statement


Lambeth Palacw

Lambeth Palace responds to the recent statement by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA). 

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson has said:

“At last week’s meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Ghana, there was widespread support for working together patiently and constructively to review the Instruments of Communion, so that our differences and disagreements can be held together in unity and fellowship. The Archbishop is in regular contact with his fellow Primates and looks forward to discussing this and other matters with them over the coming period.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury commented last week at the ACC in Ghana that these structures are always able to change with the times.

“We note the statement issued today by some Anglican Primates and we fully appreciate their position. As was reaffirmed in multiple discussions at the ACC in Ghana however, no changes to the formal structures of the Anglican Communion can be made unless they are agreed upon by the Instruments of Communion.

“The deep disagreements that exist across the Anglican Communion on sexuality and marriage are not new. The 42 member Churches of the Anglican Communion are independent and autonomous, but at the same time interdependent. It is a fundamental principle of the Anglican Communion that no province can bind another province, and no Instrument of Communion has any jurisdictional authority over any province.

“In a world of conflict, suffering and uncertainty, we must remember that more unites us than divides us. Despite our differences, we must find ways to continue walking and working together as followers of Jesus Christ to serve those in need. It was clear at this week’s global Anglican gathering in Accra that many Anglicans share this view. It remains the Archbishop’s prayer and his call to Anglicans around the Communion.”

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GSFA embarrassed that Putin is their ally on S/S matters?

Interesting is the fact that the curiously-named ANGLICAN INK should draw attention to the fact that the recent GSFA/GAFCON protest against the move by the Church of England to provide a blessing, rather than a curse, on faithful. monogamous same-sex relationships in a bid to encourage others to de-criminalise homosexuality (a biblical injunction – “Set the Captive Free”) has now been backed up by a statement from Russia’s President Putin, whose deadly mission of suppression and bloodshed in Ukraine has shocked the rest of the civilised world.

One of the reasons given by Putin for his invasion of Ukraine is Ukraine’s determination to stamp out the ills of continuing homophobia and sexism within its borders. This solidarity of purpose with an acknowledged world dictator will not go unnoticed by Christians outside of the Global South, whose mission is to free the world from despotism, injustice and traditional, but outdated, prejudice on issues of gender and sexuality.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


Even Vladimir Putin noticed the C of E’s General Synod

Posted on February 23, 2023 – ANGLICAN INK
Filed under Church of EnglandCulture wars

Even Vladimir Putin has commented on the Church of England’s General Synod. (Not that we’re endorsing other comments in his speech.)

Link via Anglican Ink.

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TEC REPORT on the recent ACC Meeting in Accra

Despite the threat of schismatic departure of the GSFA/GAFCON provinces from the leadership of the archbishop of Canterbury (and, presumably, the current set up of the Anglican Communion) made by the GSFA Primates – in response to the Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex couples who have been legally married by the State – the membership of the Anglican Consultative Council (both clerical and lay) managed to cooperate on matters that are vital to the mission and ministry of Anglican Churches around the world, and whose concerns are much more realistically concentrated on how the various Provincial Churches can help in the ongoing task of ‘reconciling the World to God’. Here is an important paragraph of the up-to-the-present situation of the Canterbury-led Communion, provided by TEC’s delegates to the ACC Meeting in Accra:

“About 110 members from 39 Anglican provinces attended the Feb. 12-19 meeting in Accra, Ghana, for prayer, worship and discussions of the operations, ministries and mission of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The communion is made up of autonomous, yet interdependent churches that all have historic roots in the Church of England.”

Despite the absence of representatives from dissenting Anglican Provinces, the atmosphere of the ACC Meeting was obviously both courteous and accepting of theological diversity – recognising that the majority of Anglican Provinces value their current relationship with the Province of Canterbury in the U.K., and its Archbishop – who has already offered to step down from his role as Primus-inter-pares if that is the consensus of each of the remaining ‘Instruments of Unity’ – of which the ACC is just one.

There were discussions about the way in which the colonial setting of the early 19th century (Victorian) missionary activity had, in some areas, adversely affected the growth of local self-determination. The growth of the slave-trade was, in some places, not discouraged by the early missionaries, who thought its continuance to be in accordance with biblical and religious tradition. Also, Protestant Victorian mores and values were often taken up and retained in the more strictly conservative evangelical mission fields – values which have since led to a rejection of any enlightenment on matters of gender and sexual identity in some of the former colonial Churches, which other Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion have since brought up to date with scientific and social evidence of a greater gender/sexual variation than the binary model, which was assumed to be de rigeur in the past life of the Church. In some Global South Churches, for instance, the hierarchy has colluded in their local government’s criminalisation and, in some cases, the execution of homosexuals – a matter which has caused no little distress in other, more pastorally aware provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

Episcopal ACC members return from Ghana with stories of engaging with Anglicans around world – by DAVID PAULSEN – ENS

A group photo of the delegates to the 18th Anglican Consultative Council held at the Accra Marriott Hotel, Accra, Ghana. Feb. 12-19, 2023. Photo: Neil Turner/Anglican Communion Office

[Episcopal News Service] The three Episcopal members of the recently concluded 18th Anglican Consultative Council returned to their home dioceses this week encouraged by their experiences developing closer relations with Anglicans around the world through their shared mission in Christ.

