Tensions in the English Church

A meeting of Evangelicals in England earlier this month became much more animated than people expected when a controversy arose regarding a vote on Jerusalem Declaration. The Church Times has a detailed account of events which led to the National Evangelical Anglican Consultation’s decision to not ratify the declaration.

According to the account the issues started when the unexpected resolution to support the Declaration was distributed to the delegates with the stipulation that the delegates would not be allowed to make any amendments to the resolution.

From the Church Times:

“Rodney Curtis, a management con­sultant who worships at St Ebbe’s, Oxford, likened attending the meeting to ‘watching a car crash in slow mo­tion’, as Dr Turnbull ignored advice from Dr Philip Giddings, the con­vener of Anglican Mainstream, and Canon Michael Saward to withdraw the resolution. ‘The management of the day was so amateur that I felt embarrassed,’ he said. ‘We were being bounced into supporting GAFCON at the say-so of Richard Turnbull.’

[…]The meeting has reinforced con­cerns about who speaks for Evan­gelicals. Dr Christina Baxter, who chairs the House of Laity of the General Synod, expressed her concern that the meeting had been, in the main, elderly, male, and white. Speaking on Tuesday, she said: ‘I am concerned that when Evangelicals come together, they represent the broad spectrum in terms of people groups.

Chris Sugden, a leader of the GAFCON movement argued that it was important that the resolution of support be adopted so that parts at least of the English church would be able to stay connected to the larger groups of Anglicans around the world.

Canon Sugden said that GAFCON was guarding the Evan­gelical heri­tage in the wider Communion. ‘GAFCON is our connection to the Global Anglican Communion. The GAFCON Pri­mates and bishops are the true successors to John Stott. The Canterbury network is unsure and even confused about what Global Anglicanism means.’

The article continues describing how the resolution was ultimately rejected. For those who are interested in understanding the tensions present in the Church of England it makes fascinating reading.

Read the full article here.

You can find additional coverage at Thinking Anglicans.

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