After last week’s GAFCON Sunday
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Gafcon is a global movement of bible believing Anglicans committed to guarding the truth of the gospel so that it is faithfully preached throughout the world. You can listen to Francis’ GAFCON Sunday sermon through this link www.fordhamchurch.org.uk/sermons/?sermon_id=339 and find out more about GAFCON at www.gafcon.org Gafcon stands for Global Anglican Fellowship Conference. In 2008, Anglicans from around the world met in Jerusalem out of deep concern for those who were being forced to leave the Anglican Episcopal Church in the United States and were not recognized by Canterbury (and still aren’t). The desire was to provide episcopal oversight and care for these ministers and congregations. At this first conference the Jerusalem Declaration was written which now underpins the movement. This Declaration represents the majority of Anglicans globally. There have been three Gafcon conferences and at the most recent in 2018, it represented some 55 million of the 70 million Anglicans globally.
The Jerusalem Declaration is part of Fordham Church as it expresses our own theological convictions. It is contained within the Ministry Support Declaration, which our PCC adopted as expressing our doctrinal stance, since 2014. All leaders in the church sign this, be this All Saints Club, Jesus at School, 421 leaders, Growth Group leaders or PCC members, or this is our hope! (If you have not signed this, please do get a copy to sign – there are copies at the back). The Jerusalem Declaration defines our doctrinal position and guards us from misunderstanding about our convictions as a church when others may seek to join our leadership or attend for interview of paid posts. We encourage you to personally join the movement by assenting to the Jerusalem Declaration online. You can join both the global movement and the UK branch, https://www.gafcon.org/join and http://www.gafconuk.org/ click join. It is so important that we not only have the convictions that the Bible informs, but are able to courageously express this as a church, with wisdom and tact, in our policies and procedures, as well as in Synods and in the public square. As John and Mim leave for pastures new, it is our conviction, that we need to work for and support this movement. But it is also Francis’ conviction that as we take a stand within the Church of England we need to unite around this movement.
Gafcon has many supporters within the Church of England who share the concerns of the other 55 million Anglicans, that there needs to be a return to scripture and that Christ needs to be “Faithfully proclaimed to the nations!” (the clarion call of the latest conference in 2018). For many, the politics of the Church of England is confusing and difficult to understand. Many think we just need to get on with gospel work in the parish. Parish work is essential, but the Bible teaches us to partner with others who also are committed to “proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations”, both regionally and internationally. In different parts of the world, the gospel is under attack, as it has always been, from both outside and from within the church. This remains the case in the UK. So, our responsibility as Bible believing Christians is to proclaim and guard the gospel, wherever we are. Gafcon is all about this. To better understand Gafcon, do have a look at this half hour documentary https://www.gafcon.org/sunday/documentary and the Anglican Identity Check which gives an explanation of the events that led up to the creation of the GAFCON movement www.gafcon.org/sunday/timeline
You can pray for Gafcon through joining the Gafcon prayer network. The prayer mate app enables you to receive daily You can receive daily prayer points on your smart phone. (Download the app, click Add Subject, scroll down and click World Mission & Bible Translation, scroll down and click Gafcon Prayer Network). Finally, do consider giving to Gafcon. As an organization they are committed to mission in the UK, to planting churches and supporting churches in the Church of England in their mission. They are also seeking to help the Church of England, through her Bishops, to stand for the truth of the gospel rather than following the spirit of the age. We commend the work of Gafcon to you most whole heartedly.
With love in Christ, John Parker and Francis Blight.