Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels.

Watch out for the schismatics within!

ANiE, which is distinct from other national churches and approved by the Gafcon Primates Council, is fully recognised as being within the Anglican Communion and more than 50 million Anglicans worldwide.

https://www.gafcon.org/news/new-anglican-jurisdiction-is-launched

This statement appears to be economical with the truth. The “Anglican Network in Europe” is not fully recognised as being within the Anglican Communion — at least not by the Anglican Communion. Look on its website for a reference to this body: I cannot find one. Indeed, by the announcement on the GAFCON website we can see that this is a lie. It is self-proclaimed:

“ANiE is not part of the Canterbury-aligned national church structures but remains in fellowship with those faithful Anglicans who affirm the Jerusalem Declaration, and who have chosen to remain and bear witness within the historic Anglican structures.”

Ibid.

It is quite clearly not part of the Anglican Communion. All Anglicans “are in communion — or a reciprocal relationship — with the See of Canterbury and recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Communion’s spiritual head.” (anglicancommunion.org)

Also created this week was the Anglican Mission to England (AMiE). This body claims to be “fellowship of faithful Anglican churches committed to gospel mission.” It is quite clear that they are not Anglican as defined by the Anglican Communion. This means that they are not Anglican.

They are, however, all part of GAFCON which is portraying itself as being faithfully Anglican yet creates alternative jurisdictions. So far, I have not seen an “Anglican Mission to Ireland”. I do not believe that this is surprising however. There are enough GAFCON-linked clergy and organisations on the island.

Loyal members of the Church of Ireland should be careful who they give money to, or to whom they provide other support. Watch out for organisations and clergy who seem intent on breaking away from the Anglican Communion.

One way of spotting this is if someone supports the “Jerusalem Statement of 2008”. Reading it, you can be deceived that nothing is amiss. But it is the mark of someone linked to GAFCON. I’ve already seen that the Irish Chuch Missions is now linked. Also linked are at least two current Bishops: David McClay, Bishop of Down and Dromore and Ferran Glenfield, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. Before he retired, Harold Miller, who was David McClay’s predecessor was similarly linked. There is a body called “GAFCON Ireland”. I’ve even seen the Jerusalem Statement referenced on a Parish website (http://www.ascbelfast.com/beliefs).

The Irish Church Missions is hoping to plant 10 churches in Dublin by 2028. Would it not be a good idea to support the churches and parishes that are already in the Diocese of Dublin instead of creating new ones?

I hope that loyal members of the Church of Ireland stand up for their church and stop it being led into schism with Canterbury. Let’s not let the Church of Ireland become a schismatic branch of Anglicanism by the not-so-back-door.

Background note

I only found out about the existence of AMiE because the current rector of a Belfast parish referred to it on his Facebook account. He said that he was “privileged to witness the formation of a new Anglican Convocation.”

Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

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