Anglican Mission in England
This organisation has a new website. Some extracts will give readers the flavour:
The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in areas covered by the Church of England (principally in England, but also in other parts of Europe) by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures.
AMiE came into being as a result of GAFCON and is one of a number of agencies that relates to GAFCON through the FCA(Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) UK and Ireland. You can read more about the history of AMiE by clicking here.
A variety of Anglican churches are part of AMiE. Some churches are outside the structures of the Church of England. Others remain within the denomination but are experiencing tensions, whilst others have joined to support them.
AMiE is a registered charity (number 1158679) and has an Executive Committee. Andy Lines is the General Secretary of AMiE and Justin Mote is Chair of the Executive Committee. AMiE, alongside Reform and Church Society, co-sponsor the annual ReNew conference. The AMiE Executive Committee shares the ReNew vision of pioneering, establishing and securing a nation of healthy local Anglican churches.
(Thanks to ‘Thinking Anglicans’ for this breaking news)
It had to happen! At long last, AMiE (Anglican Mission in England) – a faux Church of England look-alike, but without having either the authority, or eirenic Gospel flavour, of the actual, legally established, “Church of England’ – has proclaimed its first public ‘Mission Statement’.
How did this anomaly come about ? one might ask. Well, it is purely the fledgling child of an organisation in the Global South which is pleased to call itself ‘GAFCON’ – a name deriving from its first conference in the Continent of Africa – consisting of disaffected Anglicans from around the world, who believe there is no place in the Church for ‘Same-Sex Relationships’. Their opposition is based on a Sola-Scriptura understanding of gender and sexuality which, though introduced by the first Anglican missionaries to Africa and other Anglican Mission countries, has since been acknowledged by Western nations as being in serious conflict with any modern understanding of the issues.
At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, certain African Bishops, among other conservative Anglican bishops, were determined that there should be no place for homosexuals in the Christian Church, and were partly responsible for the Conference, under the guidance of Archbishop George Carey, issuing guidelines for the disciplining of Provincial Churches in the Anglican Communion that were moving towards the acceptance of Gay clergy as ministers to their congregations.
After the Ordination of an American Bishop (+Gene Robinson) by the Episcopal Church in the U.S., GAFCON was brought into being to protest against the admission of Gay people into ministry in any province of the Anglican Communion and, as a direct result, GAFCON decided to plant clandestine churches into other provinces – a process which contravened the Lambeth moratorium.
The first of these faux ‘Anglican’ churches (under the supervision of GAFCON primates) were planted in Canada and the United States – despite the fact that they were seen to contravene the agreed protocol at the Lambeth Conference against inter-provincial piracy – or ‘border-crossing’, and to be competing with the existing local Church.
Much later, under the provenance of the Archbishop of Kenya (a GAFCON Primate) the border-crossing was introduced into England, under the name ‘Anglican Mission in England’. Despite having appropriated the word ‘Anglican’ in the title, this schismatic church has not yet been censured by the Church of England, which has, so far, taken no legal, or even disciplinary, action against a body purporting to be ‘Anglican’, yet seeking converts from its own (C. of E.) congregations.
Until the Church of England takes action against this cuckoo in its nest, local members may become confused about AMiE’s territorial jurisdiction, and its authority to act in the name, and under the guise of being a constituent part of the world-wide Anglican Communion.
One cannot help wondering whether the reason this anomaly is still allowed to exist, may be because of the reluctance on the part of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to be seen to act against the wishes of the conservative GAFCON Primates.
Whatever action may be taken – or not taken – on this issue, it is a concern primarily for the Church of England to address for themselves. However, the non-GAFCON provinces of the Anglican Communion might need to take care that their own borders are secure, against the depredations of GAFCON influences that seek to diminish the outreach of the Gospel to ALL people – irrespective of race, tribe, nation, class or sexual-orientation or gender.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand