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GAFCON comments based on 2002 survey

22 November 2013


From the Revd David Runcorn

Sir, - In his address to GAFCON II, the Revd Paul Perkin (News, 1 November; Letters, 15 November) was repeating the findings of a very extensive survey of clergy beliefs in the UK. A summary and analysis can be found at trushare.com (see "The Mind of Anglicans").

What his global listeners would not know is that this survey was published in July 2002. It, therefore, reflected trends in belief from the closing years of the last millennium. The findings deserve no less concern for that - not least for coming out of an era of an Evangelical Archbishop of Canterbury and the Decade of Evangelism. But what makes Mr Perkin so sure, without evidence, that nothing is changing?

If nothing else, the percentage of ordinands emerging from Evangelical colleges and the growing focus on mission in the past decade might predict a shift in trends.

Just to re-quote these findings as if they were current is to make unsubstantiated claims. It is to take negative labels from earlier stories and stick them on to ours.

9 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX

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