GAFCON has just launched AMIE (or the Anglican Mission in England) a self styled Anglican organisation which intends to "reconvert England" by planting churches and offering its own bishops, largely drawn from Kenya, to offer "episcopal oversight" to disaffected conservative churches. I hardly know what grounds and conservative churches could have to feel disaffected given the extreme caution, one might almost say paranoia, the Church of England seems to exercise with regard to the issue that primarily preoccupies GAFCONites, and I have not noticed AMIE being welcomed with cries of joy from many quarters, including many which are evangelical and conservative. Fulcrum, for example, which describes itself as wishing to "renew the evangelical centre" and encompasses a fair range of views and perspectives, but could never be described as liberal, has published a statement which is well worth reading, and expresses grave concerns.
The GAFCON statement is in itself a cause for concern. It says that AMIE has a steering committee and a panel of bishops and will "provide oversight in collaboration with senior clergy" (whom it doesn't name in the statement but you will guess the usual suspects) and that churches will be "invited to join or affiliate with it." It also says that ,
"The society has been launched after more than four years of discussions with senior Anglican leaders in England. "
Really? Senior Anglican leaders? Like the Archbishops of York and Canterbury? I don't think so, or if so that one has been kept very quiet. So -does this present the blusterings of a group who will find scant sympathy in Britain, or the start of a real mutiny in the ranks? As Church Mouse observes (how we will miss him by the way) one question that needs to be answered is how will Rowan Williams respond?