About 110 members from 39 Anglican provinces attended the Feb. 12-19 meeting in Accra, Ghana, for prayer, worship and discussions of the operations, ministries and mission of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The communion is made up of autonomous, yet interdependent churches that all have historic roots in the Church of England.

The Episcopal Church was represented by Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton, the Rev. Ranjit Mathews, the Diocese of Connecticut’s canon for mission, advocacy, racial justice and reconciliation, and Annette Buchanan, a lay leader in the Diocese of New Jersey and former president of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

In a joint Zoom interview with Episcopal News Service on Feb. 17, Sutton, Mathews and Buchanan discussed some of the week’s highlights, as well as notable actions taken by ACC-18 and their expectations for The Episcopal Church’s future engagement with other Anglican provinces.

“The emotional high point of this week was the visit to the slave castle,” Sutton said, referring to ACC-18’s trip on Feb. 15 to Cape Coast Castle. The site once served as a headquarters for British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. Enslaved Africans were held in dungeons at the castle with squalid, overcrowded conditions and little ventilation, until they were boarded onto ships destined for North and South America and the Caribbean. Anglican worship services were conducted in a church over the dungeons.

“That has really highlighted at this ACC issues of oppression, racial injustice, reconciliation and reparations,” said Sutton, himself a descendant of slaves. He said he later affirmed on the floor of the ACC meeting, “the gospel proclaimed by those slave owners is not that Gospel that I know, and we know.”

Sutton, Mathews and Buchanan also took the lead in drafting with other ACC members a resolution that was approved on Feb. 18, the last business day of this meeting, that outlined some of the themes evoked by the Cape Coast Castle visit.

The resolution “laments the widespread historic involvement of the church in the transatlantic slave trade” and “recognizes the visit to Cape Coast Castle and the ensuing reconciliation service serves as an invitation to deeper historical investigation, education and theological reflection across the Communion.” In adopting the resolution, the ACC also called on the provinces to work with the Anglican Communion Office “to devise a program of work that seeks to address past damage and combat modern manifestations of this evil.”

Buchanan said she would like to see the ACC further help Anglicans around the world who are not familiar with such historical examples of oppression and racism “to wrestle with this issue and come up with resources for the rest of the [Anglican] Communion.”

At the meeting in Ghana, Buchanan said she was able to share stories with other ACC members of how The Episcopal Church has worked to confront its own historic complicity in systems of oppression in the United States, such as slavery and its legacy and segregation. Those stories have elements in common with some of the stories that other ACC members shared about their struggles against colonialism, Buchanan said.

“That thread of colonialism still exists in our context” in The Episcopal Church, she said, “and the good news for us is we recognize it and are working through it.”

Another prominent resolution adopted by ACC-18 called for development of proposals to embody “good differentiation” between the provinces that disagree theologically on issues of human sexuality. The conservative leaders of some provinces in what is known as the Global South, mostly Africa, Asia and South America, have suggested that the persistence of impaired relations over those issues will require structural reforms to the four Anglican Instruments of Communion.

Despite the evidence of such tensions on the sidelines of this ACC, Mathews said he was impressed by the collegiality he experienced interacting with ACC members from other provinces. Their churches’ differences over LGBTQ+ inclusion did not hinder their engagement with each other.

“We are 39 provinces here that are visibly different in so many different ways, and yet we have tangibly worked together, in fits and starts, on the issues of the day,” he said. “That is the beautiful thing about the communion.”

The Episcopal Church’s delegation—Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton, Annette Buchanan, a lay leader from the Diocese of New Jersey, and the Rev. Ranjit Mathews, the Diocese of Connecticut’s canon for mission, advocacy, racial justice and reconciliation—to the 18th Anglican Consultative Council poses with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Feb. 14 in Accra, Ghana, where the Feb. 12-19 meeting is underway. Photo: Neil Turner for the Anglican Communion Office

The ACC is one of the four Instruments of Communion and the only to include laity. The others are the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops and the archbishop of Canterbury, known as a “focus of unity.” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has faced intensifying criticism from conservative Anglicans this month after the General Synod of Church of England, which Welby leads, voted to endorse a plan to allow blessings of same-sex unions while stopping short of approving same-sex marriage rites. Welby said he personally will not offer the blessings.

