What's happened since Lambeth 1998?

The Anglican Reality Check takes a look at the recent history of the Anglican Communion. It reveals how predominantly Western church leaders have relentlessly sought to undermine Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference which reaffirmed the clear teaching of Scripture on marriage and specifically rejected homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.

In 1 Chronicles 12:32 certain men of Issachar are described as those ‘who had understanding of the times’. This quality is very much needed by faithful Anglicans today. In a global culture of instant communication and soundbites, there is a danger that we live in the moment and lose our capacity for godly discernment. The Bible continually warns of the danger of forgetfulness and the need to remember, both to recall the goodness and mercy of God and to learn the lessons of past failure and disobedience.

The events have been categorised with the following symbols.

Biblical
Biblical
Warning
Warning

While great care has been taken to ensure accuracy, we welcome any corrections which should be sent to anglicanrealitycheck@gafcon.org

Biblical

Lambeth Conference overwhelmingly reaffirms the teaching of Scripture on marriage and human sexuality

August – The Lambeth Conference reaffirms “the primary authority of the Scriptures” (Resolution III.1; cf. III.5) and biblical teaching on marriage and human sexuality, including the rejection of “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” while calling for pastorally sensitive ministry to all irrespective of sexual orientation. (Resolution I.10 by a vote of 526 to 70).

Warning

The Anglican Consultative Council initiates ‘a listening process’

September – The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC 11) meets in Dundee, Scotland, but is boycotted by Archbishop Moses Tay of South East Asia who writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury to protest that a meeting is being held ‘in one of the most heretical Provinces’ The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Richard Holloway, had just published his book ‘Godless Morality: Keeping Religion out of Ethics’ in which he advocated liberal views of euthanasia, abortion, homosexuality and drugs.

However, the Chairman, Bishop Simon Chiwanga, announced that ‘The call from the Lambeth Conference that there should be a listening process with church members who are homosexuals has begun today’.

Warning

TEC acknowledges sexual relationships other than marriage

July – The General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC, USA) passes Resolution D039 which acknowledges sexual relationships other than marriage and calls for more ‘conversation’ on the subject.

Biblical

‘To Mend the Net’ published

January – Archbishops Drexel Gomez and Maurice Sinclair publish a report entitled ‘To Mend the Net’ which is designed to strengthen the role of the Primates Meeting and proposes an eight-step disciplinary process for erring Provinces.

Warning

‘To Mend the Net’ side-lined – an opportunity missed

March – Archbishop George Carey declines to include ‘To Mend the Net’ in the formal business of the March 2001 Primates meeting in Kanuga Conference Center, USA and the proposal is never revived. The Primates merely acknowledged estrangement in Communion due to changes in theology and practice regarding sexuality and called provinces to avoid actions that may damage the Communion’s “credibility of mission”.

Warning

The Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) authorises liturgy to bless same-sex unions

June – The Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) authorises liturgy to bless same-sex unions and directly contradicts Lambeth Resolution I.10 (e) which states that the Conference ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’.

Representatives of nine parishes walk out of the Synod including globally respected Anglican theologian Dr J I Packer.

Warning

Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth, chosen as the next Archbishop of Canterbury

July – it is announced that Rowan Williams, the Bishop of Monmouth, has been chosen as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1989 he had delivered a lecture ‘The Body’s Grace’ which proposed that sexually active homosexual relationships could be a superior expression of grace to heterosexual relationships.

In a letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion of 23rd July he wrote ‘The Lambeth resolution of 1998 declares clearly what is the mind of the overwhelming majority in the Communion, and what the Communion will and will not authorise’, but also added ‘I have to distinguish between personal theories and interpretations and the majority conviction of my Church and have always tried to make such a distinction’.

Warning

ACC urges restraint yet Bishop of New Westminster publically thanked

September – the Anglican Consultative Council meets in Hong Kong (ACC-12) and urges dioceses and bishops to refrain from unilateral actions that would strain the Communion, but the Bishop of New Westminster, Rt. Revd Michael Ingham is publicly thanked for addressing members of the ACC informally on the decision by the Diocese of New Westminster to authorize the blessing of same-sex unions.

