jQuery Slider

You are here

"We Are the Anglican Communion; We Represent 85% of All Church Going Anglicans" -- Bishop Glenn Davies

"We Are the Anglican Communion; We Represent 85% of All Church Going Anglicans" -- Bishop Glenn Davies
Archbishop Justin Welby has lost his role as primus inter pares. He can run the Canterbury Communion but we are the Anglican Communion

An Exclusive Interview with former Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies now Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

By David W. Virtue, DD
May 30, 2023

Glenn Davies, 72, is the former Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of the Province of New South Wales in the Anglican Church of Australia. Since August 2022 he has served as Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross, an Anglican diocese set up outside of the Anglican Church of Australia to meet the spiritual needs of orthodox Anglican parishes who reject the theological and moral drift of the Anglican Church in Australia. He was guest preacher at the recent 10th annual diocesan convention of the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word (ADLW) in Souderton, PA presided over by the ADLW Bishop Julian Dobbs, a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.

VOL: The Kigali Statement went right up to the edge calling for a reset of the communion. But can you have a reset without formal schism with Canterbury?

DAVIES: In Kigali, the GAFCON Primates met with the Primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA), and all agreed that Archbishop Justin Welby has lost his role as primus inter pares of the Anglican Communion. His capitulation to the revisionist agenda of the world, and his successful promotion of this view to the Church of England's General Synod has forfeited his role as an Instrument of Communion and our relations with our Mother Church. However, a number of GAFCON and GSFA provinces still have a constitutional connection with Canterbury and the Church of England. Only Nigeria has broken their constitutional bond with Canterbury. While a reordering and resetting of the Anglican Communion is explicit in the Kigali Commitment, it will take some time to make the constitutional adjustments of some provinces. Nonetheless, the current Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Antony Poggo, made a ridiculous statement when he said only the Instruments of the Communion, whose responsibility it is to maintain the unity of the Communion, can make changes the Anglican Communion. Yet he failed to recognise that the so-called Instruments have been an abject failure in the face of the revisionist agenda, which has torn the Communion apart. They are also incapable of reforming the Anglican Communion, so GAFCON and the GSFA have stepped into this vacuum of leadership.

VOL: It seems you gave Welby a get out of jail free card with the call to repentance, but he has okayed a homosexual Dean for Canterbury Cathedral and his Appointments Secretary is a man married to another man. Has he now not stepped over the line?

DAVIES: Yes, he has. Yet, we call upon him to repent, and if he does, we shall forgive - seventy times seven, where true repentance is evident.

VOL: It seems to me that Justin Welby played GSFA by deferring, in Ghana, to the Instruments of Communion, basically fobbing them off.

DAVIES: He was responding to the GSFA's Ash Wednesday Statement, which was highly critical of the Church of England and Welby's role as Archbishop of Canterbury. Yet the issue remains, when do we say enough is enough?

VOL: If the situation in Canterbury remains unchanged, what sort of time frame are you giving Welby to repent?

DAVIES: We have a de facto re-ordered Communion now. We are not leaving the Anglican Communion, but reforming it along Cranmerian lines, where the Scripture is supreme and obedience to Scripture is essential; we represent 85% of Anglicans worldwide and are moving forward.

VOL: Can GAFCON and the GSFA come together at some point in time?

DAVIES: There are differing influences at play in the GSFA; both the Provinces of South East Asia and Melanesia have expressed some concerns. The GSFA Primates have said we want to give Canterbury one more chance, and the forthcoming General Synod of the Church of England is pivotal in this regard. Reference to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference was removed from the published papers of the Lambeth Conference in 2022, yet the GSFA while disappointed with this outcome took the view that they would continue to work with the Instruments of Communion, even after last October's announcement of the new Dean of Canterbury, a man in a same-sex union.

The GAFCON Primates, on the other hand, declared this appointment as disingenuous, if not duplicitous, to appoint a gay dean to the oldest see in the Anglican Communion. Moreover, following the CofE's General Synod decision in February, Welby declared that they were only proposing to bless people, rather than same-sex unions. The sophistry of this statement is breathtaking -- for to bless a person in a same-sex union is to affirm their immoral relationship and, as Jim Packer famously said, you cannot sanctify sin. The decision of the CofE caused the GSFA to align more closely with GAFCON in their strongly worded Ash Wednesday Statement.

Resolution I.10 is clear and no discipline has ever been applied to heretical provinces that have defied it. Welby argues that two opposing integrities can stand together. But that is impossible. Consider Arius and Athanasius. They represented two integrities and there was no walking together: one position was right and the other wrong, despite Arius' claim to an appeal to Scripture. Standing with the commitment of the Fathers of the Early Church to the authoritative and clear teaching of Scripture, we cannot continue our fellowship with those who deny the biblical doctrine expressed in Resolution 1.10.

Welby's problem is that while he does not personally believe in same-sex marriage, he is happy to approve same-sex blessings. As a result, Welby has lost both sides. The outcry from the LGBTQ community is that the CofE did not go far enough. Orthodox Anglicans, on the other hand, believe he has betrayed Scripture and the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

VOL: What do you think will happen now that Welby has called for a meeting of the Primates in Rome next year?

DAVIES: The venue is surprising, if not disturbing. Yet the GAFCON Primates will not attend and the GSFA Primates as a whole will not go to Rome, though some may consider it is worth attending. The remaining provinces likely to be represented only comprise 15% of Anglicans worldwide, so Welby will effectively be meeting with those Primates who align with the Canterbury Communion.

VOL: What do you see as the way forward?

DAVIES: I propose an effective partnership of GSFA and GAFCON and calling ourselves the Global Anglican Communion. The value of this is that it picks up orthodox Anglicans in both organizations, with their common use of the term Global. The problem in retaining the 'Global South' description is its geographic limitation, notwithstanding some members residing in the northern hemisphere. This new movement would be worldwide. While the GSFA is self-consciously an ecclesial body, GAFCON is a movement. A committee would need to be set up to merge them together. Next May, the 8th Trumpet of the GSFA will meet in Cairo where it is hoped we can find a way forward for a new partnership.

VOL How is the Diocese of the Southern Cross growing?

DAVIES The Diocese of the Southern Cross has five churches but will shortly add a sixth church. "We are growing and will continue to grow. We have the GAFCON Primates declaration that we are an authentic Anglican diocese, like the Church of Confessing Anglicans in New Zealand under Bishop Jay Behan. As a Southern Cross Bishop, I have a close relationship with the leadership of GSFA and attend the GAFCON Primates Council as one of the Guarantors."

VOL: Thank you, Bishop.


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top