NO longer convinced that an "eirenic" response is the right one,
the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, has accused GAFCON of
"misinformation, misrepresentation and selective re-writing of
"We owe it to Anglicans in England and around the Communion to
fight the corner and challenge the misrepresentation that is fed to
other parts of the Anglican Communion," he wrote on his blog on
Bishop Baines was responding to a communiqué issued by seven
GAFCON Primates after a five-day meeting in London last week, in
which they said that the group was "particularly concerned about
the Church of England and the drift of many from the biblical
Representatives of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) were
"deeply concerned about the state of British society, which does
not know God", the former Archbishop of Sydney, the Rt Revd Dr
Peter Jensen, said on Friday. "They see the need to work inside and
outside the existing structures to preach the Gospel."
The GAFCON "take" on the Church of England reflected "the
perceptions of a few", Bishop Baines wrote. "What would be the
response if I wrote off as 'unfaithful' entire provinces of the
Anglican Communion where there was evidence of corruption, love of
power, financial unfaithfulness or other sins?"
The Church of England would "continue to focus on being faithful
to its gospel vocation and mission. We are doing it every day. We
will not be distracted by people who selectively report, regularly
misrepresent, manipulate truth and plough their own furrow."
The communiqué, from seven Primates, says: "We have planned for
the expansion of our movement in order to touch the lives of many
more Anglicans with gospel fellowship. As part of this we have
identified a clear need for theological education and the training
of leaders, especially bishops, and we have started work on both of
these priorities. . .
"We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our
Churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are
committed to its renewal. We belong to the mainstream, and we are
Dr Jensen said that he had to be "discreet" about where
enquiries for affiliation to GAFCON came from. But some came from
the "cultural West", where "people are saying to us: 'We need help.
We haven't changed. But we are now being regarded as pariahs.'"