There is a blog site in the U.K. which self-identifies as ‘Anglican Mainstream’. This title, though can be very misleading. In fact, the constituency it more truthfully represents is the extremist, conservative, evangelical sector of the Church of England (CEEC). Therefore, the site might perhaps better merit the title it has already been accorded by more truly mainstream thinking Anglicans of ‘SLIPSTREAM ANGLICAN’ – representing, as is does more consistently, a very limited, parsimonious, fundamentalist sector of the Church of England.
In publishing the article below, describing the activity of the ‘Church of England Evangelical Council’, (CEEC); it presents the sorry story of the Church of England’s signal failure to grasp the nettle of what is needed to render a better climate of justice for the LGBT+ community within its borders, through the recently-completed exercise of ‘Living in Love and Faith’.
The church-wide investigation of the implications of the including people of gender or sexual difference from the heterosexual (binary) ‘norm’ within the boundaries of the Church of England has prompted some of the more conservative groups within the C. of E. to ponder their future within the Church. While other Church bodies related to the C. of E. (The Episcopal Church in Scotland (SEC) and the Anglican Church in Wales) have now accepted the fact that LGBT+ people are actually a part of the Church and have been accepted as such; the C. of E. is still tentative – even about the Blessing of S/S Unions, which is already acceptable to other Anglican jurisdictions around the world – including my own (ACANZ).
For the CEEC to have to consider its position if the Church of England goes ahead with S/S Blessings for instance; it seems that there could be further schismatic activity with the worldwide family of Anglican – besides that of the GAFCON Community, whose officials were present at this meeting of the CEEC, and obviously at one with its culture of separation on the grounds of gender and sexuality.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand
LONDON: CEEC considers future of the Church of England at its annual meeting
Council launches education and evangelism focus for 2022 and beyond
Press Release – Anglican Mainstream – Feb 9, 2022
The future of the Church of England, following the conclusion of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process, formed an important part of discussions at the Church of England Evangelical Council’s (CEEC) annual meeting.
The Council, comprising a broad group from Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships (DEFs), societies and networks, Theological Education Institutions (TEIs), EGGS and evangelical Bishops, as well as the Officers/Trustees, members of the Working Group (appointed by the Council) and staff, met on 19 and 20 January 2022 for its annual meeting at High Leigh, Hertfordshire.
The Council will continue to work for unity but agreed it was time to prayerfully consider a range of options, should the Church of England decide to move away from its current teaching on conclusion of the LLF consultation. Friends from Wales and Scotland were present, as well as those from the wider Anglican Communion, to tell their story.
“Over the next few months, we are encouraging evangelical churches across the country to give time to engage with and think through the issues raised by LLF. In particular, we would like them to consider prayerfully how they would respond if significant change was brought into the Church of England”, said Keith Sinclair, National Director, CEEC.
During the meeting, the CEEC announced the launch of an education workstream to secure wholistic Christian education across England and the Council unanimously endorsed a proposal to work on the CEEC’s vision for equipping and enabling evangelism.
Lis Goddard, Co-chair of the CEEC Working Group, said: “We’re really excited to have launched a dedicated stream of activity looking specifically at how we might better secure the place of wholistic Christian education in our schools and across the country, and how we might better support and equip our head teachers, teachers, parents and pupils at this time.”
The Council reviewed work undertaken over the past year, including the General Synod elections. It reported on the growth of the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship network from 33 to all 40 mainland dioceses by the end of 2022.
The Council’s Culture, Power and Abuse working group, established last year, published a set of resources in November to help churches navigate issues of power and abuse following the widely publicised cases of John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher. The group heard that churches are already engaging with the resources and they have been warmly received.
The Council invited Rennis Ponniah, Bishop of Singapore and Chair of the Global South Secretariat, to speak and Bishop Bill Love, who is Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of the Living Word, to give his moving story at the annual meeting.