Anglican Orthodox Leaders Meeting in Cairo – October 2023

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The Relay Trust is a Mission Partner of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) and our CEO, Canon Charles Raven, was invited to attend a meeting for Anglican Orthodox Leaders at All Saints’ Cathedral, Cairo, 17th-19th October.  

This meeting followed up a commitment in the ‘Ash Wednesday Statement’ of 20th February 2023 by Chairman Archbishop Justin Badi of South Sudan that the GSFA Primates would meet with other orthodox Primates to ‘re-set the Communion on its biblical foundations’.  

There is now a crisis of leadership in the Anglican Communion as a growing number of Global South Provinces release that they can no longer look to the Church of England as the ‘Mother Church’  following the disastrous General Synod in February in which it became clear that, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the English House of Bishops is determined to introduce prayers of blessing, affirmation and thanksgiving for same sex couples.  

Thirteen serving Primates participated, plus one retired, along with ten observers, represented at least 2/3 of the world’s practising Anglicans. Observers from England included the Rev Canon John Dunnett of the Church of England Evangelical Council and the Rev Nicky Gumbel, known throughout the world through the Alpha Course, spoke on behalf of ‘The Alliance’ a network of orthodox churches and organisations within the Church of England. 

In their press statement, the Primates recognised the urgency of gospel proclamation and agreed to ‘work together to ‘firewall’ the spread of false teaching. Accordingly they affirmed the GSFA as a ‘new wineskin’, a unifying body for the whole Anglican Communion, and pledged to stand with faithful Anglicans in England. The full communique can be read here. 

Following the meeting, there was a joyful ceremony on Friday 20th Octber to mark the opening of the GSFA office in the All Saint’s Cathedral complex. This was a landmark occasion, being the first time the organisation has had a physical office, demonstrating a determination to ensure that faithful leadership in the Communion is properly supported in the challenging task ahead. Archbishop Justin Badi also took the opportunity to announce that the GSFA will launch a series of training conferences for new bishops early in 2024. 

The Relay Trust enthusiastically supports the work of the GSFA because securing the long-term spiritual health of the Communion is essential to the work we are funding in eight African Provinces. Despite the spiritual and numerical decline of the West, God in his providence is raising up new leadership for the Communion and this gives us confidence to trust him for the future and continue our investment.