Saturday, 13 June 2009
Anglicans need to repent and focus on mission
ANGLICAN clergy and laity attending the launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK and Ireland in London on July 6 will hear the Bishop of Rochester call for ‘repentance and a renewed commitment to evangelism and mission’.
The launch of FCA in the UK and Ireland comes less than a year after the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem, leading to a Declaration of Orthodox beliefs to which Anglicans throughout the community have rallied as a sign of fellowship and solidarity. At a time when the Anglican church in North America and Canada is facing major splits between liberals and orthodox members, the FCA is providing a home, focus and support for orthodox churches in diocese and provinces which they believe they can no longer be aligned with, or have been excluded from over their beliefs.
Delegates gathering at Westminster Central Hall will hear from a wide range of international speakers, including Bishop Keith Ackerman, president of Forward in Faith (North America), Archbishop Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, and Baroness Caroline Cox. The morning sessions will focus on the global Anglican Communion, with welcome messages from the Archbishops of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, before looking in detail at the key issues of unity, orthodoxy, the uniqueness of Christ and holiness of life. The Bishops of Chichester, the Rt Revd John Hind, and Fulham, the Rt Revd John Broadhurst will also speak.
Afternoon sessions will address the challenges of mission in a society of aggressive secularism, with special input from the Rev Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s Oxford) and Canon Vinay Samuel (India). Following teaching by Bishop Wallace Benn on biblical fellowship, delegates will then focus on the opportunities and challenges for mission in the British Isles, with film and interviews from around the UK.
The launch event will conclude with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, preaching and presiding at the Service of Holy Communion. Organisers say he will call delegates, on behalf of the wider Church, to “repent of capitulating to cultures around them and to refocus on the faith of the church down the ages and on authentic mission to our nations”.
The Revd Paul Perkin, chairman of the event planning team said: “We are thrilled that clergy and laity are coming from right across the UK and Ireland, and from evangelical, charismatic and Anglo-Catholic traditions – which we see as one of the great strengths of the new fellowship. We believe this will be a day full of vision and encouragement to witness to the Gospel and to the historic teachings of the Church.
“We also want to express the public co-operation of all orthodox Anglicans to ensure the continuance of orthodox Anglican faith in the Anglican churches of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and to express publicly our support for those orthodox Anglicans who are under severe pressure and persecution in North America and Canada.
“We believe the Bishop of Rochester’s closing address to us will bring together a time of sorrow, expressed for brothers and sisters marginalised by Diocese and Provinces, but also joy, as together, we stand and recommit ourselves into God’s service for mission and ministry.”
For more information about Be Faithful – the launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK and Ireland, visit www.anglican-mainstream.net