Warning

Priest in long term same sex relationship appointed as Bishop of Reading, England

May – the Very Rev’d Jeffrey John, Canon Chancellor and Theologian of Southwark Cathedral, is chosen to be the Bishop of Reading (a suffragan of the Bishop of Oxford). Since 1976 John had been in a relationship with another male priest but said the relationship was celibate. However, he is unrepentant for past sexual activity and is strongly opposed to the position of Lambeth I.10 on homosexual relationships. Fearing division in the wider Communion, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, pressures John to withdraw his acceptance of the appointment on 6th July.

Stephen Cottrell (soon to be appointed Archbishop of York) was appointed instead and though in a heterosexual marriage had supported Jeffrey John’s appointment.

Warning

Six Diocese of New Westminster parishes begin using rites of blessing for same sex unions

Clergy in six parishes within the Anglican Church of Canada New Westminster Diocese of New Westminster are authorised to perform a rite of blessing of committed same-sex unions under the provisions of the motion passed by the Synod in June, 2002.

Warning

V. Gene Robinson elected as TEC bishop despite non-celibate same sex relationship

June Gene Robinson is elected bishop coadjutor of the TEC Diocese of New Hampshire despite being in a non-celibate same-sex relationship.

Biblical

An emergency Primates Meeting warns of a ‘tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level’

October – An emergency Primates Meeting at Lambeth Palace resolves that the actions of the Diocese of New Westminster and TEC “threaten the unity of our own Communion as well as our relationships with other parts of Christ's Church, our mission and witness, and our relations with other faiths” and declared that General Convention’s decisions “will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level” and if his [Gene Robinson's] consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. The Lambeth Commission on Communion is set up which goes on to produce the Windsor Report.

Warning

The consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire goes ahead on November 2, 2003

November – despite the warning of the Lambeth Primates Meeting, Gene Robinson is consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire on November 2, 2003, in the presence of Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop, and over 50 other bishops.

Warning

The Windsor Report fails to take a position on homosexuality

October The Windsor Report (Commissioned by the 2003 Primates’ Meeting) is published. It recommends that the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC apologise for their actions, a global moratorium be agreed on authorising rites for same-sex unions or consecration of those in same-sex unions, and that each Province should adopt a Covenant which would commit them to greater consultation. However, it falls short of taking a position on homosexual practice. The Primate of Nigeria wrote a statement in response to the report.

Biblical

Call for voluntary withdrawal from the Anglican Consultative Council

February The communique from the Dromantine Primates’ Meeting endorses the Windsor Report and calls TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw its representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council until Lambeth 2008.

Warning

Discipline is undermined by ‘listening’

June ACC 13 endorses the Primates’ call for TEC and Anglican Church of Canada to withdraw until Lambeth 2008, but endorses the ‘Listening Process’ and emphasises from previous statements that “'to turn from one another would be to turn away from the Cross', and indeed from serving the world which God loves and for which Jesus Christ died.”

Warning

English Bishops support same-sex civil partnership legislation

December – the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 comes into force in the UK which grants to same-sex couples very similar rights to those of married couples. The Act was supported by the Church of England’s House of Bishops despite it being contrary to Christian teaching and they affirm that lay people in such partnerships should not be asked about the nature of their relationship in relation to the sacramental life of the church, thus undermining the moral teaching of Lambeth I.10.

Warning

TEC rejects Windsor moratorium

June TEC’s General Convention rejects the Windsor Report’s moratorium on consecrations of those who are “living in a same-gender union” but instead calls for restraint “by not consenting” to any candidate “whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church”.

Biblical

The Anglican Primates give TEC an ultimatum to cease breaches of Lambeth I.10

February in their communique, the Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam request ‘that the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church cease to authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions and not to consecrate as a bishop anyone living in a same-sex union’ TEC is required to make an unequivocal response to this request by 30th September.

Warning

The Archbishop of Canterbury breaks ranks with the Primates

May – Archbishop Rowan Williams invites the TEC bishops, including the consecrators of Gene Robinson before the Dar es Salaam deadline, thus showing that they will be received in good standing whatever their response. The only exception is Gene Robinson himself.

Biblical

The beginnings of Gafcon

December – a group of Primates meet in Nairobi and in view of the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to uphold the decision of the Dar es Salaam Primates Meeting, agree to hold a Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem in June 2008.

