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Conservative Evangelicals talk tough on church plants

03 October 2014

iSTOCK

CONSERVATIVE Evangelicals intend to investigate opportunities to expand their influence in the Church of England through church-plants "with or without diocesan approval"

The ReNew 2014 Commitment was launched at a conference last week in Warwickshire, organised by the Church Society, Reform, and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). It was attended by 330 clergy and senior lay leaders.

They called on supporters to investigate "the opportunities to revitalise an existing Church of England church and/or plant with or without diocesan approval" and to devise a strategy to keep their local Anglican church "in good health" and "secure" it for the next generation.

The general secretary of AMIE and CEO of Crosslinks, Canon Andy Lines , said on Wednesday: "We want to look at the state of the nation and see where there are gaps where current structures are not providing a relevant gospel witness.

"We will seek if possible to fill those gaps with the permission and approval of local diocesan structures, but we feel the need for people to hear the gospel is urgent, and therefore, ultimately, we might be prepared to do something if that permission is not forthcoming."

Blogging after the conference, the Vicar of Oughtibridge, the Revd Julian Mann, wrote that the Commitment signalled "that among Anglican Evangelicals loyalty to confessional Anglicanism must trump institutional loyalty when there is a clear conflict".

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