Some Global South leaders raised similar issues at last summer’s Lambeth Conference as they pursued ongoing criticisms of The Episcopal Church and other provinces that have welcomed LGBTQ+ people more fully into the life of their churches.

Welby indicated at ACC-18 that he was open to reform proposals, saying in his Feb. 12 opening address that he “will not cling to place or position as an Instrument of Communion. … I hold it very lightly, provided that the other Instruments of Communion choose the new shape.”

In response to a question from ENS, Welby clarified at a Feb. 17 news conference that he did not say he was planning to step down. “I wanted to open things up to different ideas, and they will take quite a long time,” he said.

Welby, who is 67, will reach the compulsory retirement age of 70 in 2026.

A group of conservative archbishops, through an alliance called the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, responded on Feb. 20 by saying they rejected the continuation of the archbishop of Canterbury’s historic leadership role in the worldwide communion and would advocate to “re-set the Communion on its biblical foundation.”

Impaired relations were most noticeable at ACC-18 by the absence of members from the provinces of Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda. Those three have not participated in the Instruments of Communion for at least 15 years because of their objections to some provinces’ ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy and adoption of marriage rites and blessings for same-sex couples.

ACC actions are not binding on member provinces, though it and the other Instruments of Communion have expressed a commitment to “walk together” despite provinces’ theological and doctrinal differences.

Sutton said the issue of human sexuality “was really a small part” of the ACC’s official business last week in Ghana, with more significant emphases on issues like climate change, environmental justice and church planting. He looks forward to sharing his experiences with fellow Episcopal bishops when they gather in Alabama in March at the next House of Bishops meeting.

“We need the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Communion needs us, even when it’s hard,” Sutton said. “Especially this Instrument [of Communion]. The ACC is worthy of our support.”

Mathews agreed. “We see more of the Gospel when we have everybody at the table,” he said.

The variety of liturgies at ACC-18 offered a notable example of how the experiences of Anglicans around the world can enrich Episcopalians’ understanding of the faith, Buchanan said. “There’s so much information that can flow both ways,” she said. “There’s so much more we can learn from the larger church.”

– David Paulsen is a senior reporter and  editor  for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.

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Hold Your Breath Folks! GSFA to announce plans on Monday,

As if to give a TRUMPET SOUND for its relationship to GAFCON and the GSFA, in the ongoing spat with the Church of England, Sydney’s Diocesan paper ANGLICAN CHURCH LEAGUE is hot off the press with this article below. However, like parents titillating their children’s excitement for what ‘Santa’ might be bringing down the chimney at Yuletide; ACL has very little of any substance to reveal at this time. Maybe the GSFA/GAFCON Prelates have to find a more secure communal trysting ground, before they can go full trumpet blast with their proposed decision-making at the ‘EMERGENCY GSFA PRIMATES MEETING’ after which, on Monday, 1 Feb., they can agree on the contents of their new anathema/fatwa against the Mother Church of England?

One might have cause to wonder what all the fuss is about this time. With GAFCON’S last 3 (or is it 4?) TRUMPET SOUNDS (now added to by this latest GSFA instrument adding to the cacophony, they have had no compunction in setting up their own ‘Jerusalem Statement of Faith’, which is out of synch with the wider, more pastoral, Anglican Communion’s own long-term reliance upon the 3-legged stool of an inclusive ‘SCRIPTURE, TRADITION, and REASON’ – from which, formerly we have been content to pursue our intention of the Communion-wide charism of UNITY in DIVERSITY. It seems, though, now that there is a new solitary basis claimed by GAFCON and the Global South Prelates that relies solely on their own interpretation of ‘Sola Scriptura’, which, to say the very least has the tendency to exclude any new revelation from the Holy Spirit, whose work, Jesus promised, would BRING the Church into ALL THE TRUTH, which has still a way to go to be ultimately proclaimed at Christ’s Coming Again In Glory at the end of time as we now experience it.

There have been other spats within the world-wide Anglican Communion, the most recent being (1) the issue of women’s Ordination (Sydney Diocese, for example, still does not recognise the ministry, for instance, of the female Archbishop of Perth, The Rt. Revd. Kay Goldsworthy, who serves in the same ecclesiastical Province but – so far – without going into schism about it.) GAFCON is not of a common mind about Women’s Ordination – but without actually withdrawing in an act of schism about it.