Biblical

The Gafcon movement is born as 1148 bishops, clergy and lay leaders gather in Jerusalem

June – The Gafcon movement is born. 1148 lay and clergy participants, including 291 bishops gather in Jerusalem to consider how to respond to the breakdown of the Anglican Communion. They affirm the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, form a Primates Council and call for the formation of the Anglican Church in North America as a new Anglican Province.

The Jerusalem Statement laments ‘the manifest failure of the Communion Instruments to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy. The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, in proclaiming this false gospel, have consistently defied the 1998 Lambeth statement of biblical moral principle (Resolution 1.10). Despite numerous meetings and reports to and from the ‘instruments of Unity’, no effective action has been taken, and the bishops of these unrepentant churches are welcomed to Lambeth 2008. To make matters worse, there has been a failure to honour promises of discipline, the authority of the Primates’ Meeting has been undermined and the Lambeth Conference has been structured so as to avoid any hard decisions. We can only come to the devastating conclusion that we are a global Communion with a colonial structure.’

Positively, the Statement also defines what it means to be Anglican ‘Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.

Warning

No decision making at diminished Lambeth Conference

July – Archbishop Rowan Williams attempts to gather Anglican Communion bishops for the 2008 Lambeth Conference, but over 200 bishops are absent. No votes are taken.

Warning

TEC reaffirms commitment to ordaining those in same-sex unions

July – TEC's General Convention reaffirmed their commitment to ordaining those in same-sex unions in Resolution D025. The resolution described this as an outcome of ‘listening to the experience of homosexual persons’, quoting Resolution I.10 clause (c) but contradicting the teaching of the Resolution.

Warning

TEC consecrates the first openly lesbian bishop

May – The Rev Mary Glasspool, who has been in a same-sex partnership for 22 years, is consecrated as a bishop in the TEC Diocese of Los Angeles despite a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury that the appointment would be divisive.

Warning

Primates diminished responsibility

January – the Dublin Primates Meeting issued a statement in which they described themselves as ‘passionately committed to journeying together in honest conversation’. No mention was made of Lambeth 1998, Resolution III.6 which stated that the Primates Meeting should ‘exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters.’ Only 23 of the 38 Provinces are represented with a significant number explaining that they were not present for conscientious reasons.

Warning

TEC authorises a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions

July – TEC General Convention Resolution A049 authorises a provisional liturgy for the official blessing of same-sex unions.

Warning

The Anglican Church of Canada clears the way for marriage of same-sex couples

July – The Anglican Church in Canada General Synod passes Resolution C003 to “direct the Council of General Synod to prepare and present a motion at General Synod 2016 to change Canon XXI on Marriage to allow the marriage of same sex-couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.”

Biblical

GAFCON 2 takes place in Nairobi with 1358 delegates, including 331 bishops, from 38 countries

October – GAFCON 2 takes place in Nairobi with 1,358 delegates, including 331 bishops, from 38 countries representing tens of millions of faithful Anglicans worldwide. The conference statement represented a major step forward for the movement. It reaffirmed priorites, including mission, discipleship and sound theological education, committed to strengthening its organisation, referred to Gafcon as ‘an important and effective instrument of Communion’ and recognised the Anglican Mission in England, as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England.

Warning

The Church of England’s Pilling Report recommends services to mark a ‘faithful same-sex relationship’

November – The Archbishops of Canterbury and York publish the Report of the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality known as the Pilling Report after its Chairman, Sir Joseph Pilling. It recommends that clergy should be able to offer services to mark a ‘faithful same-sex relationship’ as a matter of ‘pastoral accommodation’. The  Report also recommends a two-year process of ‘facilitated conversation’ throughout the Church of England. One member of the Working Group, the Rt Rev’d Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead, issued a dissenting statement which honours the position of Lambeth I.10 and expresses a deep pastoral concern for the transforming power of the gospel.

Warning

Archbishop Justin Welby commends gay activist materials for Church schools

Children in Church of England schools can be given sex education materials provided by gay rights groups, according to new guidance launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Critics have raised concerns that within the 72-page guidance, produced by the Church of England, the homosexual activist group Stonewall is mentioned more than Jesus Christ.

