Priest quits for GAFCON plant

Aug 9, 2019 by

by Madeleine Davies, Church Times.

A VICAR in the diocese of Truro is stepping down after 17 years to plant a new church community under the auspices of GAFCON, it was announced on Sunday.

The Vicar of Fowey, the Revd Philip de Grey-Warter, who is also Priest-in-Charge of Golant, said on Tuesday that he had “wrestled” with the decision since December, when the House of Bishops issued guidance on using the liturgy for the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to mark a person’s gender transition (News, 14 December 2018).

“We have been very clear that we are making this move in conscience and not telling anyone else what they ought to do,” he said. “We hope some people will come and plant with us, and there will be others who continue in the parish church. We want to ensure good relationships are maintained.”

In a letter for the parish newsletter, published last week, he wrote: “The General Synod and the House of Bishops of the Church of England currently seem less concerned to stick with the Bible than they are to appear ‘relevant’ by changing the message to suit our increasingly secular culture. . .

“Baptism is a sign or visual aid which Jesus commanded his followers to use to personally identify with his death and resurrection. It is part of the core of Christian faith and a mark of a true church. Allowing it to be used otherwise is to deny the very heart of his message.”

Mr de Grey-Warter’s last service will be on 29 September, with the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, present. The new plant will have its first service — in a venue that has now been identified — on the following Sunday.

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