However, having said that; it was notable that the GAFCON bishops elected not attend the most recent of what may be recognised as the most longstanding of the A.C. ‘Instruments of Unity’ – the 2023 LAMBETH CONFERENCE. This latest GSFA declaration may make a case for at least a whisper of intentional schism, by the Gafcon/GSFA Primates, from the parent body.

There were some GSFA prelates at Lambeth 2023, who had hopes that fellow Anglican bishops from around the world would agree to their request to ‘set in concrete’ a Statement made at a former Lambeth, in which the Conference – largely at the instigation of bishops from Gafcon and the Global South – voted to demonise homosexual activity; with a commitment to dispense with the ministry of clergy who were in an active Same-Sex Relationship, believing this to be contrary to Scripture and to the Will of God.

To bring light to the reason for present activity by the Global South Prelates (GSFA), after the defeat of their request to perpetuate the homophobic intentions of a previous Lambeth Conference: At Lambeth 2023; there was a distinctive movement by the GSFA prelates present towards their convergence with the schismatic intentions of the GAFCON Primates. This is now been borne out by this challenge to the Archbishop of Canterbury (and the Lambeth/Canterbury – based Anglican Communion) that the combined GACON/GFSA bishops are – at long last, after a great deal of drama – going to try to usurp the soul of the Unity in Diversity ethos of the world-wide Anglican Communion by setting up their own quasi-Anglican jurisdiction, which will no longer look to Lambeth/Canterbury for leadership. Currently, Gafcon’s leadership is being provided by the Archbishop of ACNA in North America, which, as a schismatic entity already, is not part of the worldwide Anglican Communion

Schism has long been thought to be ‘a horrid thing”, but, maybe, for the mental and spiritual health of mainline Anglicans around the world – who look to the Church for the pastoral exercise of God’s truth, mercy, and justice for everyone – no-one can ever quench the primitive desire of some puritanical rigorists for dogmatic purity, albeit in a religion firmly based on ‘The One who had nowhere to lay his head’ and was crucified for his loving mission of the Reconciliation of Sinners – that’s ALL of us.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


Posted on February 18, 2023 by the ‘ANGLICAN CHURCH LEAGUE’, SYDNEY
Filed under Church of EnglandGlobal South

Emergency GSFA Primates Meeting — Statement coming on Monday, 20 Feb. 2023

From The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches:

Emergency GSFA Primates Meeting following CofE General Synod decision (Feb 2023)

The GSFA Primates met virtually on the 13th of February 2023 to reflect on the Church of England’s recent decision to bless couples in same sex union and make the appropriate response towards this innovation. After discussing the matter, the Primates agreed that the Church of England has departed from the historic faith of the Church.

The GSFA will issue a Statement on Mon 20th February of what was decided at the said meeting.”

Photo: GSFA Press Conference during the Lambeth Conference, July 2022.

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Theocratic Taliban Now Bans Contraception for Women

In an increasingly restrictive religious regime in Afghanistan (subsequent to their recent ban on higher education for Afghani women); the Taliban rebel government has now proceeded to ban women’s use of artificial contraceptives, by force of law. Using the excuse that contraception is a Western conspiracy to limit the birth of Afghanistan’s Muslim population, the regime is now clamping down on one of the last remaining rights of a woman in that country – to take responsibility for her own capacity to bear children – even if doing so happens at the risk of her own health and physical and mental well-being.

This rapid escalation by the Taliban to extinguish the rights of women to determine their own way of life; their further access to higher education (a hard-won right that has been welcomed by women around the world); and now their right to decide whether, or not, to bear children – Human Rights which Western women have long taken for granted in a modern society – spells the promise of a very bleak future for the woman of this country that is now ruled by a male-dominated religious theocracy.

Women’s Rights have been gradually granted by progressive governments in all Western countries – a matter of equal justice being a part of Western democratic convention – whereas such rights have taken much longer to be put into place in countries of totalitarian theocratic societies; so that this latest tough crackdown on the contraceptive rights of women in Afghanistan could be seen as another attack on women.

Only recently, for instance, has a woman had the right to drive a car in some of the more conservative Arab Republics – even though a woman’s mode of dress is still monitored by the male religious authorities of such countries; so that women have still not yet been granted status equal to that of men – a situation which seems to boost the morale of the male leaders in those communities. Whereas, in most Western countries, women not only have the right to an equal say in government, they also have free access to higher education and to high office in national and local government decision-making.

In what was once, largely, considered to be ‘a man’s world’ in national and international affairs, one only has to tap into ‘Google’ to find that many heads of modern government departments – as well as of commercial and financial institutions around the world – now happen to be capable women who have been behind (and sometimes at the forefront of) the various success stories in local, national and international political, business and social enterprises that contribute towards the common good of the world’s population.