Biblical

Rt Rev Dr Foley Beach elected 2nd Archbishop of ACNA

Rt Rev Foley Beach elected 2nd Archbishop of Anglican Church North America – seven Anglican Archbishops representing the majority of the world’s practicing Anglicans (Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Myanmar, Kenya, South America, Jerusalem & the Middle East) recognise him as a fellow Primate of the Anglican Communion.

Warning

TEC changes the Marriage Canon to allow same-sex marriage

July – TEC’s General Convention Resolution A054 provides for trial same-sex marriage rites and Resolution A036 is a canonical change eliminating language defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It also passes Resolution A051 committing the Church to support LGBT advocacy in Africa.

Biblical

Canterbury Primates take action against TEC

January – the Gafcon Primates, including Archbishop Foley Beach, play a leading role at a meeting of the Anglican Communion Primates in Canterbury called by Archbishop Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Here, the assembled Primates voted overwhelmingly to apply disciplinary measures (or ‘consequences’ as Archbishop Welby preferred to call them) to the Episcopal Church of the United States, following its official adoption of same-sex ‘marriage’.

Warning

Report affirming biblical marriage rejected by the Church of England General Synod

February – after the Church of England’s General Synod refuses to ‘take note’ of a report which affirms the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury and York issue a letter in which they call for ‘a radical new Christian inclusion’ towards same-sex couples. Read the statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury here.

Warning

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-16) undermines the Primates Meeting

April – ACC-16 took place in Lusaka, Zambia between 8-19 April 2016

  • Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda were not represented and the Bishop of Egypt also absented himself on conscientious grounds.
  • TEC participated fully, neutralising the ‘consequences’ of the January Primates Meeting. This was confirmed in a statement by the six outgoing members of the ACC standing committee who affirmed that  with regard to the Primates’ resolution on TEC, ‘No consequences were imposed by the ACC and neither was the ACC asked to do so.’
Warning

The Anglican Church of Canada votes to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies

July – the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada narrowly votes to approve same-sex marriage ceremonies. The vote needs to be ratified by the 2019 General Synod, but a number of bishops say they will go ahead anyway.

Warning

The Bishop of Grantham, in the Province of Canterbury, is revealed as being in a previously undisclosed same-sex relationship

September it comes to light that the Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Revd Nicholas Chamberlain, a bishop in the Province of Canterbury, is in a previously undisclosed same-sex relationship. Under Church of England guidelines, clergy and Bishops are permitted to be in same-sex relationships as long as they publicly declare that the relationship is not sexual, but this creates confusion in terms of the church’s teaching on the nature of sex and marriage, and it is not modelling a helpful way to live, given the temptation to sexual sin.

Biblical

Anglican Global South Primates ‘grieved by those provinces and dioceses whose actions violate clear teaching of Scripture in Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10’

October – the Anglican Global South Delegates release a communique and affirm that they are ‘grieved by those provinces and dioceses whose actions violate clear teaching of Scripture in Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10’, that they ‘cause huge confusion among the Anglican faithful in our Churches’ and that ‘The instruments are therefore unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide, especially in an increasingly connected and globalising world’.

Warning

Archbishop of Canterbury supports claim “Lambeth I.10 does not have the force of Scripture”

November – Gafcon UK issues a report detailing  numerous breaches of Lambeth I.10 in the Church of England

Mr William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops Council responds by downplaying the significance of the Resolution, claiming that  “Lambeth I.10 does not have the force of Scripture” but this statement contradicts the Lambeth 1998 bishops’ claim to speak ‘in view of the teaching of Scripture’ and to teach that homosexual practice is ‘incompatible with Scripture’. The Archbishop of Canterbury subsequently circulates Mr Nye’s letter to all the Primates.

Warning

Reading from Koran during Epiphany Eucharist in Scottish Cathedral

January Bishop Michael Nazir Ali calls on the Archbishop of Canterbury to rebuke the Scottish Episcopal Church following a reading from the Koran denying the divinity of Jesus during an Epiphany Eucharist at St Mary’s Cathedral Glasgow but he declines to comment.

