Global South & GAFCON collaboration

Oct 20, 2016 by

by Chris Sugden, Evangelicals Now:Delegates from 16 Anglican Provinces attended the sixth Global South conference at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo from 3-8 October, along with guests from Australia, Canada and England. They issued a conference communiqué which gives strong counsel to the Church of England and foreshadows development of a structure to sustain orthodox Anglicanism. The Primates Councils of the Global South and GAFCON issued a further joint com-muniqué concerning same-sex unions.


The conference communiqué states: ‘God has led us … to respond with compassion to the brokenness in the present-day world. …seen in the faces of the oppressed, the persecuted, victims of human trafficking, the refugees, the internally-displaced persons, persons with disabilities, the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, victims of HIV/AIDS, adults and children whose lives are violently shattered by wars, terrorist attacks and conflicts. The suffering in many parts of the world today compels us to respond more deeply in Christ’s name to extend the Kingdom of God – the righteous, just and compassionate rule of God – in all corners of the world (Micah 6.8).

‘To do this, we need to build strong and vibrant parishes that are committed to orderly and regular teaching as well as intentional disciple-making… Christian witness in the public square on ethical issues is a vital way of helping society to keep to God’s patterns and intentions for the world.

‘The rich Christian heritage in Egypt and North Africa focuses on faithful and costly witness, the role of bishops to order the church and has shaped Christianity down the centuries.

‘We affirm and cherish the witness of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), …we need to be attentive to what God is speaking to our Churches in the GAFCON Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008… and look forward to working together with them.

‘We will continue to extend our support and fellowship to orthodox Anglican dioceses and parishes in those Provinces which have departed from the biblical and historic teaching on human sexuality and marriage.

Severed from spiritual roots

‘Grieved by the authorisation of liturgies and making pastoral provisions for blessing of civil unions of same-sex couples and blessing or solemnising of same-sex marriage… and ordination of those who live in same-sex union… Churches that condone these practices are severing themselves from their own spiritual roots… they also undermine their moral witness to their own societies, and cause huge confusion among the Anglican faithful in our Churches in this globalising world. We resolve not to be endlessly distracted but to urgently develop robust structures to bring the whole gospel to the whole world.

‘The Communion’s ecclesial deficit is evident in the inability of existing Communion instruments to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action… to discipline those leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith, to check the marginalisation of Anglicans in heterodox Provinces who are faithful, and in some cases have even sanctioned or deposed them. The instruments have also sent conflicting signals on issues of discipline which confuse the whole Body and weaken our confidence in them.

‘The instruments are therefore unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide, … This undermines the mission of the Church in today’s world.We are deeply saddened that the Provinces of Scotland, Canada and Wales have recently made moves to change their Canon, teaching and practice in relation to same-sex union. These have been done against the Primates Gathering Communiqué of 16th January 2016 (Addendum A, paragraph 2).

‘The Church of England (COE)’s unique role in the life of the Communion because of its historical role and the particular role of Archbishop of Canterbury as first among equals means that decisions it makes on fundamental matters impact the Communion more deeply than those made elsewhere… A potential move towards the acceptance of blessing of same-sex union by COE… would have serious implications for us.

‘The Global South Primates will form a task force to recommend how the need can be met for our enhanced ecclesial responsibility, to strengthen our doctrinal teaching, our ecclesiastical ordering of our collective life as a global fellowship and the flourishing of our gifts in the one another-ness of our mission.’

The full communiqué can be accessed at

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