The social and material downgrading of Women’s Rights may well prove to be to the detriment of their active contribution to World Peace (what woman has ever started a world war?) It has also worked out to the detriment of a country’s social and economic well-being, so that this new measure to deny the right of women of Afghanistan to control their own procreative capability, could prove to be a catalyst to the eventual downfall of those regimes (male dominated) which seek to take control of this most private, intimate and powerful aspect of a woman’s basic contribution to the well-being of society.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


Taliban bans contraception calling use a ‘western conspiracy’

Reports that fighters have threatened those issuing birth control medicines come as Afghan midwives and activists warn of impact on women’s health and rights

Packs of condoms at a pharmacy in the western Afghan city of Herat in December.
Packs of condoms at a pharmacy in the western Afghan city of Herat in December. 
Photograph: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuter

Haroon Janjua – THE GUARDIAN – Fri 17 Feb 2023 1

Taliban fighters have stopped the sale of contraceptives in two of Afghanistan’s main cities, claiming their use by women is a western conspiracy to control the Muslim population.

The Guardian has learned that the Taliban has been going door to door, threatening midwives and ordering pharmacies to clear their shelves of all birth control medicines and devices.

“They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products,” said one store owner in the city.

A veteran midwife, who did not want to be named, said she had been threatened several times. She said she was told by a Taliban commander: “You are not allowed to go outside and promote the western concept of controlling population and this is unnecessary work.”

Other pharmacists in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif confirmed that they have been ordered not to stock any birth control medicines.

“Items such as birth control pills and Depo-Provera injections are not allowed to be kept in the pharmacy since the start of this month, and we are too afraid to sell the existing stock,” another shop owner in Kabul said.

It is the latest attack on women’s rights by the Taliban who, since coming to power in August 2021, have ended higher education for girlsclosed universities to young women, forced women out of their jobs and restricted their ability to leave their homes. Restricting contraceptives will be a significant blow in a country with an already fragile healthcare system.

One in every 14 Afghan women dies of causes related to pregnancy and it is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Public Health in Kabul has not issued any official statement on the issue and the UNFPA representative in Afghanistan did not respond to requests for comment.

Taliban fighters patrolling in the streets in Kabul told sources that “contraceptive use and family planning is a western agenda”.

For Zainab, 17, who was married two years ago in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the ban on contraceptives was a shock when she was told by her midwife last week.

Zainab, who has an 18-month-old daughter, is worried. “I was secretly using contraceptives to avoid immediate pregnancy. I want to raise my daughter well with proper health and education facilities but it shattered my dreams when the midwife last week informed me that she had no contraceptive pills and injections to offer me,” she said.

“I left education to get married and I don’t want my daughter’s fate to be the same as mine. I seek a different future for my daughter. The last hope to plan my life has ended,” said Zainab.

Shabnam Nasimi, an Afghan-born social activist in the UK, said: “The Taliban’s control not only over women’s human right to work and study, but now also over their bodies, is outrageous.

“It is a fundamental human right to have access to family planning and contraception services free of coercion. Such autonomy and agency are essential components of women’s rights such as the right to equality, non-discrimination, life, sexual health, reproductive health, and other basic human rights.”

Another midwife, who fled Kabul after death threats from the Taliban, is in daily contact with her colleagues who have remained. “The contraceptive ban would drastically affect the already deteriorating reproductive health situation in the country,” she said. “I fear the gains we made in the past decade would be lost after this move.”

Fatimah, a midwife in Kabul, said: “We are living in a suffocating environment. I have not felt so insecure in my entire career.”skip past newsletter promotion

Even before the Taliban came to power, a 2021 Human Rights Watch report said the most basic information on maternal health and family planning was not available to most Afghan women.

“What emerged is a picture of a system that is increasingly unaffordable to the estimated 61% to 72% of Afghan women who live in poverty, and one in which women often have more children than they want because of lack of access to modern contraception; face risky pregnancies because of lack of care; and undergo procedures that could be done more safely with access to and capacity to use more modern techniques,” the report revealed.

Activists called on the Taliban to abide by international agreements which set out universal access to sexual and reproductive health care.

“Access to contraception and the right to family planning is not only a matter of human rights; it is also central to women’s empowerment and lifting a country out of poverty,” said Nasimi.

Female university students

“It is well established that the Qur’an does not prohibit the use of contraception, nor does it forbid couples from having control over their pregnancies or the number of children they want to have. The Taliban have no right to restrict access to contraception based on their own interpretation of Islam.”

The Qur’an supports women having a gap between pregnancies to raise their children.

However Ustad Faridoon, a Taliban official based in Kandahar, told the Guardian he did not support a total ban.

