GAFCON’s Europe Branch to Consecrate 4 Bishops

The Rev. Lee McMunn, left, and the Rev. Tim Davies, right, have been named bishops in the Anglican Network in Europe. They are flanking the Rt. Rev. Andy Lines, under whom they will serve. | Anglican Mission in England photo

By Mark Michael

The Anglican Network in Europe, a GAFCON-affiliated church body, announced plans to consecrate four assistant bishops at a service in a Vineyard church in Hull, England on October 21. Tim Davies and Lee McMunn, plus two bishops who will soon be named, will serve under the Rt. Rev. Andy Lines, who since 2017 has led the group’s 30 conservative evangelical congregations in the British Isles and continental Europe.

Davies and McMunn, who both lead network congregations in Yorkshire, were confirmed by the network’s synod in June. They will assist Lines within the Anglican Mission in England, the larger of the network’s two convocations. Two further bishops will serve in the Anglican Convocation Europe, a group of seven churches in Scotland, Wales, Southwestern England, Germany, and Portugal.

GAFCON, founded in 2008 as the Global Anglican Future Conference, says it “works to guard and proclaim the unchanging, transforming gospel through biblically faithful preaching and teaching.”

Many large Anglican provinces in the Global South that continue to participate in the Canterbury-based Instruments of Communion are part of GAFCON, but the body has also set up church structures for conservative congregations and dioceses within the territory served by progressive Anglican provinces in the Global North. These GAFCON structures, which are not recognized by Canterbury as part of the Anglican Communion, include the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Anglican Network in Europe, and the newly launched Diocese of the Southern Cross in Australia.

GAFCON’s chair, Nigerian archbishop Ben Kwashi said, “The election and appointment of these servants of Christ is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit in the mission. We are grateful and humbled that the Lord will choose Lee and Tim, with their families, to serve, along with other servants in mission, to be faithful dispensers of the Word, problem solvers, Bible teachers, and servants of the sacred ministries of the Church.”

Since its founding two years ago, the Anglican Network in Europe said it has “grown, with new congregations and mission initiatives being formed in Wales, Scotland, continental Europe and England. Individuals and families have found faith in Christ, and mature believers have found a hope and a home in historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional Anglicanism.

“The clergy have also found proper support and encouragement, accountability and oversight from a highly relational model of episcopacy which includes opening the Bible and praying with the bishop week by week.

“In order to maintain this relational episcopacy and provide for continuing growth, both AMiE and ACE will have two additional bishops who will serve the wider convocation in addition to their local pastoral responsibilities.”

The Anglican Mission in England is also strongly focused on church planting. In June, it announced its “10:20 Planting Plan,” which has a goal of planting ten new congregations across England by the end of 2025 and an additional twenty by the end of 2030. The plan lists fifty communities where church leaders believe new churches can be started. The group’s website lists recently launched plants in Manchester and Colchester.

Though the network was only founded in 2020, Lines has been ministering to congregations that broke away from the Church of England and the Episcopal Church of Scotland since 2017, when he was consecrated by the Anglican Church in North America as a missionary bishop to Europe. ACNA’s archbishop, Foley Beach, served as Lines’ chief consecrator, and will assist him in the service of consecration for Davies and McMunn in October.

Archbishop Justin Welby firmly opposed Lines’ consecration, stating in a pastoral letter: “The idea of a ‘missionary bishop’ who was not a Church of England appointment, would be a cross-border intervention and, in the absence of a Royal Mandate, would carry no weight in the Church of England. Historically, there has been resistance to cross-border interventions and ordinations from the earliest years of the universal Church’s existence.”

Davies grew up in East Africa, the son of an Anglican missionary. He was ordained in the Anglican Church of Kenya’s Diocese of Kitui in 2013, and was sent to pastor a church plant in Sheffield, England which had originally been founded by an evangelical Church of England parish, Christ Church Fulwood. He continues to lead the same congregation, which is now known as Christ Church Central.

McMunn was ordained as a priest of the Church of England in 2005, and served parishes in the Diocese of York for 12 years. In 2017, under the auspices of the Anglican Mission in England, he planted Trinity Church Scarborough. He is the author of evangelism resources, including The Identity Course and Essentials.

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