GAFCON enters New Zealand – via FOCA


“Anglican Future Conference”. We desire to gather as brothers and sisters in Christ seeking the best way to honour God and love people. We are delighted to welcome Rev Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s, Oxford, UK) as our headline speaker who will speak on “True Gospel, True Sex, True Love, and True Unity”. Other speakers include Rev Dr Sarah Harris exploring the topic of ?Faithful Hermeneutics: women and same-sex?, and Rev Dr Rhys Bezzant and Rev Dr Peter Adam reminding us of our Anglican Identity and Heritage. We will also begin each day in God’s word with Revs Dale & Paul Williamson as they teach us from the Gospel of Luke on Jesus’ mission, authority, and call. Through workshops, worship and times of fellowship we will explore together how best to contend for the gospel once for all entrusted to the saints. We look forward to you joining with us. CHRISTCHURCH (9am – 5pm) Saturday 16 April 2016 La Vida Centre – Riccarton $39+bf (lunch provided) AUCKLAND 1pm 18 April – 1pm 20 April 2016 AUT University – City Campus $135+bf (lunch provided – Tuesday) ANGLICAN FUTURE CONFERENCE 2016 not all speakers are at all venues – for full programme information head to


Influenced by GAFCON and the U.K.-sourced ‘Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, FoCA, a group of people of earnest Conservative Evangelical persuasion seems determined to plant the roots of a similar type of group in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

A group of Overseas Speakers has been invited to address delegates to the advertised Meetings in Christchurch and Auckland, which look like duplicating a similar meeting that took place in Australia last year, hosted by FoCA (Aust.), which is an outreach from the GAFCON organisation which has fostered schismatic activity in the USA and Canada – leading to the formation of ACNA the so-called “Anglican Church in North America’, an ‘Anglican’ schismatic body that affects to replace the U.S. Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

The 3 highlighted entities (above) are all involved in an attempt to take-over the Anglican world with a limited  ‘sola-Scriptura’ understanding of sexual identity and gender issues, such as is currently practised by Anglican Churches in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, where known homosexuals are subject to harsh criminal punishment – a situation officially deplored by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the recent Primates’ Meeting in the U.K.

Whether this locally sponsored organisation of FoCA will elect to undermine the Anglican Church in New Zealand – as has been the practice in the U.K., Australia and other Provinces of the Anglican Communion – is yet to be seen. However, it is well-known that there were New Zealander clergy in attendance at the Australian Conference of FoCA, and no doubt they will be present at the New Zealand meetings. One might hope there won’t be too many of them! Religious Fundamentalism of any kind – whether Christian or Muslim – has no place here.

The timing of this meeting – before our General Synod debates the issue of Same-Sex Blessings in ACANZP later in May – would seem to have been related to the current controversy surrounding ‘Motion 30’ set to take place at the General Synod.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to GAFCON enters New Zealand – via FOCA

  1. Peter Carrell says:

    You should come along Ron!
    The only way to find out what is really going on is to be there.
    Then there is no need to rely on rumours and spin.

  2. kiwianglo says:

    This implies, Peter, that you will actually be attending. I am just a wee bit surprised, considering your diocesan responsibilities as an educator..

    • Peter Carrell says:

      Yes, I am attending because I want to hear first hand what is said rather than rely on secondhand reports. I am not going to join FCA but I want to be clear about what is going on rather than make presumptions. As a diocesan educator I am involved in the whole diocese. From what I know a large part of the diocese is going to be at the conference. Again, only by going will I see for myself exactly how large a part!

  3. kiwianglo says:

    “From what I know a large part of the diocese is going to be at the conference. Again, only by going will I see for myself exactly how large a part!” – Dr. Peter Carrell –

    Well, Peter, if its going to be that significant I guess our Bishop Victoria will be present – to keep an eye on things. ‘A large part’, eh? Like you, I will be interested to see just ‘how large’. This may be an indication of our diocesan opposition to polity in ACANZP.

    • Peter Carrell says:

      Hi Ron
      Since our church hasn’t changed its polity the size of the event might indicative of support for the polity of ACANZP!

  4. Brian Ralph says:

    Knowing these people as I do from living most of my life in Sydney, they will take large numbers as a sign of agreement. The only way I would attend is with a placard outside condemning their views, just as they did when a partnered gay man was ordained a deacon (and later a priest) here in Dunedin. Fortunately I live too far away although I will pas through Christchurch on my way to Sydney next Wednesday. However I will not enter the cathedral or any other evangelical church while in Sydney but look forward to returning for one service next Sunday at my old parish church, St James, King Street, a church where all are accepted.

  5. kiwianglo says:

    Ah, Brian; St. James, Sydney, a hasven of the compassion and love of Christ in the desert!
    Agape, Fr. Ron

  6. Peter Carrell says:

    Hi Ron
    About 360 in attendance, maybe 30 of whom were from other dioceses.
    About 20 of our parishes were represented so, indeed, a fair chunk of our diocese was present.

    • kiwianglo says:

      Thank you, Peter for the Stats (very important for Latimer, I suspect). 360, eh? Just about the size of a small ACNZ diocese – a la South Carolina or, maybe, Nelson?

      330 locals? with 20 local parishes that must be 16 and 1/2 parishioners per parish. Hardly an overwhelming majority in our diocese, one would think. And, if most of them were from Rangiora and Avonhead, not really representative of the whole diocese.

      • Peter Carrell says:

        Hi Ron
        I suggest you misinterpret the significance of the numbers.
        That 360 people turn up to an event of this nature on a Saturday (when, citing a different but related recent event, 170 turn up on a Friday night to hear Chris Marshall) implies that there is significant concern across our diocese about where AWF might take us.
        It is not necessarily indicative of a “majority” of the Diocese, but it does imply a significant minority if not a majority.
        The point is less whether the event was “representative” of the Diocese as a whole but whether the numbers “represent” the potential of significant loss and pain if GS makes a decision which proves to be divisive rather than uniting.
        A further point can be made: 360 bothering to come out implies a large group of people of Anglican sense and sensibility exist in our Diocese with concern about where AWF might take us. It cannot and should not be interpreted as a group of hot-headed, quasi-Baptists whom we might be better off without.

  7. kiwianglo says:

    Peter, again, I suggest your use of hyperbole is not useful in this conversatiom. Your thesis on the importance of numbers at FoCA – as being indicative of the ‘strength’ of local Anglican support for anti-gay opinion – prompted my analysis.

    However, using your own comparisons, may I suggest that there is a difference in the two meetings. FoCA drew people interested in the vocally conservative side of the Same-Sex arguments; whereas, the meeting called to hear about Motion 30 may have been ‘poorly attended’ simply because most Anglicans don’t attend procedural meetings, believing that this matter was just part of the normal proceedings of Church government, this time allowing S/S relationships to be blessed – which may well be the majority Anglican opinion.

    Party-line Protest meetings often receive sole attention by the conservators of Status Quo.


  8. Peter Carrell says:

    Hi Ron
    Well, in the end, let’s see whose interpretation is the closer guide to how votes go in our synod in September!

    As a matter of fact I think the attendance at both events is impressive and is indicative of non-vocal Anglicans as well as vocal Anglicans not being complacent about the usual mechanisms of church governance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.