Statement from Gafcon Australia on Wangaratta’s affirmation of gay blessings

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The Board of Gafcon Australia expresses its dismay over the decision of Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta to make provision for the blessing of same-sex marriages. We believe this has torn the fabric of our communion within the Anglican Church of Australia.

This decision is contrary to the teaching of Scripture about the nature of human sexuality and marriage. It is also contrary to the doctrinal position of the Anglican Church of Australia. General Synod has repeatedly affirmed that marriage is a lifelong exclusive union between a man and a woman. The Bible does not allow the blessing of any sexual relationship which is not marriage between a man and a woman.

Contrary to the views expressed by Bishop Parkes, the Anglican Church of Australia has always been a church that confesses its faith. Every deacon, priest and bishop has declared their faith and pledged their commitment to our doctrine at their ordination. This confession includes adherence to the Holy Scriptures, the Creeds, the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles of Religion. Bishops are required to “correct and set aside teaching that is contrary to the mind of Christ”.

The resolution in Wangaratta is emblematic of a move in the Anglican Church of Australia away from our doctrine. Several Synods have now passed motions calling for services of blessings of same-sex marriage. Moreover, the Synod of the Diocese of Grafton showed its theological drift in June this year, by voting against affirming “the authorised standard of worship and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as set out in the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of the Constitution.”

We therefore extend an invitation to any member of the Anglican Church of Australia, including those in the Dioceses of Wangaratta and Grafton, who are troubled by these developments, to contact Gafcon Australia at info@gafconaustralia.org or any of the Board members listed below.

Gafcon Australia is a growing movement of Anglicans across the breadth of the Australian Church, who uphold and promote orthodox, biblical teaching. Our aim is to provide mutual encouragement, fellowship and support for those who are committed to the same, both those who feel out of step with their Bishop and/or Synod, and those who are committed to working within the Anglican Church of Australia for biblical faithfulness. We are glad to affirm our commitment to the doctrine and order of the Anglican Church of Australia as it has been handed down to us. For more information see www.gafconaustralia.org

Gafcon Australia Board

The Rt Rev Dr Richard Condie (Chair), Tasmania; the Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies (Deputy Chair), Sydney; the Rev Stephen Carnaby, Tasmania; Mr Philip Gerber, Sydney; the Rev Paul Hunt, Adelaide; the Rev Joshua Kuswadi, NT; Mrs Fiona McLean, Melbourne; the Very Rev Kanishka Raffel, Sydney; the Rev Trevor Saggers, North Queensland; Dr Laurie Scandrett, Sydney; Dr Claire Smith, Sydney; the Rev Peter Smith, Perth.