|St. Mark's Battersea Rise, London|
Leaders Conference, London
23 to 27 April 2012
The Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met over three days, April 19th- 21st in London.
With great anticipation we greet the delegates to the first FCA Leaders Conference as they gather in London.
Over two hundred leaders from thirty countries will hear God’s word and commit to one another for the preaching and defence of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in and through the Anglican Communion. From this meeting will emerge key networks and commission capable of strengthening the worldwide churches and delivering the Christian message to the world.
We pray for those responsible for the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury that they will look for a godly leader of God’s people. We believe that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves. We believe that the future of our Communion relies on adherence to Scriptural authority, faithful and Christ-centred preaching of this word, the blessing of God’s Holy Spirit, godly leadership and the spiritual commitment of God’s people. These spiritual realities and the reality of worldwide Anglicanism should be reflected in the structures of the Anglican Communion.
From the beginning the thrust of our FCA movement has been forward-looking. We have therefore confirmed the decision to call GAFCON II for May next year in a venue shortly to be announced. We believe that the joyful meeting of orthodox Anglicans from all over the world will be a dynamic force for restating the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of revisionist attempts to change basic doctrines and turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment. It is the preaching of the Gospel of Christ crucified which saves men and women and transforms the world.
|Inside St. Marks during the conference worship.|
The BBC reports here:
This week’s meeting takes place as the search for a successor to Dr Williams gets under way. It emerged yesterday that the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu – who is popular with traditional evangelicals – had entered the race by standing aside from the body which will make the appointment.
They also announced plans for larger international gathering next year, in what is likely to be seen as an alternative to the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In a joint communiqué they said next year's gathering should be “a dynamic force for restating the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of revisionist attempts to change basic doctrines and turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment”.
They also outlined plans for an overhaul of church structures, replacing the Archbishop of Canterbury as chairman of the worldwide Anglican primates with an elected chair.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, leader of Kenya’s 13 million Anglicans, said there needed to be a “radical shift” in how the church is run.
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the leader of 23 million Anglicans in Nigeria, said that while the historic position of the Archbishop of Canterbury would always be respected he should be seen as “one of” many primates.
Likening the overhaul to the way in which the Commonwealth now elects its leadership, he said: “It is the same thing, the church of independent countries – no longer the British Empire – must make some changes.”
He went on: “It is not something that should remain permanent that the Archbishop of Canterbury – whether he understands the dynamics in Africa or not – remains the chair and whatever he says, whether it works or not, is an order.
“No I think if we are to move forward we have to reconsider that position.”
He added: “At the moment it seems that the Church in England isn’t carrying along everybody in the Communion and that is why of course you can see that there is a crisis, so if we must solve the problem we must change our system.”
Announcing plans for a major international gathering next year, The Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, said: “That itself to my mind reflects something of the new communion, or the new state of the communion.
“It always strikes me that the Lambeth Conference is premised on the 19th Century sailing ships bringing together, once every 10 years, just bishops.”
Speaking at the weekend Archbishop Jensen said it would be wrong to consider the Archbishop of Canterbury as “leader” of the Anglican church, something he said represented an “Anglocentric view of the world”.Read it all here.