By Mark Michael
The Rt. Rev. Henry Scriven, former assistant bishop of Pittsburgh, was elected as interim General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion (EFAC) by the organization’s executive committee on July 16.
The organization, founded by British theologian John Stott in 1961, aims “to encourage and develop biblically faithful fellowship, teaching and mission throughout the Anglican world.” It organizes conferences and prepares materials for ministerial training, especially through its Theological Resource Network, which is headed by Dr. Peter Walker, formerly of Trinity School for Ministry.
Scriven, 67, will direct the work of the UK-based organization until a permanent General Secretary is chosen. He replaces the Rev. Richard Crocker, former head of EFAC-USA, whose work with the organization was terminated by the executive committee last month, citing “differences about long term structure and funding.”
The Anglican Communion’s General Secretary, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has praised EFAC’s assistance during his ministry in Nigeria and said of the group in 2017, “The biblical reforming and renewing ministry of EFAC within the Anglican Communion is welcome.”
EFAC had significantly expanded its scope of work during the two years of Crocker’s leadership. An “Anglican School for Leadership Formation” was currently under development and the organization had been actively exploring the development of new chapters in eighteen countries, mostly in the Global South.
There are currently ten chapters, most of them serving a single Anglican province, with membership spanning the Anglican church divisions of the last few decades. EFAC’s newest chapter was established in Uganda last week, just after an EFAC-sponsored conference at Africa Bible University, Kampala. The conference gathered Anglican theologians from five central and east African countries to discuss the challenges of moral leadership in contemporary society.
Scriven will draw on over four decades of ministerial experience as he leads EFAC. A native of the UK, he has served in parish ministry in the UK and at Christ Episcopal Church, Little Rock. He was also worked as a missionary in Argentina through the South American Mission Society and as a church planter in the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church.
He was consecrated as assistant bishop in the Church of England’s Diocese of Europe in 1995, and served in a similar role in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He completed his work in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in late 2008, just months after the diocese voted to leave the Episcopal Church. Returning to England, he served as director of the Church Mission Society’s Latin American division until his retirement in late 2017.