Christian Today Laments ‘End of the Anglican Communion’

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 15: Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby tours the refurbishments and unveils a foundation stone during a service at Holy Trinity Cathedral on August 15, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Archbishop, and his wife Caroline, are visiting New Zealand as part of a commitment to …
Fiona Goodall/Getty

The UK-based online journal Christian Today wondered aloud Monday whether Lambeth 2022 might signal “the end of the Anglican Communion.”

The provocative article written by contributing editor Rev. David Baker underscores the growing disunion among different Anglican provinces stemming primarily from different approaches to sexual morality, ranging from strict adherence to biblical teaching to a revisionist, secular-friendly stance toward sex and gender.

The Lambeth Conference 2022, which concluded Sunday, was the latest in a series of such meetings, which take place once a decade. The Conference provides a venue for joint consultation among Anglican leaders on diverse issues including questions of Anglican unity and identity.

In its Sunday report on the Conference, the BBC asserted Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured) had united the bishops present with “compromise on sexuality,” effectively dodging “the risk even of division or the fracturing of the communion that represents more than 80 million people worldwide.”

Yet this apparent union may be more fragile than it appears, Rev. Baker warns.

In his article, Baker writes that Archbishop Welby “seems to have lost the plot on sexuality” and seeks to somehow hold together “different Anglican churches holding diametrically opposing positions on the issue” without taking any clear position.

Only a few of the 46 churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion perform or bless same-sex marriages, and only a small minority allow gay clergy, but they include notable churches such as Wales, Scotland, and the U.S. Episcopal Church.

For their part, the archbishops of Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda boycotted Lambeth 2022 over this very issue, insisting that any “recognition of homosexual relations” constituted biblical revisionism.

Easter morning service at Canterbury Cathedral held by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, United Kingdom on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Stuart Brock/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

While he obviously could not personally “expel whole national groups” from the Anglican Communion, he could have at least exercised real leadership by “enforcing some sort of discipline,” Baker writes.

In a key address, Welby did affirm the enduring validity of the 1998 resolution of the Lambeth Conference in relation to sexuality, which affirmed that same-sex marriage was wrong and homosexual practices incompatible with Sacred Scripture. But this nod to tradition “was a classic Anglican fudge,” Baker remarks, “simply stating the facts, but not necessarily supporting them, nor indeed opposing them.”

“Unity at all costs” is an unworthy goal, Baker insists, since unity “based on fudge and evasion is no unity at all.”

True unity “comes from being united in the truth of Scripture under the authority of Scripture,” he declares.


Baker does find some comfort in the leadership exercised by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), which he finds sadly lacking in the Church of England.

“We find that if there is no authentic repentance by the revisionist provinces, then we will sadly accept a state of ‘impaired communion’ with them,” the GSFA stated soberly in a press release, which will involve “visible differentiation” from non-orthodox provinces.

To Baker, this “does mean the end of the Anglican Communion – at least as it was once, and is supposed to be.”


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