“Contraceptive use is sometimes medically necessary for maternal health. It is permissible in the Sharia to use contraceptive methods if there is a risk to the mother’s life. Therefore, a complete ban on contraceptives is not right.”

Some reproductive rights experts in Afghanistan contacted by the Guardian were not willing to comment due to security concern

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Foley Beach – Head of new Gafcon Anglican Church?

Seated here on his wobbly episcopal throne (eight legs?), the Chair of Gafcon, Acna’s Archbishop Foley Beach (though depicted here without cope and mitre), is already pontificating on his hoped-for collapse of the Lambeth-led Anglican Communion of Churches around the world. A question might be: “Will Foley ever be seated on the Episcopal Throne of Saint Augustine of Canterbury?

Here, he talks his way into what could only be seen as his long-hoped-for ascendancy to becoming the very first (pro-tem – until a more powerful Global South or Sydney prelate moves to oust him) Pontifex Maximus of a brand new quasi-Anglican sodality current known as the GAFCON, whose alternative ‘Jerusalem Statement of Faith’ is poised to become the latest attempt to a replacement of the extant Lambeth Quadrilateral amongst those burgeoning ‘confessional-Anglican’ Churches which cling fiercely to ‘Sola Scriptura‘ as the sole arbiter for the interpretation of how God is dealing with his human children in the complex world of today.

In a seeming rejection of the traditional equality of the virtues of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, as a basic way of being ‘Anglican’; (to which, today, one might want to add the charism of lived Experience – through which, as Head of The Church, Jesus Christ, advised his followers; the work of the Holy Spirit would still be alive and active until Christ’s Coming Again in Glory); Gafcon/Acna seems to be loudly preempting any ‘new’ doctrine (or version of a doctrine, like that of human marriage, which has changed much over the last century, on the important matter of divorce and re-marriage, and the use of artificial contraception). ‘Unity in Diversity” – a traditional Anglican motif, seems no longer to hold sway with the newly-emerging Gafcon/Acna axis.

What Foley Beach is here proclaiming of his own (Gafcon’s) understanding of the Mission of the Church Militant is that its ‘warfare’ is against – not the ‘Principalities and Powers of The World’ but rather the very idea that “God only has sinners to preach the Gospel” – in a sad and fruitless attempt to encourage its followers to believe that, by their own efforts, they have the power to offer a force of redemption based on pulling one’s-self up out of the mire by one’s own bootstraps – an exercise which, for futility, was often criticised, as a false, legally-based religion; by Jesus in the gospels.

Any ‘Holier-Than-Thou‘ attempt to recruit Servants for Christ, must fail – simply because of the biblical assurance that “Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners” – not the self-righteous; who may not think they have any need of being saved. One is constantly reminded of Jesus’ story of the 2 people in the synagogue; the Pharisee, who boasted of his own righteousness, and the self-aware and acknowledged Sinner who, kneeling, sought the mercy of God; acknowledging (though unworthy of it) his need of God’s salvation. “Which one went away justified?”, asked Jesus. Presumably the Sinner, not the Pharisee, who made the mistake of boasting about his own faithfulness to the Law

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand (Lord. have mercy on me, a sinner!)


Welby “shredding the last remaining fragile fabric” of the Anglican Communion says GAFCON

By  Foley Beach CHAIR OF GAFCON, Archbishop of ACNA – February 9, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the Name of God our Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessings to you as you behold the beauty of the Lord and his immense truth and grace on display through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul so eloquently writes, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”’ (Rom 1:16-17).

The decision taken yesterday by the General Synod of the Church of England and the explanations given are clear indications that the Church of England is moving a step at a time to fully accept the practice of homosexuality as part of the life and practice of the English Church. To some of us who have been hoping that the Church would remain with her distinctive identity from those who don’t believe the teaching of Scripture, this hope is diminishing.

We have lived through this with other Western Anglican Provinces that continually wavered on the ‘faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) and now outright deny the doctrine of biblical anthropology regarding gender identity and moral behavior. Those in the secular press and culture will argue that these are matters of justice, but God’s justice can never contradict God’s righteousness, and we know these changes attack the very core of biblical authority. Have the Scriptures been clear on human sexuality through the centuries? Yes, they have. The majority of Anglicans around the world have concluded the same. And yet, now, the Church of England has authorized the blessing of sin and declared that sin is no longer sin.

From Lambeth Conference 1998 (and its overwhelming endorsement of Resolution I:10), following the Kuala Lumpur Statement in 1997, to Dar Es Salaam in 2007, to the Jerusalem Declaration at GAFCON 2008, to the Nairobi Communiqué at GAFCON II 2013, and the Letter to the Churches at GAFCON III 2018, we have remained resolute in speaking both the truth of Christian witness on matters of practice and ethics and calling the Anglican Communion Establishment to repent and return to the teaching of Scripture and the historical teaching of the Church.

