FCA2009: Anglican Communion Is Fragmenting, Says Southern Cone Archbishop
Most Rev. Gregory Venables calls for a return to biblical essentials at London parish church service
By David W. Virtue in London
July 5, 2009
In a surprise appearance at a London parish church, the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, The Most Rev. Gregory Venables told parishioners at St. Michael's, Chester Square, that these are "crucial moments," in the life of the Anglican Communion. He also stated that the "church is being lulled into relativism."
The archbishop cautioned his listeners about the danger of drifting away from the central tenets of the faith urging Anglicans to reclaim the gospel of God's redemptive love in Christ. The Cross is central to that message, he said.
"The one unspoken word is sin. As bishops and archbishops at Lambeth '98 we were told not to talk about sin. It was like one flew over the cuckoo's nest. The word was taboo. God loves us so much that he doesn't want us to self destruct. Sin will finish you off," said the evangelical prelate.
Venables said that God sending his Son to die for us all is not child abuse, as Jack Spong former Bishop of Newark argues.
"The Church of England is not about good taste, it is about God calling us to take the initiative in God's world to bring the gospel to everyone. God is calling you to do something you can't do. If so, don't be afraid."
The appearance of Archbishop Venables was a surprise appearance at the conference. He thrilled the London parish with stories of faithfulness urging them to read the Bible; saying that clever people did not come up with the Bible, but it is God's revealed Word. "Let's go back to God. God is calling us, it is His initiative in God's world."
Venables flew into London, yesterday, to attend the Be Faithful conference at Westminster Central Hall as part of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) where he will speak on Monday.
More than 1000 people have registered to attend the conference of Confessing Anglicans in Global and Local Mission, taking place in Central Hall Westminster.
Among the bishops attending are:
Bishop Michael Langrish, Exeter
Bishop David Urquhart, Birmingham
Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, Rochester
Bishop John Hind, Chichester
Bishop Wallace Benn, Lewes
Bishop Colin Fletcher, Dorchester
Bishop Keith Sinclair, Birkenhead
Bishop John Broadhurst, Fulham
Bishop Andrew Burnham, Ebbsfleet
Bishop Keith Newton, Richborough
Bishop John Ball (Retd - Assistant in Chelmsford)
Bishop Colin Bazley (Retd - Assistant in Chester)
Bishop John Ellison (Retd - Assistant in Winchester)
Bishop Maurice Sinclair (Retd - Assistant in Birmingham)
Bishop Peter Forster of Chester, the Bishop-elect of Southwell and Nottingham, Paul Butler, and Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt of Winchester have sent public messages of support.
Archbishop Peter Akinola is also sending Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and Bishop David Onuoha from Nigeria to bring his personal message of greeting and support.
Today (Sunday) speakers from the event are speaking in thirteen pulpits from the Birmingham area to South London addressing thousands of people, most of whom would not be coming on Monday.
The focus of the event will be on fellowship, celebration, and a reaffirmation of the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, say conveners.
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