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New Church of England revolt warning

Tue 25 Jul 2017
By Alex Williams

The former chaplain to the Queen is leading nearly two dozen prominent Anglicans in warning of a revolt over the Church of England's stance on marriage.

The Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden has joined 22 other conservative figures in signing a letter which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

It said: "There are now effectively two expressions of Anglicanism in this country. One has capitulated to secular values, and one continues to hold the faith 'once delivered to the saints'".

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The letter comes after the Church of England's governing body in February rejected a report which that only a man and a woman should marry in church.

It claimed clergy holding traditional views are being "marginalised" and warns of an Anglican split similar to one seen in North America.

Former members of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada formed the Anglican Church in North America in 2009, in response to fears of their former church taking an increasing liberal direction.

Dr Ashenden told the Telegraph: "We are saying if you don't draw a halt at this point the same thing will happen here and there will be a significant number who will secede and reconstitute an Anglican church to keep faith with authentic Anglican Christianity."

Other signatories of the letter include former Bishop of Rochester the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali and CEO of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams.

The letter tells the Church of England to brace for a "revolt in the form of an independence movement" unless there is a change of direction.

A Church of England spokesman was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: "As with any debating chamber, Synod often debates controversial issues and members can sometimes disagree strongly with each other.

"That is the nature of debate. If there is an issue the Chair will intervene. The expectation is that Synod members are courteous at all times both to each other and invited guests."

Dr Ashenden resigned in January this year after publicly criticising St Mary's Episcopal in Glasgow for allowing the Quran to be read during a service.

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