This decision by the Church of England raises questions regarding the relationship of Anglican Provinces around the world with the Church of England and the continued role of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Gafcon provinces and other Global South provinces are already in impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church of Brazil, The Scottish Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and the Church in Wales. We shall now have to make a decision about the Church of England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has abrogated his fiduciary responsibility and violated his consecration vows to “banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word” with his advocating this change in the Church of England. He is shredding the last remaining fragile fabric of the Anglican Communion. It is time for the Primate of All England to step down from his role as “first among equals” in leading the Anglican Communion. It is now time for the Primates of the Anglican Communion to choose for themselves their “first among equals” rather than having a secular government of only one nation appoint our leader. We are no longer colonies of Great Britain.

In 2017 the Gafcon Primates (representing more than 60 Million Anglicans worldwide) authorized the creation of a new mission into England because unbiblical practices had already been occurring in many dioceses of the Church of England. Many faithful Anglicans could no longer serve under bishops who had departed from the teaching of Scripture. We consecrated the Rev. Andy Lines to be its first Missionary Bishop and have since constituted the Anglican Network in Europe. Last year the GAFCON Primates consecrated the Rev. Lee McMunn, the Rev. Tim Davies and the Rev. Ian Ferguson, to assist in the growing work in the United Kingdom. The Rev. Stuart Bell will be consecrated in March. We believe the Lord is raising up a biblical alternative for the Christian faithful in Great Britain.

Many in the Church of England have made faithful and courageous speeches upholding biblical teaching. We thank God for them and acknowledge their faithfulness to the Gospel, and our ongoing fellowship with and support for them. For those who are feeling alone and vulnerable during this time, please be assured of the fervent prayers of your brothers and sisters around the world. You are not alone. And you do not have to endure this alone. The Lord will guide you as you honor him and seek to follow His will.

In April the Gafcon Primates will be hosting over 1,100 participants in GAFCON IV in Kigali, Rwanda. In collaboration with the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA), we shall have more to say and do about these matters. Please come, and we’ll make room at the table for you.

On behalf of the Gafcon Primates, I am

Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chair of the Gafcon Primates Council

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Anglican schismatic predicts Anglican ‘re-alignment’

Phil Ashby (a former priest of the Church of England, now part of GAFCON) makes his own prognostication on what he sees as the future of the Anglican Communion. Ignoring its status as founded by missionaries of the Church of England, with each provincial Church inheriting a koinonia relationship to the 4 ‘Instruments of Communion’: – the ABC; the ACC; The Primates’ Council; and the Lambeth Conference of Bishops; Mr Ashby ignores the existing structure of the Anglican Communion based on these four ‘Instruments of Communion’ – agreed to by each provincial Church of the A.C.

When he looks more deeply into the roots of the Anglican Communion, he will see that any revision of that relationship would have to be agreed by every Provincial member. The FACT that GAFCON and Global South Primates have decided no longer to be a part of the Anglican Communion as it now exists, does not say that they are at liberty to re-construct its extant composition of voluntary membership by common consent – in order to high-jack its traditional identity as the Anglican Communion – even though they may claim to solely represent what they are pleased to call their own understanding of what they, uniquely, are wont to describe as ‘Orthodox Anglican’ status.

Any new alignment of former Anglicans once loyal to Canterbury but now choosing estrangement from it under separate leadership (GAFCON) has no automatic right to usurp the traditional Anglican label, per se. Nor should it indulge in an imagined ‘right’ to call the Canterbury Loyalists ‘Un-Orthodox’ or ‘Apostate’. Such churlish treatment of their former ‘Mother Church of England’ (of which some have publicly shed crocodile tears about their ‘enforced need’ to abandon her imagined profligacy in rejecting homophobia and sexism) is nothing less than a betrayal of the Divine Providence which used the early resources of Missionaries of the Mother Church of England to introduce them to the Love and Mercy of God through the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of the world’s Redeemer, Jesus Christ

What Mr. Ashby, GAFCON and its associates need to remember is that ALL ARE SINNERS, but all are Redeemed – not by the sinlessness of the Church, but by the great Love of God through the Redemption of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; who warned the Church: Judge not, lest ye be judged yourselves!

(Despite protestations from the dissident Provincial Church Leaders who no longer attend Meetings of the AC – that they ‘are not leaving the Anglican Communion’; their intentionally schismatic severance from the AC has already made clear their true intention, based on a ‘Holier Than Thou‘ attitude, which in itself bears witness to a certain arrogance incompatible with the humility of our Founder, Jesus Christ.)

