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RWANDA: GAFCON and GSFA Collaborate in Mission while Maintaining Separate Identities

RWANDA: GAFCON and GSFA Collaborate in Mission while Maintaining Separate Identities

An Exclusive Interview with GAFCON Chairman and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach

David W. Virtue in Kigali
April 19, 2023

VOL: How do you think this GAFCON conference is going archbishop?

BEACH: It is tremendous, people are fired up and excited to be together.

VOL: Do you see a resolution over the differences between GAFCON and the Global South (GSFA) bishops?

BEACH: We are united in theology in our moral theology, the gospel, and our understanding about what needs to happen in the Anglican Communion. GAFCON has been focused on mission and providing help in places where the provinces have gone revisionist. The GSFA has the appropriate structure and can provide a home that is orthodox in the communion. Our core purposes are different but we are all committed to collaborating with each other.

VOL: You wear several hats.

BEACH: Yes; I'm the chairman of GAFCON and I am on the Primates Council of the GFSA and steering committee.

VOL: So how do you view the two organizations?

BEACH: I see the Global South more like a church and GAFCON more like a para-church movement. GSFA is structurally a synodical form of Anglican government. It is an ecclesial body. GAFCON focuses on mission.

VOL: Will the final statement be signed off by both jurisdictions?

BEACH: There will be a section in the statement that is GSFA specific, and that section will be signed off on by both. We are united in purpose and faith.

VOL: How will it differ from the Jerusalem Declaration?

BEACH: The Jerusalem Declaration is a statement of faith. It is the core foundation of GAFCON's belief system. The Declaration is always in front of us. We will reaffirm the Jerusalem Declaration.

VOL: Who do you think will come out on top GAFCON or GSFA? Can there be one undivided alternative to the Lambeth Conference?

BEACH: It is premature to think it will happen any time soon. We function in unique charisms, but collaboratively.

VOL: Do you see a formal break with the Anglican Communion as inevitable?

BEACH: Most in GAFCON and the GFSA feel that they [the revisionists] have broken from the Anglican Communion.

VOL: So, you would say we have a de facto schism but not a de jure schism?


VOL: How do you see the future of GAFCON vs the Lambeth conference?

BEACH: I think the GAFCON conference could be a replacement for the Lambeth Conference. Our hope is that all the distraction of the CofE and Canterbury will not sidetrack us from preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.
That is what we want to be about. It is still a flame lit and spread around the world that needs the gospel. As the Prime Minister of Rwanda said in his speech to us; "We need the church to be the church."

VOL: Archbishop Beach expressed profound sorrow at the death of Archbishop Laurent Mbanda's son who died suddenly in Philadelphia. He was 31. The Mbanda's left for the US when they heard the news. The archbishop hosted the GAFCON conference. His daughter is a conference coordinator.


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