EXACTLY one month after
the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi (News,
27 September), 1200 people are expected to gather in the city
to attend GAFCON II.
The Archbishop of Canterbury
will preach at a eucharist at All Saints' Cathedral in the Kenyan
capital, the day before the conference opens there. He will not
attend the conference, owing to "long-standing commitments", a
statement from Lambeth Palace said, but will record a video
The Archbishop will be the
guest of the Primate of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, who chairs the
GAFCON Primates Council, from 19 to 20 October. The "flying visit"
to Nairobi was "to be in close solidarity following the recent
The Primates of the Global
Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will meet at All Saints'
Cathedral from 21 to 23 October, joining with prominent clergy and
laity from around the Communion.
On 30 September, Dr Wabukala
described the Westgate attack as a "manifestation of evil". In a
pastoral letter, he assured delegates that "every step possible"
had been taken to ensure their safety.
GAFCON I was held in
Jerusalem in 2008, shortly before the Lambeth Conference. It was
attended by 1148 clergy and lay people (News,
4 July 2008). A statement issued afterwards warned of the
acceptance within the provinces of the Communion of a "false
gospel" and of the "manifest failure of the Communion Instruments
to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy".
GAFCON II was announced in
2011 (News, 13 May,
2011). In a video on the GAFCON website, Dr Wabukala said:
"Globally, the Christian faith is moving towards the Global South,
and Africa is the place to go, actually."
In an interview with the Church Times earlier this
year, Archbishop Welby said of the Fellowship of Confessing
Anglicans and GAFCON: "We've got to find good ways of listening to
what they have to say, and them listening to what others have to
say. I mean, you don't have to agree to be in the same Church - we
very seldom do agree in the same Church - but you have to find ways
in which we continue to love each other" (Features,