GAFCON confirms they will boycott Lambeth conference of bishops

May 4, 2019 by

by Cara Bentley, Premier:

A conservative evangelical wing of the Anglican communion, GAFCON, has confirmed that their representatives will not attend the global meeting of Anglican bishops in a year’s time.

Anglicans on both sides of the debate about sexuality within the church are unhappy with plans for the Lambeth Conference in 2020, with some, including the Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Rev Paul Bayes, saying their partners will not come, in protest at same-sex bishops not being allowed to bring their partners.

Current Church of England doctrine states that clergy cannot conduct a same-sex wedding and the rules on whether clergy can marry a same-sex partner varies in different countries, with the Episcopal Church in the US allowing same-sex marriage since 2015, but in England only civil partnerships are allowed, on the assumption that they remain celibate, and marriage is not.

Aside from the issue of gay partners attending, there are complaints that clergy in same-sex partnerships are being allowed to attend themselves.

GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference), a group of Anglicans who say they ‘work to guard and proclaim the unchanging, transforming Gospel through biblically faithful preaching and teaching’, are the main voice of this concern.

In June 2018, their members gathered in Jerusalem and called on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, “not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.”

There are bishops in the Anglican communion who are in same-sex relationships, such as Bishop Mary Glasspool in New York, Bishop Kevin Robertson in Toronto and Bishop Thomas Brown in Maine.

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