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Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Could Keep Orthodox Anglicans in the Church

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Could Keep Orthodox Anglicans within the Church

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

A group of maligned orthodox Anglicans believe they have found a solution to keeping the Anglican Communion from splitting.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, led by the Rev. Dr. Chris Sugden, Dr. Vinay Samuel and the Rev. Paul Perkin in the UK, say they can keep "Orthodox" Anglicans from defecting to Rome.

"The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans could turn out to be the 'glue' which the Archbishop could use to hold the Church together," said the Rev. Paul Perkin, vicar of St Mark's Church, Battersea Rise in London, and Chairman of FCA (UK and Ireland).

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans have been denounced by liberals and members of FULCRUM, a liberal left-of-center evangelical blog, for "splitting" a charge they vigorously deny.

"There are now apparently two options for Anglicans concerned about the liberal revisionist drift: leave and go to Rome, or stay and work together with Lambeth for an internal solution: a single provision to cover a range of concerns," said Perkins.

Following the Vatican's historic announcement this week at joint Press Conferences in Rome and London, which took Dr Rowan Williams by surprise, Perkins said "The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which some thought was a group which could split Anglicanism, after this week's announcement, could really help the Archbishop of Canterbury to keep Anglicans together. The open letter from the Primates Council of the FCA to orthodox Anglicans in the UK and Ireland http://tinyurl.com/yh8qqjn indicates that there is an alternative to the proposal from the Roman Catholic Church - namely that appropriate oversight be found for those who want to remain Anglican."

The Primates wrote, "We are encouraged by your commitment to work for an internal solution that can address these deep concerns. Steps taken early enough to make provision to address them can preserve good order. We firmly support your efforts to ensure the provision of appropriate oversight, and if this is not forthcoming, to provide it."

Commented Perkin, "It is strongly to be hoped that the Archbishop of Canterbury, having welcomed dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church who are now providing "cross-boundary oversight" for Anglicans who wish to leave, might continue dialogue with those who want to stand and stay. If he is determined to keep faithful, orthodox Anglicans within the church, then FCA could offer a tangible solution for unity. The offer is there."

The Church of England is at a cross roads. Anglo-Catholics are a minority and growing smaller Their seminaries are dwindling in size. Liberals, revisionists and women priests have shown little or no ability to make churches grow. The main seminaries and theological colleges in the UK, like Ridley Hall Cambridge, Oak Hill, London, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, St. John's Nottingham and Trinity College, Bristol, are filled with the next generation of Evangelicals. The future of the Church of England resides with them.

The Archbishop of Canterbury may be forced, in the end, to listen to Evangelicals. They might just save him and the Church of England.


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