Conservative Anglicans Insist New Fellowship is Not Separatist

Orthodox Anglicans from around the world are scheduled to gather in London in July to launch a spiritual movement within the global Anglican Communion.

Some 2,300 people are expected to attend the "Be Faithful! - Confessing Anglicans in Global and Local Mission" event, which organizers insist is not the start of a new church or organization for conservative Anglicans.

"The fellowship is just that, a spiritual movement of brothers and sisters across the nation and the world," said the Rev. Paul Perkin, vicar of St. Mark's Battersea Rise in London and chairman of the event planning team, in a statement. "It is not a separatist party, nor is it an organization, but a spiritual fellowship issuing from a concern for truth and unity.

"It is a renewal of our confessing Anglican roots and convictions, and will be forward-looking in gospel mission locally, and in solidarity globally with Anglicans throughout the world, especially those suffering through poverty or discrimination."

Called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, the emerging movement comes out of an invitation by conservative Anglican bishops from mainly the Global South. Last summer, leaders at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) who believe some in the Anglican Communion are preaching a "false gospel" affirmed Christian orthodoxy and invited like-minded Anglicans to establish a separate fellowship.

Organizers of the upcoming Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans event deny that it is a "separatist" movement.

"We are not seceding, this is not schismatic," said Perkin, according to Religious Intelligence.

"It is precisely the opposite of separation, the purpose is unity and mission," he continued. "The focus of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is of unity, solidarity, and support of the majority of the Anglican Communion."

According to the communiqué issued by GAFCON primates last year, the fellowship will function as a means of sharing in the task of recognizing "the acute spiritual dangers of a compromised theology" and aiming "to be a resource and inspiration for those who wish to defend and promote the biblical gospel."

GAFCON primates are meeting in London this week and are expected to discuss the formal recognition of the Anglican Church in North America, a new province of some 100,000 Anglicans who split from The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada.

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