GAFCON is set to open at the Kigali Conference Centre, Rwanda, with a clear sense of purpose.
General Secretary of the movement, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, put it plainly and simply:
We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed.
Top of the list of those churches and leaders, at least first and foremost in the delegates’ minds at the moment, are the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Church of England has recently begun the process of creating and implementing prayer of blessings for same-sex marriage and, in response, the Primates of the Global South Fellowship have declared that they are now in impaired communion with the Church of England and cannot recognise Welby’s “first amongst equals” leadership of the Communion.
The sentiment that new structures were now required was echoed in GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Foley Beach’s comments:
Again and again, when Anglican dioceses have moved away from the clear teaching of Scripture it has led to the establishment of alternative episcopal oversight.
Now that the Church of England has decided to create and implement prayers of blessing for same-sex marriages, GAFCON expects that the numbers of those seeking alternative episcopal oversight will only increase.
The Conference Statement will be released on Friday and is expected to address the crisis directly. Before then more than 1300 delegates will hear Bible Studies, Plenary Sessions and a number of seminars. The full program can be viewed here.
Watch both the conference sessions livestreamed and The Heart of GAFCON here.