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Dear VOL Readers. I am putting out a special digest of stories from my recent sojourn in Kigali, Rwanda, where for five days 1,300 archbishops, bishops, clergy and laity labored over their relationship in the Anglican Communion, to the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the need to reiterate 'the faith once for all delivered to the saints.'

David W. Virtue, DD
May 26, 2023

A week in Africa proved pivotal, a turning point in the life of the Anglican Communion.

GAFCON, the Global Anglican Future Conference comprising some 85 percent of practicing Anglicans from 53 countries, stepped out of the shadows of the Church of England and the Lambeth Conference. It delivered a body blow to Archbishop Justin Welby, the Instruments of Communion and gave an ultimatum to the Anglican Communion - repent of your unbiblical stance on human sexuality or face the wrath of exclusion and separation.

Lambeth Palace responded, ignoring the ultimatum, attempting to redirect its concerns to the other Instruments of Communion. It was an insulting brush off. The divorce papers were delivered, and the Archbishop of Canterbury must now face the fact that what he called a "ginger group" is, in fact, the Anglican proletariat, the true believers. GAFCON is the upholder of 'the faith once for all delivered to the saints' facing down its cultured despisers.

The die has been cast. There can be no going back unless a full-on repentance is heard, received and acted upon. Based on 25 years of ecclesiastical experience and the passage of Lambeth Resolution 1:10, passed in 1998, that is probably not going to happen.

The lines have hardened over time, aided and abetted by a vicious homosexual culture bent on purging sexual orthodoxy from public life, culture and tragically from mainstream churches and denominations. Sodomy and its LGBTQ offspring have been mainstreamed.

GAFCON chairman and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach keynoted the gathering with a stem-winding speech in which he said the gathering was one of the most important church gatherings in our time. He boldly stated that the Church of England led by the Archbishop of Canterbury must repent and return to the teaching of the word of God on sexuality. "We call on them to stop blessing sin and return to the sanctity and holiness of marriage. Until the Archbishop of Canterbury repents, we can no longer recognize him as the first among equals and the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion."

Beach's speech brought applause several times from the assembled delegates. Archbishop Beach observed that since the last GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem, it had been a difficult time with Covid-19 shutting down ministries, with "many facing persecution, famine and drought, flooding, war and civil unrest." It prompted him to wonder if GAFCON would survive.

However, "when God ordains something he sees it through," adding that GAFCON IV "may be one of the most important church gatherings in our time."

"God had his hand on GAFCON," he said, and was blessing the movement for "standing against those who conveniently or culturally stand against the word of God."

In addressing his core message, the archbishop spoke about the "four marks of a continuing spirit filled movement: a repenting church, a reconciling church, a reproducing church, and a relentlessly compassionate church."

"We" Anglicans "can go on playing church, being religious, and even making statements that make no spiritual impact on our world." However, the desire of Christians today is to see "revival break out and spread to every part of the world."

"A repenting church was one that modeled the Lord's call for all people to repent of their sins. It served no purpose to call out the sins of others if we ignored our own sins and shortcomings, he explained. "The Holy Spirit 'reveals' to a believer his sins, giving you a choice to turn away or to continue in sin."

Addressing the growing apostasy of the Church of England, the archbishop said this: "In recent days we have seen the Church of England led by the Archbishop of Canterbury walk away from the plain teaching of Scripture. We call on them to repent, to return to the teaching of the word of God. We call on them to stop blessing sin and return to the sanctity and holiness of marriage."

Then he dropped a bombshell; "Until the Archbishop of Canterbury repents, we can no longer recognize him as the first among equals and the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion."

"It is time for the whole Anglican establishment to be reformed. Why does the secular government of only one of the nations represented in the Anglican Communion still get to pick the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion? This makes no sense in today's post-colonial world." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/rwanda-gafcon-iv-may-be-one-most-important-church-gatherings-our-time-archbishop-foley-beach

The GAFCON chairman set the tone for what followed.

Speaker after speaker echoed the theme of repentance and renewal calling on their liberal brethren to be reconciled to God. Homosexuality they said is a salvation issue; the final destiny of those millions who disobey hangs in the balance.

The final torpedo was fired when a statement drafted by 11 primates declared they were out of communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Instruments of Communion. It was the end of the road.

The primates declared that the Anglican Communion led by Archbishop Welby had left them, they had not left the Anglican Communion. They were the upholders of the one true faith; the other side had abandoned the faith. Sexuality is not a second order issue; it is primary in God's self-disclosure for humanity's very survival. The male - female matrix would not be abrogated by post moderns who believed they could change God's mind for him. The primates would have none of it.

It is beyond credulity that the Anglican Communion, in fact, western Christianity has fallen on the sword of sodomy and not, say, the bodily resurrection of Jesus or his divinity in the face of an explosive Islam that denies both.

On the plus side of the ledger, what could have been a thorny, divisive issue between GAFCON and the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Bishops (GSFA) turned out to be a non-starter.

