“The last few months have been pretty busy,” admits Susie Leafe, the Director of new charity, Anglican Futures, “In some ways we have had to start from scratch – bringing together a group of trustees, registering with the Charity Commission, setting up a new website, a new office, bank account and all administration of a new entity. But at the same time, we wanted to keep the momentum of the Ideas -Exchanges that I had begun, when working for Gafcon. There is something so valuable about bringing together 15-30 church leaders from different places, giving them some stimulus to get them thinking and then to sit back and hear them respond – sharing their experience and testing new ideas and thoughts, in what I hope is a safe environment. So, we’ve engaged with over 100 people, with two topics, each run three times. The first, explored the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith resources and the context in which it has been published. The second, began a conversation about the abuse of power in church settings and how we might create more loving local churches.”
But Anglican Futures is not only an Ideas-Exchange. It is an initiative borne from many years working to reform and renew the Anglican Communion, and if there is one thing that we have learned, it is that individuals and churches need practical and pastoral assistance as they make proactive and principled decisions that best serve the gospel in their particular context. Anglican Futures wants to help in whatever way we can. For example, we are supporting two clergy who are being disciplined by their bishops, at the moment, and helping two churches, one in the CofE and one outside, set up new charitable structures.
Melvin Tinker, the Chair of Trustees, said, “Christians are those who look back with gratitude, upward in expectation and forward in hope. It is great to be part of something which embraces all of those features with regards to the Anglican expression of the faith. Cherishing the best in the Anglican tradition and living in a fast changing culture, it is exciting to seek to shape the future under God with the Gospel”
In the end, we are convinced that the greatest challenge for our generation is not, “How do we respond to heterodox church leaders?”, but the holiness with which we treat our brothers and sisters whose conscience leads them to take a different path. Susanna Sanlon, one of the founding trustees, sums it up well when she says, “Anglicans are exploring how to be faithful to Jesus and how they should carry out the Great Commission in the places to which they have been called. I am excited about helping colleagues both within and outside of the CofE, CinW and SEC to do this, so that we can all confidently face future challenges as faithful Anglicans.”
For details of our next events and how to access services, see our website www.anglicanfutures.org
Notes for editors:
A new organisation has been formed, headed up by Susie Leafe called ‘Anglican Futures.’ Its aim is to provide day-to-day practical and pastoral support for all those who would identify themselves as faithful Anglicans in the UK. Committed to the GAFCON 2008 Jerusalem Declaration it is helping individuals, groups and churches to think through issues in a biblically principled way to ensure the promotion of authentically Anglican orthodox beliefs and practices and effective Gospel engagement. The organisation offers informed critical analysis of what is happening on matters which affect Anglican affairs, locally and globally, as well as the provision of on line events creating the opportunity to work through some of the best ways forward to promote a spiritually robust Anglicanism in the UK. Trustees include Dan Leafe, Melvin Tinker, Matthew Mason, Phil Ashey and Susanna Sanlon.
This article first appeared in Evangelicals Now and is reprinted with permission of the authors.