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Comment > Letters to the editor >

Outrage at treatment of the Revd Dr J. I. Packer

From the Revd Rod Thomas
Sir, — The threat by the Bishop of New Westminster in Canada to suspend the Revd Dr Jim Packer from ministry because his church has sought the oversight of the Primate of the Southern Cone has rightly created a huge sense of outrage across the Communion and especially among Evangelicals in the Church of England.

We are all indebted to Dr Packer for his monumental contribution to our understanding of Christian doctrine. To treat such a scholarly, godly, and elderly man, who has been a key Evangelical leader for more than half a century, in this mean-spirited and aggressive manner is deeply upsetting.

At its most recent meeting, the Council of Reform was of the view that this development demonstrated that there are only really two sides to the current controversy over human sexuality — and we can now see clearly what they are. It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is no room for middle ground.

This being so, it is all the more regrettable that a number of English dioceses are offering “Lambeth” hospitality to the very people who are responsible for opposing faithful Anglicans — and, in some cases, dragging them through the courts — in the United States and Canada.

Some dioceses are also discovering that they are having to pick up a bill amounting to tens of thousands of pounds to support the Lambeth Conference — a bill that ultimately will be shouldered by hard-pressed parishes.

What a relief it is to know that GAFCON points to an alternative vision of the future for Anglicanism.
ROD THOMAS
Chairman of Reform
St Matthew’s Vicarage
3 Sherford Road
Plymouth PL9 8DQ

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