Gafcon Australia Announces Plans for Extra-Provincial Diocese

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Bishop Richard Condie

In a key address given tonight to the rearranged Gafcon Australasia conference, chair of Gafcon Australia Bishop Richard Condie has announced that the organisation is moving ahead with plans to support faithful Anglicans.

Bishop Condie described the 2015 formation of Gafcon Australia as a potential “break glass in case of emergency” organisation, responding to the emergency of the “revisionist agenda” of a “different gospel”. He spoke of the growing need to follow through on their Commitment 2020 made the previous year to care for faithful Anglicans alienated from their own dioceses particularly after last year’s Appellate Tribunal opinion which had effectively “officially changed” the doctrine of marriage in the Anglican Church of Australia.

“With great sadness and regret, we realise that many faithful Anglican clergy and lay people will no longer be able to remain as members of the ACA if changes allowed by the Appellate Tribunal majority opinion take place in their dioceses”, Bishop Condie said.

“We love these people and don’t want them to be lost to the Anglican fold.” he said, “We want them to be recognised and supported as they love and serve their own communities.”

Bishop Condie emphasised Gafcon Australia’s ongoing commitment to promote orthodox Anglicanism, to respond to issues as they arise and to establish alternative oversight for those faithful believers and churches who found themselves estranged from their dioceses and bishops because as those leaders and sees had moved away from the gospel. He told all those watching online that they had come to a key moment, saying:

The emergency is here and we have broken the glass

Plans for alternative oversight were announced, including the formation of a company that will eventually become an Extra-Provincial Diocese made up of parishes that felt forced to leave their dioceses. The initial company will have a board of three directors; a retired bishop, a member of clergy and a layperson. The company would prepare canons to govern the church entity. Churches who have left the Anglican Church of Australia could become affiliate churches, supported by the company. Oversight would initially be provided by the bishop acting as director of the company.

Sufficient churches (approx. 10-12) would see the formation of an extra-provincial diocese who would become members of the company in the place of the directors. They would meet in synod to agree upon and adopt canons and the new diocese would be recognised by the Gafcon Primates and fellowship extended by other dioceses in the Anglican Church of Australia.

Speaking to, a senior leader of Gafcon Australia was at pains to point out that they were “not setting up something to lure people out, but responding to those who have left” and that this was not a schismatic action but a response to the schism of others whose false doctrine had caused faithful christians in the Anglican Church of Australia to feel alienated from their homes. They also told that this action was not something new, but “putting flesh on the bones of a commitment that we’ve already made”.

Rev. Michael Kellahan

Bishop Condie also announced a new CEO for Gafcon Australia, the Rev. Michael Kellahan (currently acting rector at St Annes Ryde and formerly director of Freedom for Faith). Kellahan spoke of the ongoing need for Gafcon Australia pointing to the fact that many faithful anglicans are close to leaving the Anglican Church of Australia and the need to support them as well as the ongoing task to “give a loving witness to the Lord Jesus in this place” adding, ‘the gospel that Jesus is Lord needs to be proclaimed and defended”.

Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, addressed the online conference speaking from Colossians 1. He called Australian Anglicans, facing what he described as “some bishops and synods pursuing an agenda of change” and potentially discouraged by the situation to “look to [Jesus] who is the image of the invisible God”.

The full media statement from Gafcon Australia is below,

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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Jill England

    Thank you, David – immensely grateful for the inspiring and Godly leadership of Gafcon.

  2. James Bishop

    Understand your preparartory moves completely and very sensible to be well prepared too in the event of Dioceses, one after another, voting to abandon the Biblical precepts that underpin Christian Marriage as a majority of the Appellate Tribunal have done already. Just the same I hope and pray that such a courseof action may yet not be necessary.

  3. chris russell

    Potentially it’s a brilliant move for believers who meet in Anglican churches. All the best!

