What is GAFCON?

GAFCON is an acronym for the Global Anglican Future Conference that was first held in Jerusalem in 2008. Subsequent GAFCON conferences have been held in Nairobi Kenya in 2013 and Jerusalem in 2018. The most recent conference gathered over 2000 Bishops, Clergy and Lay People from around the world, who confess the orthodox Anglican faith as expressed in the Jerusalem Declaration. The word Gafcon (usually in lower case) now refers to the movement that was brought into being at the first conference. Gafcon is a fellowship of Anglicans who confess the Jerusalem Declaration as a contemporary expression of orthodox Anglicanism. More information about the global Gafcon movement can be found here.

What is Gafcon Australia?

Gafcon Australia is the branch of this movement here in Australia. The movement has two aims: first, to proclaim and defend the gospel throughout the world, and second, to provide support to those faithful Anglicans who have been marginalised in their spiritual homes by false teaching and practice, especially by their Bishops.

What is the Jerusalem Declaration?

The Jerusalem Declaration was made at the first GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem in 2008. It is a 14-point declaration of contemporary orthodox Anglican doctrine and identity. It can be found here, with the statement that was made at the 2008 GAFCON. Further information and an introduction to it can be found here.

Is Gafcon schismatic (ie trying to divide the church)?

The Gafcon movement is trying to heal and restore the church by calling it back to the biblical gospel and foundations of our denomination. We believe what Anglicans have always believed, and what the majority of Anglicans in the world still believe. Some in our church are pushing a “revisionist” agenda of change, redefining the gospel of grace, promoting a different teaching of marriage and human sexuality, and advocating for a more “inclusive” moral framework. Where Bishops promote and allow this, orthodox Anglicans (driven by their consciences) have left their Dioceses and sought fellowship with other orthodox Anglicans through the Gafcon network. Parallel Anglican jurisdictions now exist in Europe, North America, Brazil, and New Zealand, where there is a “progressive/liberal” Anglican Church, and a parallel orthodox “Gafcon aligned” Anglican Church in the same place.

Is Gafcon opposed to women in ministry?

Most certainly not. Ordained women have been involved in Gafcon from its inception, and ordained women serve in our leadership. Gafcon Australia welcomes anyone who can affirm the Jerusalem Declaration as members.

Is Gafcon only for evangelicals?

Gafcon welcomes anyone who can affirm the Jerusalem Declaration – these include catholic, charismatic and evangelical Anglicans from around the world. Gafcon Australia would like to have more orthodox Anglo-Catholic members.

Is Gafcon a front for the Diocese of Sydney?

No. The Board of Gafcon Australia is made up of men and women from most states and territories in Australia, and is currently chaired by the Bishop of Tasmania. It is true that some of the key movers in the global movement have come from Sydney Diocese, but we are a truly national movement, with members in all but 2 Australian Dioceses.

Is Gafcon only concerned about the issue of homosexuality?

Certainly the issue of how the church has responded to changing views of human sexuality has been the catalyst for the development of Gafcon. However, the core issue at stake is the way we read and understand the Bible. The revisionists sideline the authority of scripture, sometimes twisting its natural meaning, or setting it aside in favour of human reasoning. This is not just in its application ot marriage and sexuality, but to a range of other matters too, including the atonement, the uniquenesss of Christ for salvation and the reality of heaven and hell.

Are same-sex attracted Christians welcome in Gafcon?

The short answer is “yes”. All people are made in the image of God and are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. The church (and Gafcon too) is a place that welcomes everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual attraction or any other quality. We encourage everyone to conform their lives by the teaching of the scriptures. For every single one of us, this will mean denying ourselves and following the costly path of obedience.

What is Gafcon Australia’s relationship to EFAC?

EFAC is the “Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion” – a fellowship started by the Revd Dr John Stott in England in 1965. It exists to maintain and promote a strong biblical witness in and through the Anglican Church so as to advance the cause of the gospel in Australia. More information can be found here.  While we share a lot in common with EFAC, it is more narrowly targeted to evangelical Anglicans, while Gafcon is a broader tent encompassing all orthodox Anglicans. EFAC is also primarily focussed on fellowship rather than acting to change structures.