Editorial blog retrospective

Dec 6, 2022 by


Press Release includes a message from Anglican Mainstream’s Chair of Trustees, and details of how readers can make a comment.

Andrew Symes says: This is the end of my editorial blog for Anglican Mainstream. We hope this ministry has helped readers to track not only key events in national and global Anglicanism, but also linking them to the steady and relentless advance of an ideological secular revolution in Western culture, which has profoundly affected the way people think and act in all areas of life. The blog will remain as an archive.

When I started this work in 2013, Justin Welby had just become Archbishop of Canterbury, and Parliament had just given its approval for the change in the definition of marriage. The second Gafcon gathering coincided with the release of the Church of England Pilling Report on sexual ethics, which advocated a gradual liberalisation of Christian sexual morality and how it should be reflected in church teaching, appointments and liturgies.

We have seen this policy play itself out, as 2022 ends with bishops publicly calling for a major change in how the church understands sex and marriage, while significantly, at the same time, the results of the 2021 census show further rapid decline in nominal Christian affiliation in the United Kingdom, although regular total church attendance (counting all denominations together) seems to be holding steady.

Here is a selection of  blog posts from over the years (more than 200 in total), commenting on the transition occurring in the soul of Western culture, and its effects on the church and Anglicanism in particular.



Why is a new Anglican jurisdiction necessary? The consecration of new bishops for the Anglican Network in Europe is more than just a new mission initiative.

What are the main problems with contemporary secular culture, and why? A brief summary of Carl Trueman’s book ‘Strange New World,’, and some implications for the faithful church.

Bishop sides with Pride against orthodox clergy . Bishop of Dorchester Gavin Collins supports a ban on ‘conversion therapy’, and would therefore support the future criminalisation of his own clergy if they teach the biblical view of marriage, or by counselling someone who wants to manage same sex desires in a faith-directed way.

Psalm 103 – four dimensions of reality. Turning back to the ancient wisdom of the Scriptures ensures that the church critiques false ideology, and then offers a saving and wholesome way of thinking about self, based on truth and humility.



The authentic church: witness to the reality of the spiritual. An initial reflection on Michael Nazir-Ali’s departure to Roman Catholicism, concluding that what matters is not the church label, but the extent to which the church is restating the truth and refuting error, and prioritising a spiritual, not just organisational and tactical focus.

Australian and English evangelicals show different approaches to Anglican institutional revisionism. Unlike CEEC’s more gentle advocacy of “no change” to doctrine and practice from a place of good relationships with the institution, Gafcon Australia takes a more robust line, taking a first step in providing an Anglican home for those who in conscience cannot remain in the denomination.

Power today: using the energy of how people feel to control how we should think. If we want to understand what is behind some of the theological and ethical confusion in society and the church, Brendan O’Neill’s blog ‘The tyranny of ‘lived experience’ is worth reading.

Increase in LGBT identity in the West, “herd mentality”, and the church’s response. We are now no longer a pluralist society, where different views and independence of thought are valued, but one based on a monoculture of ‘woke’ values increasingly enforced by law. How does affect the church’s mission strategy?



The Church of England’s guide to hearing God’s voice through the bible, according to LLF. The main textbook for Living in Love and Faith purports to lay out different views of Scripture and how key passages on sex and marriage should be interpreted. But in fact it is based from start to finish on revisionist theological method, an attempt to adapt Christianity to secularism and neo-paganism.

Should evangelicals stay in the C of E? These reasons aren’t good enough! We must question the assumption that only in friendly dialogue and “walking together” with heresy will evangelicals avoid drifting into obscurity and irrelevance.

Repenting of privilege, signalling virtue, following the crowd. Does the new fashion for white people from an affluent background ‘repenting of privilege’ come from the Holy Spirit, or from Robespierre, Marx and Mao? How should Christians from such backgrounds think and act?

Kenny’s stages of rebellion, and the church’s response. A case study to illustrate how the debate around sex and marriage is not just about individual desires and behaviours, and how we interpret the bible. It is about a sense of identity, and how we respond to a new ideology driving societal change.



The whole gospel addresses the world’s wrong thinking, not just the church’s comfort. According to a former Archbishop of Sydney, some evangelical preaching narrows down the word of God to a message of personal salvation, rather than expanding on the major social implications of the gospel. There should not be an escapist, pietistic separation of “world” and “church”, but a wider commendation of a God-given vision for human flourishing.

Cathedral gimmicks illustrate spiritually blind Britain and mute Church. The Church of England is the custodian of a magnificent heritage, but when it’s failing to explain the meaning of the buildings, and permits light entertainment and even different messages with opposing spiritualities, it’s no longer promoting the beauty of God and his reality, but spiritual confusion.

‘Churchianity’ challenge to evangelical complacency. A booklet by Joe Boot points out the flaws in liberal Christianity, where the Kingdom of God is associated with secular ‘progressive’ values, and in evangelical pietism which avoids controversial clashes with society’s leaders and agendas, because it associates God’s kingdom entirely with the church.

Why we need the global Church. The church in the West needs to admit weakness, and turn to the church in the global south for inspirational lessons, help and prayer.



Anglicans and Transgender: A series of reflections from 2015-2018

Did we witness social action / evangelism ‘holy grail’ on BBC documentary? Amid church-wide discussions on how best to engage with urban poverty, a profile on the charity Christians Against Poverty showed broken-and-mended servants giving life changing practical assistance to downtrodden individuals, and also starting the walk of faith with them

Three paradoxes of Christian faith: reflections on Ephesians. Grace and work; love for and critique of the world; serenity and struggle.

Gafcon’s “Letter to the Churches” encapsulates authentic Christianity with clarity, firmness and grace.  A report and reflection on the Gafcon Jerusalem conference of June 2018.



England’s orthodox Anglicans: agreed on Synod’s implications, divided on what to do. General Synod of July 2017 saw a decisive move away from Christian orthodoxy in the Church of England. But among those wanting to remain faithful to Scripture, there is a wide spectrum of views on what to do.

Bishop of Chelmsford calls for “prayers of thanksgiving” for same sex relationships. Stephen Cottrell [now Archbishop of York] called for prayers of thanksgiving for same sex relationships as part of “radical new Christian inclusion”.

Local church and global mission. A couple return from long term service in Africa to teach their new English congregation about mission (fictional account, based on true stories).

Reading the Bible upside down. The global fellowship of Gafcon provides affluent Anglicans with an opportunity to look with fresh eyes at Scripture, still as God’s word, but from the perspective of the poor.



‘Our bodies proclaim the Gospel’ – Christopher West’s insightful biblical theology of sex and marriage. [Reports on the Conference in January 2016].

Journeys in, or moving away from, grace and truth? A review of a book of essays by bishops, clergy and senior lay people, advocating change to the Church of England’s teaching and practice, edited by Jayne Ozanne.

Sowing in tears on the hard ground of the West. Biblical Christianity gives a compelling, coherent, hopeful view of ‘life, the universe and everything’. So why do people not believe? Is the church to blame for failing to get the Christian message out? Has the Gospel ‘lost’ in the battle of ideas?



Bark at the cat, not the blackbird. When authentic Christian faith is under pressure from social media attacks, ‘moderate’ evangelicals often attack the easy target of their more conservative brethren, rather than the real enemy.



The weekend when Britain changed. 29th March was when same sex couples married for the first time. Where was the church?

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