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Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches meets under a new structure

28 June 2024

GSFA

The GSFA assembly participants

The GSFA assembly participants

THE Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) took steps during its gathering in Cairo this month to become “a well-structured home for orthodox Anglicans worldwide”, a communiqué says.

The GSFA’s first assembly under its new “covenental” structure ended on 15 June, and was attended by about 200 people, including archbishops, bishops, clergy, and laity. The secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, attended as an observer.

The Primate of the Anglican Church of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, who chairs the GSFA, has described the new structure as representing a shift of the basis of membership “from geography to doctrine” (News, 14 June).

A communiqué issued three days after the assembly ended endorses the GSFA’s Primates’ “Ash Wednesday Statement” last year, which declared that they no longer recognised the current Archbishop of Canterbury as the de facto leader of the Anglican Communion (News, 24 February 2023). The Church of England, the Primates’ statement said, had “chosen to break communion with those provinces who remain faithful to the historic biblical faith” by allowing blessings for same-sex couples.

The communiqué reiterates the GSFA’s Primates determination “not [to] walk away from the Communion and its rich inheritance of biblical faith. Indeed, the Church of England’s departure from that standard has only served to strengthen our resolve to work together to reset the Communion.”

The message also outlines “practical steps” that the assembly took to establish the GSFA “as a well-structured home for orthodox Anglicans worldwide”: elections to its Board of Assembly and Primates Steering Committee.

Archbishop Badi was elected chairman of the Primates Steering Committee until the next assembly, in about three years’ time; the Archbishop of Alexandria, Dr Samy Fawzy, was elected deputy chairman; the Archbishop of South East Asia, Dr Titus Chung, was elected honorary secretary; and the Archbishop of Uganda, Dr Stephen Kaziimba, honorary treasurer.

Other general members of the committee are: the Archbishop of Myanmar, the Most Revd Stephen Than; the Archbishop of the Congo, the Most Revd Titre Ande Georges; and the Primate of the Gafcon-recognised Anglican Church in Brazil, the Most Revd Miguel Uchoa Cavalcanti.

The communiqué says that 11 Provinces had so far become “fully covenanted members of GSFA”; there were three “Associate Member dioceses”; and 14 “mission partners”, which include Anglican Networks, theological colleges, and mission societies.

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) is among the mission partners. Its national director, Canon John Dunnett, who attended the assembly in Cairo, said last week that he had been “hugely encouraged” by the “unwavering support for orthodox Anglicans in England”.

He continued: “The GSFA was keen to reiterate that it is not walking away from the Communion or its biblical faith, but it is in fact the Church of England that has departed from that standard. The sense of sadness, disbelief, and betrayal was evident.”

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