GAFCON affirms it will not attend or observe Lambeth

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At an event hosted by GAFCON Australia today here in Sydney, Archbishop Foley Beach (Primate of the ACNA and now chair of the GAFCON Primates Council) reaffirmed that they will be turning down Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference.

Beach answered a query I asked directly in the Q&A session of the meeting. You can see his full response below:

Beach observed that he received his letter of invitation from Welby on the same day that GAFCON were “insulted” in a press release that came from Welby’s office.

The GAFCON Primates consulted on the matter during their meeting this past week in Sydney and have written in response to Welby. While the contents of that letter have not been made public, I understand that they have made it very clear that the presence of those who participate in the consecration as bishops of actively partnered homosexuals, let alone the presence of those specific bishops, is in clear contravention of Resolution 1.10 Lambeth 98 and repeated calls for discipline from the Primates.

Beach also noted that Welby has sought to persuade conservatives to attend Lambeth by claiming that Resolution 1.10 will be reopened for debate and that if they do not attend, they may lose the vote. He went on to observe that continuous attendance at other meetings had simply failed to achieve anything and that “we’ve found that our voice is louder when we don’t attend certain events so we’re not manipulated from within them”.

Speaking to the matter a little later in the meeting, Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney pointed out that it was “incongruous” to not invite the spouses of those gay bishops when the bishops themselves were the issue. On the question of whether they would attend Lambeth he said “we’re going to remain firm”.

Archbishop Davies also told the meeting that the Primates had recognised an extra-Provincial diocese in New Zealand and their first bishop would be consecrated later this year, probably at an October event in Christchurch with Archbishops Davies & Beach and others in attendance.

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  1. david mitchell

    Hi David, this text needs some editing…perhaps there are two sentences there?

    Beach observed that he received his letter of invitation from Welby on the same that they GAFCON were “insulted” in a press release that came from Welby’s office.<<

    1. David Ould

      yes, I think you’re right. Thanks for the heads up – I’ve corrected it.

  2. Gerber Legal

    The drift away from the so called “Communion” continues. Which is no bad thing. The “Communion” was conceived and birthed in illegitimacy as an attempt to re-capture and retain the power and glories of an imagined hierarchical Ecclesiastical Empire. This fiction began to unravel and disintegrate on the hard reality of legal decisions which, rightly, did not recognise the presumption that the Church of England or its surrogate Archbishops were automatically sovereign over other Diocesan Bishops in the national or colonial churches.
    Many Anglican bishops (amongst them the Archbishop of York and most of his suffragans) felt so doubtful as to the wisdom of the first 1867 Lambeth Conference from which the so called “Communion” arose that they refused to attend it, and Dean Stanley declined to allow Westminster Abbey to be used for the closing service, giving as his reasons the partial character of the assembly, uncertainty as to the effect of its measures and “the presence of prelates not belonging to our Church”.
    Ironically it was an heterodox theologically “liberal” Bishop, Colenso of Natal, who triggered the whole thing, not some pesky orthodox conservative.
    The “Communion” has spent the last 150 years retrospectively constructing a framework of “Church” to justify its existence. Hence the 4 so-called “instruments of Communion”, Lambeth, ACC, AB Canterbury and the Primates’ meeting.

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