Warning

Scottish Episcopal Church ‘a same-sex couple are married in the sight of God’

June – The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church votes to change the church’s Canon on Marriage to remove the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Primus, the Rt Revd David Chillingworth comments ‘our church now affirms that a same-sex couple are not just married but are married in the sight of God’.

Warning

Lesbian activist given Thomas Cranmer award by Archbishop of Canterbury

June – the Archbishop of Canterbury honours lesbian activist, singer and songwriter Vicky Beeching for her “work in modern worship.” She received the Thomas Cranmer award for Worship at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s awards ceremony at Lambeth Palace. “The impact of her songs on contemporary worship has been outstanding,” her citation from Lambeth Palace read.

Warning

Archbishop of Canterbury commended as an LGBT+ ally

August – A report by Wilton Park (an executive agency of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office) urges reinterpretation of scripture and the imposition of LGBTI ideology on evangelical Christians in the Global South. It commends Archbishops Justin Welby and Desmond Tutu as examples of prominent Christian allies in championing the LGBT+ agenda and describes Biblical morality as ‘hateful’.

Warning

Canterbury Primates communique ‘walking together’ claim challenged

The Archbishop of South America, the Most Revd. Greg Venables questions the account of events given in the Canterbury 2017 Communique. It was claimed that despite disagreements, the Primates agreed to ‘walk together’ but Archbishop Venables says this is not the case: “We aren't walking together because the situation has not been dealt with’ and added ‘I don’t see that people have realized that we do not really agree on the essential salvation issues, because if we did we would not be in the situation that we’ve been in for a long time’.

Archbishops Okoh, Ntagali, Rwaje and Chimeledya do not attend. The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America was not invited. In his October 2017 letter Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh notes:

  • “There is no mention in the Communiqué of Lambeth Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference where the vast majority of the Communion’s bishops reaffirmed the Bible’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, including the clear statement that homosexual practice is contrary to Scripture.”
  • “Same-sex ‘marriage’ is referred to merely as a difference of understanding while the only call to repentance is to those who have crossed provincial boundaries to support orthodox brothers and sisters unchurched by leaders who have rejected God’s Word.”
  • “The Conference also affirmed the LGBTI community and their lifestyle, while unequivocally disowning the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), an orthodox Anglican Province.”
Warning

Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to answer gay sex question

October – The Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to answer the question of whether gay sex is sinful or not during an interview with a British magazine (GQ), saying "You know very well that is a question I can't give a straight answer to.” When asked why, he went on "Because I don't do blanket condemnation and I haven't got a good answer to the question…inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships."

Warning

Relationship with Archbishop of Canterbury ‘essential for Anglicans’

December – The Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Idowu Fearon, responds to the first AMiE ordinations In London by claiming that ‘the relationship with the See of Canterbury is essential for Anglicans. You cannot be in the Anglican Communion without it.’ Dr Stephen Noll warns ​that the Secretary General ​is  'edging towards papalism' by making relationship ​with Canterbury ​‘the unique feature of Anglicanism’ at a time when it is increasingly clear that the Mother Church herself is not committed to an orthodox understanding ​of sexuality and gender.​

In his December Chairman’s letter, Archbishop Okoh declared that “that the Anglican Communion is not determined simply by relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

Biblical

Gafcon Recognises New Province in Brazil

April – The Gafcon Primates Council recognise the new orthodox Province of the Anglican Church of Brazil as a Province of the Anglican Communion and this step is also supported by leaders of the Anglican Global South.

Warning

Anglican Church in New Zealand allows blessing of same-sex relationships

May – The Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia passed a resolution to allow churches in New Zealand to bless same-sex relationships. While the formal teaching on marriage is unchanged, individual bishops are free to allow services for the blessing of same-sex relationships.

Warning

Archbishop of Canterbury commends same-sex marriage in new book

March – Archbishop Justin Welby’s book ‘Reimagining Britain’ commends a ‘reimagining’ of marriage. He writes “same-sex marriage builds on the presumption that marriage is stable and lifelong (the rootedness of the tradition), while also responding to the massive shift in cultural acceptance with regard to the understanding of human nature and sexual orientation” (p80).

Warning

Episcopal Church of Brazil introduces same-sex marriage

June – The General Synod of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB), the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, changes its canons to permit same-sex marriage.

