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Rector’s Letter February 2022

Gafcon at St Anne’s Cathedral

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.’  1 Corinthians 15.3-5.

One of the most formative times in my Christian life was attending Gafcon in Jerusalem in June 2018.  Gafcon is the international movement for reform and renewal in the Anglican communion.  The Jerusalem conference brought together nearly 2000 Anglican leaders for encouragement, support, teaching and fellowship.

Global Anglicanism is thriving – with churches growing at an incredibly rapid rate in places like Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and what is sometimes termed the Global South.  As I have pointed out before, research shows that the ‘average’ Anglican Christian is now a young, black woman in her early thirties.  We have moved a long way from when Anglicanism was mostly associated with the Church of England.  There are now more Anglicans in Nigeria alone than there are in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, USA and Australia combined.

The vast majority of these Global South churches are biblically faithful and have rejected the liberal theology which has been developing in the West over the past hundred years.  They have seen revisionism stifle and shrink the Western Church and want no part of it.  The Primates (leading archbishops) in the Gafcon movement prioritise Bible teaching, evangelism, discipleship and support for those who are suffering.  Many of these thriving churches suffer severe persecution – and still they grow!

I am a member of the Gafcon Ireland council, along with our bishop and other clergy and lay leaders.  For over a year now we have been planning a Bible Conference at St. Anne’s cathedral on Saturday 26 March 2022.  It will be a day of celebrating the gospel and introducing local Christians to the Gafcon movement.  It should be a significant event and I hope you will be part of it.  Save the date now – it will be a full day conference from 9.30am to 5pm – and please plan to be there.  We will be joined by some of the leaders of the worldwide Gafcon movement including Gafcon chair, Archbishop Foley Beach and Gafcon General Secretary Ben Kwashi.  More details will be on the Gafcon Ireland website and on social media over the next few weeks.  We hope to be joined at Knockbreda on Sunday 27 March by Archbishop Foley Beach.

In God’s providence I believe Gafcon is having a major impact for good and for the gospel in our world.  Your support of the Bible Conference would be much appreciated.

Sincerely in Christ,

Bill