‘We are a Communion: we are together’ says Wabukala

by
03 May 2012

by Ed Thornton

Under one roof: left: Dr Wabukala speaks to the gathering at Westminster; below: a gospel choir performsPHOTOS GAFCON

Under one roof: left: Dr Wabukala speaks to the gathering at Westminster; below: a gospel choir performsPHOTOS GAFCON

THE Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) is not trying to estab­lish a shadow Anglican Com­munion, the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, said at the end of a meeting in London last Friday.

Speaking to the press after a conference at St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, in London (News, 27 April), Dr Wabukala said: “We are a Com­munion: we are together. What we are doing is that we are in a Com­munion and spiritu­ally recognising the need for us to be scriptural, to uphold the tenets the Bible has taught us, and wanting to make them louder, and to possibly help to form and help others. We are helping ourselves within the Com­munion to hear more about what God is saying.”

Dr Wabukala said that there was a “misconception about what the entire Communion is”. It was “made up of independent provinces across the world. There is no centre of power. . . All along there is always interaction between dioceses, between parishes.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, said: “There is no need to think of the Communion, even as it exists now, as some sort of top-down movement. . . People who be­long to FCA are Anglicans, of course: it’s a movement within the Anglican Communion, of which there are others.”

A “Statement and Commitment” document was published at the close of the conference. Dr Jensen said that it was “not a communiqué; it’s not been prepared for the world. It’s a commitment for the people at the conference, and those they represent.”

The document said that the con­ference had heard from “Anglican leaders around the world who have been harassed by their own bishops and fellow clergy for their gospel witness, yet have been grateful for the stance of the FCA”.

It said that the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the An­glican Church of Canada “are proceeding post-haste to approve same-sex blessing rites with total disregard for the conscience of their own members, for the moratoria mandated by the official Instruments of the Anglican Communion, and for the broken state of communion where more than half the world’s Anglicans are represented by the FCA”.

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The former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, in an address to the conference, “concluded that the Anglican ‘Instruments of Unity’ have failed dramatically, and that the FCA is called to model a biblical way for the Churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another so as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades”.

A number of networks had been formed at the conference, the docu­ment said. These included networks of “episcopal leaders”, “pastors”, “evan­­gelists”, and “lawyers”, who would “offer members [of the FCA] counsel in matters of civil and canon law”.

Dr Jensen said that there were “many dioceses which are quite iso­lated . . . and will feel the need to com­mun­icate with lawyers around the Communion with similar prob­lems” .

A “Celebration of the Anglican Communion” service was held at the Emmanuel Centre, in Westminster, on Thursday evening of last week. The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, gave “greetings and welcome to London”, the order of service said. It is understood that Bishop Chartres stayed for longer than the organisers had expected. He left after an address given by Dr Wabukala.

A statement issued by the con­servative Evangelical group Reform on Tuesday, as a response to the FCA conference, said that it was “very encouraging. . . to know that the leaders who represent the vast majority of the world’s Anglicans are willing to stand with, and support, those who wish to hold to the biblical gospel as being good news from God for a world in desperate need”.

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