It is like abseiling...
One The Edge is a gathering organised by Anglican Futures for those who are struggling with whether their future lies with the Canterbury-aligned Anglican structures or whether their conscience is leading them to find a new home. This is the testimony of one vicar who attended the first gathering - you can find more stories on our website.
"When you’re thinking about stepping away from the Canterbury-aligned structures it is totally understandable to feel a mixture of trepidation and insecurity.
To anyone wavering as a result, I’d say remember the Lord is good and faithful.
He has promised ‘those who honour me, I will honour’ (1 Sam 2v30) and that when we wholeheartedly trust in him, he will make our paths straight (Prov 3v5-6).
It’s very easy to be swayed by the counsel of family and friends (both Christian and non-Christian) advising you not to risk stability and security, to enjoy the 'good life' of a Church of England vicar and ignore the ‘niggles’ of the denomination, to ’see things in perspective’, not to over-react or put your family through such uncertainty. Or worse, to be brow-beaten by accusations of cowardice and desertion - all things that were said to me and my wife.
But, our experience of stepping out and planting a new Anglican church has been a proving of Jesus’ promise in Mark 10v29-30:
"Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Acting in conscience for the sake of Jesus and for the gospel is like abseiling. It’s easy to be paralysed and frozen looking over the edge. But when you step out you find you are actually held secure by the rope of his promises and provision and presence.
Yes, it will be tough. There will be some scary moments. There will be brick bats thrown at you. There will be relationships fractured. There will be grief and pain at people and things left behind.
However, the blessings really are hundredfold. Not least the freedom and release of leaving behind the shackles of compromise, as well as the joy and (re-) discovery of proper historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional, global Anglicanism.
It is like children from a dysfunctional home beginning to experience what a proper family looks and feels like."