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Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

By Chris Sugden

Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post.

Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South Africa, joined Anglican Mainstream in 2013 to further its work amongst Orthodox Anglicans in the UK.  

The charity was founded in 2004 as part of an international response to re-state traditional understandings of marriage, the family and human sexuality.  The move came following attempts to appoint a gay candidate, Jeffrey John to the See of Reading, and the appointment of gay-partnered Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, USA in 2003. 

Following a sabbatical, Mr Symes plans to spend more time writing in the area of theology and culture, supporting the development of the Anglican Network in Europe, and as the Associate Minister of Christ Church, Botley, an AMiE-linked (Anglican Mission in Europe) church in Oxford.

Commenting on Mr Symes’ ministry with Anglican Mainstream, the charity’s Chairman, Canon Dr Chris Sugden said: “The trustees are deeply grateful to Andrew for his insightful and strategic leadership over nearly a decade.

“His greatest achievements in office have been his prophetic analysis of the ideological and cultural issues underlying secularism and specifically, the sex and gender revolution in the West.  He has shown consistently how this is influencing the forces in the C of E to seek to change its doctrine of marriage without due reference to the Bible, the C of E’s constitution, or the beliefs of the majority of its members.

“For years, Andrew has predicted where the Living In Love & Faith project is now leading the C of E to a binary choice of faithfulness to scripture – and the Universal Church’s understanding of marriage – or, culturally appeasing moves towards gay marriage, which will cause division within the C of E, and further splits within the Anglican Communion.  We thank Andrew for his faithful leadership, and wish him, and his wife Camilla, every blessing on their future ministries.”

Mr Symes has, in recent times, experienced challenges to his health. It is hoped that his new phase of ministry will enable him to spend more time with his local church, and on new writing and teaching projects.

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