Updated again Wednesday evening
John Bingham of the Telegraph reports: Church of England parishes consider first step to break away over sexuality.
A group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching.
Representatives of almost a dozen congregations in the Home Counties are due to gather in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week for the first session of what they say could eventually develop into an alternative Anglican church in England.
Organisers, drawn from the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism, say they have no immediate plans to break away – but are setting up the “embryonic” structures that could be used to do so if the established church moves further in what they see as a liberal direction…
There is a further report with some additional usefui background information from Ruth Gledhill in Christian Today Anglicans consider new synod to oppose gay marriage
…In England, there is already a number of conservative groups such as the Church Society, and Reform. Dr Sanlon has written for the Church Society.
There are also the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which is signed up to Gafcon’s Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, and the Anglican Mission in England, a mission society promoting gospel growth in England.
Anglican Mainstream is a fifth…
…A spokesman for Anglican Mainstream said: “This is not an initiative organised or directed by Gafcon.”
But he said there were many similarities between them and Gafcon.
“This is a local initiative designed to send a clear message: we hold to the unchanging truths of the Gospel and the formularies and teachings of the Church of England. We oppose the relentless slide towards revisionism in the Church of England structures. We will take action to protect our congregations and our mission.”
According to the Daily Mail:
…A Church of England spokeswoman said: “The Shared Conversations process over the last two years included the participation of over 1,300 members of the church in regional and national settings.
“Through those conversations, deep convictions have been shared and profound differences better understood. It is our hope that what has been learned through the relationships developed will inform the way the Church conducts whatever further formal discussions take place in the future.
“The Church of England is episcopally led and synodically governed. Within that structure, many like-minded parishes join together in a range of organisations, meetings and assemblies to share mutual support and debate.”
Readers who want to know more about the views of the organiser of this event may find this book review of interest.
Andy Lines, the Chairman of GAFCON UK Task Force has issued this statement.
Andy Lines is employed as Mission Director of Crosslinks, and has PtO in Southwark diocese, but according to Crockfords has served only in South America, and has never held any parochial office in the Church of England.
Read the GAFCON Chairman’s August letter in full for comment on the CofE.
And this from GAFCON UK.