Since SOMA UK’s beginnings at the 1978 Lambeth Conference, we have worked in the closest partnership with churches in the Global South. We have shared deeply with brothers and sisters in Christ, often in ‘places least visited’, and have treasured the relationships and trust built between us.
It has been for us the greatest privilege and one that we continue to delight in and to be enriched by. The unity we have enjoyed in Christ, and in the one Spirit, has been a wonderful expression of the Kingdom of God in its glorious variety and, a foretaste of a future Kingdom where one day every nation, tribe, people and language will bow before the Lamb upon His throne, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We write now to share with you our deep concern that the General Synod of the Church of England has made decisions about the ‘blessing’ of same-sex couples in civil marriages and partnerships that are at odds with scriptural orthodoxy and contrary to the understanding of marriage held by most Provinces in the Anglican Community and particularly in the Global South where SOMA UK has been privileged to serve.
We are distressed by the inevitable impact that this will have upon the unity of the Anglican Communion. And we want to express our profound pain that the General Synod decided on this course of action without taking the opportunity to formally consult you on the impact that it will have upon your life and witness. We recognise that the implications will be considerable and we deeply regret that your voice has not been heard.
In these difficult, and frankly painful, circumstances we want to assure you of the prayers of the SOMA UK and SOMA International families. We will pray as you make decisions about future alignments within the Anglican Communion. And we will continue as SOMA UK to serve the churches of the Global South wherever we are invited, as a ministry rooted in the scriptures and committed to the renewal of the church in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If ever the churches in the West needed the witness of the vibrant and growing churches of the Global South it is now. Indeed, may the turmoil of these recent times lead us into a fresh partnership with you, and into a growing work for the coming of God’s kingdom across the earth, as it is in heaven.
As we pray for you, please pray for us and for the Church of England in these difficult and complex times.
With love and prayers from your brothers in Christ,
The Venerable Kevin Roberts
Chair of Trustees, SOMA UK
The Reverend Richard Moy
National Director, SOMA UK
‘Sharing of Ministries Abroad’, SOMA UK, is an Anglican Mission Agency. It was birthed out of a move of God’s Spirit at the 1978 Lambeth Conference when Bishops from around the world came to the UK. Before it started, 300 charismatic bishops and senior clergy took the opportunity to gather for a pre-conference renewal meeting. There was an outbreak of God’s Spirit that energised all those in the room. SOMA was born out of this experience of an outpouring of God’s grace. The Reverend Michael Harper became the founding Director in 1979.
Since then, it has had a calling to ‘Join the Holy Spirit Tending to the Nervous System of the Body of Christ.’ In practice this has often meant going to places that are hurting (eg Rwanda in 1996), connecting the church internationally and building the body both overseas and in the sending country as well. Today SOMA continues to connect the church across the world, breaking barriers that can separate us and building up the body of Christ through learning together. SOMA UK is part of SOMA International and sends short term teams to facilitate conferences and retreats for church leaders at the invitation of the Bishop of a Diocese.
Further information about the work of SOMA UK can be found on the charity’s website www.somauk.org or from the National Director on email email@example.com.