In my exclusive interview with Archbishop Beach, he made it clear that the relationship between the two entities was just fine. GAFCON was missional; GSFA was more synodical in its approach. For the moment, GSFA would still have a foot in the Lambeth Conference, but there was no doubt in this reporter's mind that will not stay like that forever. Both would work together collaboratively for a better future. Would they merge? Not immediately, but who knows, five years from now that could all change. Developing relationships like this are fluid as this is not set in stone. You can see my interview here: https://virtueonline.org/rwanda-gafcon-and-gsfa-collaborate-mission-while-maintaining-separate-identities

Both groups signed off on the final Kigali Statement with some provisions for differences that are GSFA specific. "We are united in purpose and faith," said Beach.

One of the thorny issues for Church of England attendees (there were no sitting CofE bishops present) was what to do with orthodox Anglicans who felt called to stay, or, if not could they leave with their properties.

The issue of flying bishops was raised, but Archbishop Beach knocked that on the head. No, he said, "We have a structure in place. We're encouraging those in England to fight and resist as best they can - but if they need oversight, we have structures in place like the ANIE."

For the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) it is unclear what they envisage is going to happen within the CofE. The House of Bishops hold all the cards and all the property. There will not be a separate province and nobody will be permitted to declare their parish to be independent.

"The only hope is to deter the bishops from pressing ahead with their proposals. And the only way of doing this is for those assembled in Kigali to cease to be in communion with the Church of England, and for a new see to replace Canterbury," a senior cleric told VOL.

Sadly, the Church of England contingent at GAFCON seemed on the defensive. They will not admit the sad and sorry state of the CofE. It's like they don't see the slippery slope Welby is taking them down. They want to nuance things and say things are not really that bad. They do not see their ties with the state are actually undermining the gospel and hindering its advancement. Will they will give up their "inherited" leadership roles? They no longer own the communion; they don't even own the Church of England and it won't be saved by the CEEC either.


It took four days of writing, consultation, and revision for delegates to the fourth Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON IV) to approve by acclamation the final Conference Statement.

It is clear now that the future of Global Anglicanism has passed from Canterbury to GAFCON and the Global South. Most of the world's practicing Anglicans, some 85%, have cast a vote of no confidence in the Archbishop of Canterbury and declared themselves to be in broken communion with the Church of England. They want a reset. There is no question now that the Archbishop of Canterbury's role as Communion leader is over.

A new day has dawned not only for the 1,300 Anglicans present, but for the 70 million Anglicans from every tribe, language group, peoples and nations.

"The Instruments of Communion have failed to maintain true communion based on the Word of God and shared faith in Christ"; the "leadership role" in the Anglican Communion of the Archbishop of Canterbury has been rendered "indefensible" by the failure of "successive" Archbishops of Canterbury "to guard the faith" by exercising appropriate discipline "compounded by" Justin Welby's "welcoming the provision of liturgical resources to bless practices contrary to Scripture," said the statement.

The tear in the Anglican Communion is irreparable and irreversible unless Archbishop Welby and those that follow him, repent. Thomas Cranmer would have understood and wept. Just as Cranmer challenged the Roman Catholic Church over some of its doctrinal stances, he would have cast his vote for GAFCON and moved on.


HERE ARE LINKS to stories that I and others wrote. My purpose is to provide the widest possible range of news and commentaries for your edification.

The Kigali Commitment: https://virtueonline.org/gafcon-iv-kigali-commitment

The Kigali Commitment -- Commentary - https://virtueonline.org/kigali-statement-2023-communion-broken

Lambeth Palace issues response to Kigali Commitment:
Welby Issues disconnected Response to GAFCON Statement: https://virtueonline.org/archbishop-welby-issues-disconnected-response-gafcon-statement

Can GAFCON and the GSFA Save the Anglican Communion: https://virtueonline.org/can-gafcon-and-gsfa-save-anglican-communion

Exclusive Interview with Archbishop Foley Beach: https://virtueonline.org/rwanda-gafcon-and-gsfa-collaborate-mission-while-maintaining-separate-identities

Anglican Theologian says separation is only course in face of false gospel:

CEEC Leader says CofE will tear Communion apart:

African Archbishop excoriates Canterbury, praise GAFCON:

GAFCON chairman says GAFCON is Future of Anglican Communion:


Anglican Church of Uganda hailed for breaking away from CofE:

Global Anglicans establish Faithful Ministry for those outside Canterbury:

Global South is an ecclesial body, GAFCON is a movement:

Kigali Commitment working together for reformation and Revival:

'You've been served' -- A satirical Essay: https://virtueonline.org/youve-been-served

The Kigali Commitment -- Calvin Robinson:

Lessons from a Communion in Birth Pains:

Two Evangelists say focus must be on God's Word to evangelize:

Renewing the Power of Love: The Heart of historic Anglicanism:

An Historic Moment for the Anglican Communion:


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