Global Anglican group backs away from split with Anglican Communion

April 21, 2015

Though viewed by many as schismatic, the Global Anglican Future Con­ference, a group of conservative Angli­cans, says it is not leaving the worldwide Anglican Com­munion. In­stead, the movement says it is committed to renewing the 85-million-member communion from within.

GAFCON members from Africa, Europe, America, and Asia met in London April 13–17.

“The members of our churches stand at the heart of the communion, which is why we are committing to its renewal,” the GAFCON Primate Council said in a statement at the end of the conference. “We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.”

The movement started in Jerusalem in 2008 after the Episcopal Church consecrated openly gay bishop Gene Robinson. It has planted 483 congregations in North America since 2009, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America reported at the meeting.

Beach was elected to the GAFCON Council, the top decision-making organ of the movement.

According to the statement, the movement says it has prioritized clear theological education and training of leaders, especially bishops.

At the London meeting, the primates said they are concerned the mother church has drifted away from biblical faith, and they voiced a new concern: interfaith relationships with Muslims.

“We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration,” the council said. “These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.” —Religion News Service

This article was edited on May 11, 2015.