Gafcon UK was pleased to see that the most recent episode of Anglican Unscripted (AU) gave some coverage to our work. (For those unfamiliar with AU – it is a well-known video newscast/ podcast on global Anglican issues). If you haven’t seen the episode – the link is below.
Although we might differ on some details, we welcome the presenters’ analysis. It would seem particularly notable that despite being from a different culture and, indeed, themselves from two different Anglican jurisdictions, they are readily able to confirm what we know – that Anglicanism in the UK is at a watershed.
The programme’s fundamental premise – that Anglicans in the UK are increasingly faced with having to choose between sharing the direction of travel most recently proposed by the Church of England House of Bishops or finding ways to remain faithful Anglicans via alternative approaches – cannot be doubted.
Quite rightly, AU raised questions as to whether Gafcon UK is equipped organisationally to meet such a significant challenge and in particular whether we have the necessary financial resources to do so. As you are aware, and precisely because of the ever increasing demands upon us, the Gafcon UK Trustees have recently been addressing those very issues. We welcome this opportunity to reiterate our position.
Our relationship with Gafcon Global
Gafcon UK is a branch of Gafcon Global. Gafcon Global encourage branches to be set up in provinces where the Primate is not an active supporter of Gafcon but nonetheless there are a significant number of bishops, clergy and laity who wish to promote the vision of Gafcon in their region. Branches become the link between the global structures and the local people, so we are invited to send a representative to report to the biannual Primates’ Meetings.
Each branch is, however, an independent organisation and in January 2020, Gafcon UK was registered as an independent Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Charity Number 1187303).
Our relationship with the Anglican Network in Europe
During the summer, in consultation with the Gafcon Primates, Bishop Andy Lines was asked to set up a new ecclesial body – to be known as the Anglican Network in Europe – made up of two convocations (AMiE and ACE).
This means that Gafcon UK is no longer responsible for the work of the Gafcon Missionary Bishop, but we look forward to continue working closely with the Anglican Network in Europe, and others, through our Council of Reference and Bishops’ Forum.
Gafcon UK – Bringing Together Faithful Anglicans
At their last meeting the Gafcon UK Trustees expressed their commitment to redouble efforts to bring together faithful Anglicans from across the UK and Europe to contend together for the Gospel, learn from each other and to pray.
As a part of that, much thanks was given to our Almighty God for our growing membership and the hundreds of people who have already benefitted from our Zoom training sessions (which helped church leaders make the transition to online church), our regular online prayer meetings, our resources and especially the increasingly popular ‘Anglican Futures’ events.
In doing this the Trustees were grateful for the support of the Gafcon UK Council of Reference – who are themselves a great model of what can be achieved when differences over secondary issues are put to one side in order to pursue a greater good.
Nonetheless, such encouragements were recognised as only the foundation for what must follow.
Funding Gafcon UK
Uniquely for the UK, Gafcon UK is a grass roots organisation open to all who, without any differentiation, can, in good conscience subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration. No more and no less. Thus, we do not charge a membership fee.
Likewise, from the outset, we have been determined to be known for not being beholden, or even perceived to be beholden to, any particular interests or individuals. That is why we do not seek the patronage of “large donors”. Instead for now, we have a very simple fundraising model – with three parts:
- That each of those in the leadership of Gafcon UK pledges to raise £1,000 a year, from their own networks, as a mark of their commitment to the project and its ethos.
- That we ask 200 members to pledge an average of £10 a month, which, if Gift Aided, would meet more than half our basic costs.
- That the money given by those who prefer to give one-off donations will help to support particular projects – such as an Anglican Futures event or updating our website.
We are very grateful to those of you who have donated to the work of Gafcon UK in the past – through the Bishop Lines Fund at Gafcon Global. That fund will, however, now be used solely for the work of the Anglican Network in Europe. Regular donors should have received a copy of this letter setting out the changes. If you did not receive one, please let me know by email.
Like every organisation across the world, these are challenging times for building financial support. However, in view of the trajectory of the Anglican provinces in the United Kingdom and Europe, we are convinced that Gafcon UK’s unique ability to bring together faithful Anglicans, has never been more important.
If you share our vision, we hope you might consider becoming one of our 200 supporters, or making a one-off donation, so that we can continue to ensure that no faithful Anglican feels isolated or unsupported. Details of how to do this can be found below.
With grateful thanks for your partnership in the gospel,
Director of Operations
PS We have set up an extra session of Anglican Futures this week – Making the Most of a Covid Christmas – there are still a few spaces if you are quick – see below for details.