In the meantime, the mission and ministry of faithful Anglicans around the world will not be impeded by those who deliberately (against the will of Jesus, himself) incite disunity on the basis of a Pharisaical judgement of the behaviour of others. (Which one went away justified? Sinner or Pharisee?)

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand



Many weeks ago, I received a written request from the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Kaziimba, to address the House of Bishops of Uganda on the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans’ (GSFA) Cairo Covenant (2019).  On Tuesday January 16th, I presented on the crisis of false teaching and lack of discipline within the Anglican Communion for over 50 years and “the way forward” through a covenanted and confessional communion of Anglican Churches. It was a great day of teaching, discussion, and fellowship on the strategic significance of the Covenant for establishing a biblically-faithful Communion within the historic Anglican Communion to help return the Church to its biblical and apostolic roots.

Following the day’s presentations, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Church of Uganda formally convened and voted unanimously to apply for membership in the GSFA Covenantal Structures (The Cairo Covenant 2019).  The Archbishop and Bishops of Uganda represent 37 dioceses and approximately 11 million Anglicans, the second largest national church within the Anglican Communion.  Their unanimous decision was ratified on the 14th of February.

This development represents yet another significant step in the realignment of the Anglican Communion that defines our identity as Anglican followers of Jesus Christ submitted to the clarity and authority of the Scriptures, respectful of the apostolic “Great Tradition” of the interpretation and application of Scripture (the Mind of the Church/Consensus fidelium), and an emphasis on interdependence and mutual accountability rather than radical autonomy. This is the heart of genuine communion.

The decision of the Archbishop and Bishops of Uganda was on the cusp of the much-anticipated decision by the Bishops of the Church of England to push ahead with proposals for prayers and blessings of same-sex relationships as proposed by their report in Living in Love and Faith.  In our last Anglican Perspective Podcast, I interviewed Archbishop Kaziimba in person regarding the implications of this decision.  His response was crystal clear [Listen here]:  such a decision by the Church of England and its General Synod would signal a change in the biblical doctrine of marriage, a definitive departure from the faith once delivered (Jude 3), and cause for the same breaking of communion that Uganda effected with TEC in 2003. 


Immediately, Archbishop Foley Beach (ACNA) and Chair of GAFCON published this statement on behalf of GAFCON:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has abrogated his fiduciary responsibility and violated his consecration vows to “banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word” with his advocating this change in the Church of England. He is shredding the last remaining fragile fabric of the Anglican Communion. It is time for the Primate of All England to step down from his role as “first among equals” in leading the Anglican Communion. It is now time for the Primates of the Anglican Communion to choose for themselves their “first among equals” rather than having a secular government of only one nation appoint our leader. We are no longer colonies of Great Britain.” [Read here]

The same day, the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans responded just as GAFCON did, lamenting the decision of the Church of England Synod’s vote “which goes against the overwhelming mind of the Anglican Communion.” The GSFA rejected the legal sophistry that blessings of same sex unions are only of “couples” and not relationships and that therefore there is no formal change in the Mother Church’s definition of marriage stating: “Anglican liturgy expresses its doctrine…[therefore the reality is that] the Church [of England] no longer sees the Union of one man to one woman for life as the only way intended and blessed by God, for the flourishing of marriage, family, communities, and national life.”

The GSFA then repeated the same clarion call as GAFCON:

“The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in leading the House of Bishops to make the recommendations that undergird the Motion, together with his statements, alongside the Archbishop of York, and the Bishop of London leading up to the General Synod, cause the GSFA to question his fitness to lead what is still a largely orthodox world-wide Communion. 

In view of these developments, the GSFA will be taking decisive steps towards re-setting the Anglican Communion (as outlined in our ‘Communique’ following the 2022 Lambeth Conference). Orthodox Provinces in GSFA are not leaving the Anglican Communion, but with great sadness must recognise that the Church of England has now joined those Provinces with which communion is impaired. The historical Church which spawned the global Communion, and which for centuries was accorded ‘first among equals’ status, has now triggered a widespread loss of confidence in her leadership of the Communion.” 

The GAFCON and GSFA statements were followed rapidly by statements from the following GAFCON and Global South churches, including some of the largest in the Communion: the Church of Uganda [Read here], the Anglican Church of Kenya [Read here], the Church of Nigeria [Read here], and the Anglican Church of Rwanda [Read here].

Yesterday, the GSFA Primates, many of whom are also GAFCON Primates, met for prayer and discussion of next steps.  What might this “re-setting” of the Anglican Communion look like in the days ahead?

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