From the Church of England to Free Church of England: Julian Mann on why he switched denominations after 23 years

Jan 23, 2020 by

from Christian Today:

Julian Mann was a vicar in the Church of England for 23 years before deciding last year to join the Free Church of England instead. He talks about what he feels has changed about the Church he served for over two decades and what he believes the future might hold for evangelicals who have decided, for now, to remain within its fold. 

CT: You left the Church of England after 23 years. Prior to that, you were an outspoken critic of the way it was approaching marriage and sexuality. Did you think about the possibility of staying and continuing to work for reform within the Church of England?

Julian: Yes, I certainly did. Back in 2016 I was in negotiation with the conservative evangelical Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas, about becoming his chaplain. That would definitely have committed me to the ‘insider strategy’ of trying to work for reform within the CofE. But I have to say in retrospect that I am so thankful to the Lord that this role did not work out because the insider strategy is clearly not working, particularly over the issues of marriage and sexuality.

CT: What made you decide that you could no longer stay? Was there an ‘exact moment’ when you felt that remaining in the CofE had become untenable?

Julian: It was a dawning realisation but the General Synod (the CofE’s governing body) in July 2017 was a water-shed for me. The aggressive political correctness evident at that gathering convinced me that this denomination’s direction of travel away from its foundational biblical principles was becoming fixed and determined.

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