Concerning a new expression of Anglicanism in New Zealand

Press from the Fellowship of Confession Anglicans-NZ

In mid August men and women from around the country gathered in Christchurch to prayerfully discuss the formation of a new expression of Anglicanism.  Participants included clergy and laypeople from parishes who had already disaffiliated or were likely to do so in the coming months, as well as clergy who were going to resign their offices.   While there was deep sadness that the decision of General Synod to permit the blessing of same-sex relationships had led to disaffiliations and resignations, the meeting was positive and hopeful with participants committed to seeing the Biblical gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ proclaimed to the nations.   

Those in attendance represented the breadth of diversity within orthodox Anglicanism in New Zealand – charismatic and conservative, rural and urban, large parishes and smaller units,  chaplains, Vicars, and assistant priests – all united in a desire to remain faithful to the faith once for all entrusted to the saints. Supported by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (New Zealand), this new entity will be independent of the FCANZ.  

The new expression of Anglicanism will stand in continuity with traditional Anglicanism, with the Holy Scriptures as authoritative and the Formularies being faithful expressions of the doctrine and sacraments of Christ.  The Jerusalem Declaration (2008) will be recognised as a contemporary articulation of faithful Anglicanism.

To bring glory to God, evangelism, mission and discipleship will sit at the heart of the purposes of this new movement.  This will include planting churches to see the gospel of Christ proclaimed and lived out in local communities throughout these Islands.  Culturally appropriate expressions of church will be encouraged so that all people might hear the good news of Jesus. A deliberate focus on discipleship and training will, we pray, see Christians grow and ministries multiplied.  

Structures and strategies will be developed which ensure that the local gathering, where the Word is preached and the Sacraments administered, is the primary unit of church.  Initially a single diocese (an extra provincial diocese) will support and serve these ministry units, until more churches are planted or join, so that multiple dioceses might emerge.  Local episcopal ministry will be raised up to provide encouragement and support to this ministry by guarding doctrine and providing discipline, as well as ordaining men and women into holy orders.

Individuals and groups are now undertaking the work necessary to see this new expression of Anglicanism formally come into existence.  With the knowledge and support of the GAFCON Primates we hope that in the coming months a diocesan structure will emerge to enable the continuing faithful proclamation of Jesus to New Zealand and beyond.

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