Welby in Danger of Losing primus inter pares Role over Same-Sex Blessings


Letter: Bingo’s Ordination?

Letter Bingo’s Ordination? Dear Sir, The Church of England has been ordaining men for centuries, and since the 1990s has had legal authority to ordain women to the priesthood also. According to your recent report, the Revd Bingo Allison declared, "I’m not a man and...

Barnabas Aid Appeal for Democratic Republic of Congo

Barnabas Aid Appeal A bomb explosion ripped through the congregation at a baptismal service last Sunday evening (15 January 2023). Just after the baptisms had been performed, and while a blind pastor was expounding some Bible verses, the improvised explosive device...

Archbishops Differ on Practice if Not on Principle

Archbishops Differ on Practice if not on Principle Archbishop Justin Welby has revealed that he will not bless same-sex relationships, while Archbishop Stephen Cotterell has indicated his intention to do so. Explaining his decision, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

Pilgrim’s Process: Tone, Voice, & Speech

Pilgrim’s Process By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon Many today are concerned about not just the content of what people say in the public arena, but also the way that whatever is spoken, is said. People can get offended as much by tone or manner, as content. The complex and...

Keene’s Review: Confirm, O Lord by Martin Davie

Defend, O Lord Confirmation according to the Book of Common Prayer Martin Davie Latimer Trust, 2022 (ISBN: 9781906327743, 116pp, £6.50) Confirmation is a vital spiritual coming-of-age rite in churches which practice paedobaptism, giving those for whom promises were...

Orthodox Anglican Provinces Invited to Covenant Members of the Fellowship

Orthodox Anglican Provinces Invited to Covenant Members of the Fellowship Global South May Provide Alternative Episcopal Oversight By Paul Eddy The GSFA has recently invited orthodox provinces across the Communion to formally sign up as full Covenant Members of the...

Diocese of Oxford’s “Bloated Bureaucracy” Under Fire

Diocese of Oxford's "Bloated Bureaucracy" Under Fire by Julian Mann The Diocese of Oxford, one of the best endowed in the Church of England, has come under fire for its alleged ‘bloated bureaucracy’ in a letter from a frontline parish treasurer in London’s Daily...

Gist of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter Regarding Same-Sex Blessings

Gist of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter  New Prayers of Love and Faith We value and want to celebrate faithfulness in relationships. That is why we have drafted and asked the House of Bishops to further refine and commend a new resource to be used in churches, called Prayers...

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism: Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism

By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles

Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth

  • In Acts 1, Jesus tells his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
    We have here the blueprint for the mission of every local church. It begins and has a right focus upon its immediate context, but such is the nature of the dynamic of the gospel that the mission thrust always pushes outwards. Thus the ‘mission field’ of every local church begins locally, but it ends at the furthest reaches of the globe, spreading out in ever wider concentric circles. It is not that each local church has a local mission field and that with enough churches eventually the whole world might be covered, but rather that every local church is called to have a heart for reaching the world for Christ.

Again, for evangelical Anglicans there is a danger we can divorce this call to far-reaching mission from our understanding of and commitment to the Church. In the history of the modern missionary movement over the last three to four-hundred years, there have been some wonderful and highly effective mission organisations. They have often begun because of the zeal and vision of an individual with a burning passion to reach a particular nation or region with the gospel. Tragically, they have often responded to Christ’s call to go and make disciples of all the nations despite, not because of, the Church. The great Baptist missionary to India, William Carey, often called the ‘father of modern missions’, asked at a minister’s meeting in Northampton, “Whether the command given to the apostles to “teach all nations,” was not obligatory on all succeeding ministers to the end of the world, seeing that the accompanying promise was of equal extent?'”

His question provoked the now infamous response from John Collett Ryland, “”Young man, sit down; when God is pleased to convert the heathen world, He will do it without your help or mine”. 

Sadly, those words express a not uncommon attitude towards world mission – of either complete indifference, or complete inactivity, wrapped up in theological excuses. Thankfully, William Carey was not to be deterred, but is a striking example of someone with Christ-like zeal for the lost having to strike out on his own for the sake of the gospel, despite, not because of, the Church. 

At times, the Church has seemed to be unable to cope with such indefatigable zeal and single-minded determination, and so ‘parachurch’ mission agencies and organisations have come into being. Thus, once again, mission has been divorced from the Church, whereas biblically, mission is the work of the Church. The consequence of such a divorce is that inevitably it leads to an approach to evangelism – seeking to win people for Christ – that lacks or is indifferent to ecclesiology. Undoubtedly, the fault for this most often lies with the Church rather than mission-minded zealous individuals. However, a far more healthy and biblical approach to world mission is that it is the Church’s mission to reach the world for Christ. 

Thus Acts 1:8 ought to find natural expression for a local Anglican Church in a commitment to its immediate mission field, namely its parish, but moving every further outwards, a commitment to the Anglican deanery, diocese and national Church. That is, every local evangelical Anglican church ought to self-consciously be committed to the spread of the gospel and the renewal and revival of the Church, at every level. 

Excerpted from Gospel-Driven Anglicanism, pages 110-111 by the Revd Dr Mark Pickles, 2017.