Biblical

Gafcon 3 returns to Jerusalem, this time with 1,950 representatives from 50 countries

June – the Gafcon Conference ‘Letter to the Churches’ calls on the Archbishop of Canterbury to use his power of invitation:

  • to invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil and
  • not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.

During the conference, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda announces that the bishops of the Church of Uganda will not attend unless these conditions are met.

Biblical

Nigerian House of Bishops join Ugandans in withdrawing from Lambeth 2020

September The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issues a statement rejoicing in the success of the Gafcon Jerusalem Conference and affirm their support for the unanimous decision of the Nigerian House of Bishops not to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference unless the Archbishop of Canterbury changes his invitation policy as urged by Gafcon

Warning

Church of England authorises transgender celebration services

December – The English House of Bishops release guidance commending the use of the rite of reaffirmation of baptismal vows for those wanting to mark gender transition. It is widely criticised as condoning the rejection of God-given identity as male and female (Genesis 1: 26) and for potential harm to children. In January 2019, 2,155 bishops, priests and lay members of the Church of England write to condemn the guidance.

Warning

Lambeth 2020 confusion

February – Lambeth 2020 descends into chaos: A blog article by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon confirms that (unlike Lambeth 2008) same-sex partnered bishops will be invited to Lambeth 2020. However Lambeth Resolution I.10 is used to defend the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision not to invite the spouses of these bishops.

But both parties to a same-sex union have adopted a lifestyle which Resolution I.10 describes as ‘contrary to Scripture’ so to invite one and not the other makes no sense. The Gafcon Chairman notes that ‘ the inconsistency is obvious to all’ and a UK Member of Parliament urges that legal action should be taken against the Lambeth Conference organisers for discrimination.

Biblical

Kenyan Primate announces he will not attend Lambeth 2020

Kenyan Primate, Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit announces that he will not attend Lambeth 2020. Subsequently the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visits Kenya and during a press conference claims:

“The Bible is clear, and I’ve said on numerous occasions in public, that my own view of Christian marriage is the traditional Christian view … that has always been the view of Christian marriage but I continue to work with – and in our changing culture in England – to listen very carefully to and to seek to be full of love for those who disagree with me."

Warning

New Bishop of Monmouth in same-sex union

The Archdeacon of Rochdale has been voted bishop-elect of Monmouth. She is in a same-sex relationship and a supporter of LGBT+ relationships for clergy and openly practised within the church. While eschewing the role of a campaigner for same-sex marriage, she has said “I hope that being here as a gay person, in a same-sex relationship, will give those people hope and help them to see that this is something that the church embraces and is able to celebrate along with any other faithful committed relationship.

Biblical

Archbishop Foley Beach of North America installed as Chair of Gafcon

At the Sydney Primates Council, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church of North America was installed as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council.

Warning

Bishop Stephen Cottrell appointed as next Archbishop of York

Although known as an evangelist, Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s appointment to the second most senior role in the Church of England marks a further step away from orthodox faith. He was appointed as Bishop of Reading instead of Jeffrey John in 2003 (see entry for May), but had publicly supported John’s appointment.

He subsequently became Bishop of Chelmsford and in March 2017 he said to his diocesan Synod, "Let me plain: LGBTI+ people are welcome in the churches of the Chelmsford diocese. They are welcome and we want to listen to them and work with them so as to find appropriate ways of expressing their love – for it is not good for human beings to be alone – in permanent, faithful, stable relationships’ and ‘Therefore, let me be loud and clear on this issue: whether you believe there should be same sex marriage or the blessing of same-sex unions or whether you do not, you are still a faithful Anglican.’

Biblical

Extra-provincial diocese of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand (CCAANZ) established

12 Parishes left the The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia after the Synod passed a resolution to allow churches to bless same-sex relationships (see May 2018). 

The Revd Jay Behan became the first bishop of the new diocese in Christchurch, New Zealand on 19th October in the presence of a congregation of 650 supporters, with 19 international leaders present and greetings from Anglican Primates around the world. Archbishop Foley Beach (ACNA, Gafcon Chairman) was the chief consecrator and along with co-consecrators, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and Gafcon Vice-Chairman, and Archbishop Glenn Davies, the Archbishop of Sydney.