GAFCON UK bishop to take a leave of absence

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[25 Jan 2019] As some will be aware, the Autumn and early part of this new year has been a particularly demanding and stressful time for me and for my family. Demanding, because there is so much to be done in my different responsibilities, and operating in the midst of fast-moving events in our Anglican churches. Stressful, because in addition to my mother’s deteriorating health, I have been confronted with very difficult personal matters.   

That all this occurred after a period of intense ministry and with the emotional wrench of leaving Crosslinks after 18 years’ service, perhaps explains why I have not coped as well as I might have hoped. On medical advice, and with the encouragement of close friends, confidants and colleagues, I have agreed to Peter Jensen’s proposal that I should take a break to recover and regroup. I am very grateful to all those to whom I am accountable for their support and encouragement, particularly my colleagues in the Anglican Church in North America. This has not been an easy decision because I am acutely aware of the battle raging around all of us, but if I am to be of use in the longer term, it appears not only wise but necessary. I want to assure you that despite everything Mandy and I remain committed to this ministry for which I was set apart. 

The plan is for us to move house in February to reduce the financial burden. In March, Mandy and I head to Sydney, Australia, for three months. We will be accommodated in Moore Theological College and will benefit from the support and advice of Peter and Christine Jensen. Please pray for us; we are hugely grateful to Peter and many others who are making this possible. Please pray for:
 

  • our recovery, refreshment and renewal.
  • our preparations to re-enter the fray in June with all the planning that will require. 
  • Mandy and me, and our children who have stood staunchly with us throughout these months, for protection in the midst of the spiritual battle.
  • the churches that I have been supporting in Anglican Misson in England, Scottish Anglican Network and those who are not part of a particular network; pray for their ongoing faithfulness and effective outreach.
  • Gafcon UK: I am immensely grateful for the support of James Stileman of Gafcon Global, and of Susie Leafe and Andrew Symes; pray that the urgent needs of development, organization and finance would come together and progress whilst I am away so that we can support confessional Anglicans across Europe, for the sake of the lost. I am grateful that Susie and Andrew will be able to call on the support of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (President), as well as Lorna Ashworth and Vaughan Roberts as Vice Presidents.


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Cor 1:3-5)

With love in Christ

Andy Lines