  4. Nat

    Thankfully in this great Church of our property is owned by the trust corporation and not by individual’s, this may end up being the duck tape that holds the Church together for a little longer

    1. Richo

      At the end of the day if a Diocese goes down a path of heresy, then faithful parishioners will recognize that holding on to property is less important than faithfulness to Christ and His Word. It might delay some and may even end up in court, but if the diocese and a parish preach different gospels then a split is inevitable.

      1. Nat

        Well let’s hope and pray that any Church that refuses to love thy neighbor as Christ has loved them and refuses to allow God fearing faithful Christian to marry the person they love makes a swift exit and leaves us God fearing Faithful Anglicans to move on with the love of Christ for all people at the centre of our Parish lives

        1. Richo

          Same-sex marriage (or same-sex sexual intimacy) isn’t faithful to Christ and His Word or God-fearing for that matter, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at there…

          1. Nat

            *in your opinion…….

            I would say that the fact that God loves you no Buts would say that God loves Married LGBTIQA+ Christians equally to anyone else.

  5. Jayne Bendell

    I believe the split to be inevitable. What is at stake here is the Sovereignty of God and the Authority of God’s Word. Adam was banished from God’s presence because he, Adam, did not take seriously the Sovereignty of God and he, Adam, disregarded God’s word. Almighty God is the creator and we mankind are the created. The issues of same sex marriage in the church stem from how the LGBTIQA+ persons and their supporters view Almighty God. But in fairness they are not the only group in the Anglican Communion with contrary views, consider the aggressive stance of the feminist lobby, or those who claim the church is riddled with systemic racism. Many would say that a person’s view and understanding of God determines their theology. Are you seen as Reform or Arminian. Reform reinforces the understanding that God is Sovereign – we are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone according to Scripture alone, for the glory of God alone. Arminian theology claims salvation is through a negotiated relationship between God and Man. The Thirty Nine articles of Faith of the Anglican Church (Refer the National Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia) are Reform Theology and I personally wish that everyone would stop pretending otherwise. Currently every practising Anglican believes they are “God fearing faithful Anglicans”, but if that was the case there would be no need for a split. If the church had taken the Thirty Nine articles seriously we would not be in this position. The Articles demand that we the church, do not ‘ordain anything that is contrary to God’s written word and neither may the church expound one place of scripture that it be repugnent to another.’ Article 20′. GAFCON please bring back the old Protestant tradition of the morning service sermon being an exegisis of that Sundays readings and the late afternoon/evening service being devoted to doctrine. The point being unless people are educated in the great doctrines of the Protestant faith, this sad and sorry situation will only repeat itself.

    1. Syd

      Arminian theology claims Gods sovereignty and mans free will coexist. Liberal Anglicans are willing to ‘reform theology’ when it’s doing demonstrable harm to a particular group. (Maybe we got something wrong?) I’ve never understood how Calvinism can reconcile a loving, just God, who’s ‘only’ plan for some is eternal conscious torment, no hope or capacity for redemption, because ‘predestination’. That’s not good news.

      1. chris russell

        Syd, maybe you go something wrong? Liberal Anglicans do not “reform” theology in defense of harmed social groups. What they do is undermine the faith of the church by claiming that it is metaphorical. It is true that so-called liberal Anglicans campaign in support of oppressed groups, but this has nothing to do with interpretations of human freedom. More to the point is that liberal Anglicans campaign thus in support of oppressed groups merely insofar as they act on the basis of political values which they share with many unbelievers. Nothing wrong with that, but it has nothing to do with any faith in God, metaphorical or otherwise. When your thought and conduct is reducible to a mix of political activism and benign agnosticism, none of the niceties of Reformed and Arminian theology will have any meaning for you. This is what you find in the Anglican Church of Australia.

  6. Caroline Miley

    This announcement was welcomed by many in the Anglican Church, although with some surprise at such a clear and decisive announcement. However, since then – nothing. Condie speaks of an ‘emergency’ – but as far as I can see, nothing has happened. Gafcon clergy are still in their positions. No-one has left. Why not? When will you go?

    1. David Ould

      I imagine it would be on an “as required” basis. I also suspect that the upcoming General Synod and various dioceses’ responses to any decisions made there will catalyse things.

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