Updated: Jun 28
The decision of the General Synod to "journey together while acknowledging the different deeply held convictions within the Church" and the new Moving Forward video have caused many faithful Anglicans in the Church of England to doubt whether they can in conscience follow this path. If that is you - you are not alone.
Over the past few years, Anglican Futures has supported many individuals to consider the theological, practical and pastoral issues involved in deciding whether to stay in Anglican denominations of which the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion' have said:
"We declare that the Church of England, in making this change, has departed from the faith which is revealed in the holy scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness."
On The Edge - the Gathering
Anglican Futures has done this by inviting clergy and lay leaders, with their families if possible, to an On The Edge gathering. An opportunity to take 24 hours away with others facing the same questions. These gatherings are completely confidential and there is no cost for the event. The date and venue are not advertised, to ensure the privacy of those who are most vulnerable; ordinands, curates and incumbents who are not yet ready to speak to their churches.
It is not a big conference, nor is it a conveyor belt - just space away to think and pray about what God may be calling you to do. You can read more on on our website.
"A wonderful safe environment to explore with others an uncertain future."
"We're facing challenging times, and there are few places where we can wrestle through the issues together with honesty and openness. On the Edge is a such a place."
"Really informative and practical.
Hearing of challenges but also encouraging stories from different churches."
Those attending these gatherings have often formed close friendships, as they have supported one another over the ups and downs of ministry life. It has been an encouragement to see the comments on WhatsApp groups from those who have taken different paths, and yet are still praying for one another.
There are dates planned for later this year so please contact us by email or phone (details at bottom of the page) if this would be helpful to you.
Close To The Edge - online
These conversations need to take place in safe environments: in places where relationships can develop, and questions answered in real time.
Several people have approached Anglican Futures about setting up a Facebook, or WhatsApp group, for those who, in the light of General Synod's decision are considering their options. There is a danger that such a group would lack the nuance or the confidentiality needed at a time like this.
Aware, though of the need, Anglican Futures offers two fortnightly online gatherings where those who are feeling isolated can meet with others who have concerns, ask questions and pray for one another.
Tuesday 10.30am and Thursday 7pm
More information - including dates - can be found at https://www.anglicanfutures.org/events
Your Future - "Bespoke" Conversations
If online conversations are not convenient and you want to talk through your plans with someone. Please get in touch. We are always willing to be a listening ear and offer advice on an individual basis.
Anglican Futures offers practical and pastoral support to faithful Anglicans
If you would like to hear more
subscribe to our regular emails at http://eepurl.com/him4BT
Photo credit Nadine Shaabana at Unsplash