Inclusive church campaign to surround church leaders with prayer
The leaders of the Anglican Church who meet next week to discuss the differences of opinion surrounding homosexuality in the church will be literally surrounded by prayer as a network of over 5000 Anglicans organizes a vigil in churches around Lambeth Palace on 15th October.
At 11 am, grassroots church-goers will assemble at the parish churches of St Matthewís Westminster, St Johnís Waterloo and St Peterís Lambeth - the three parishes that immediately surround Lambeth Palace - to pray for the future of the church.
The vigil has been organised by Inclusivechurch.net.
"The meeting at Lambeth Palace of Anglican Church leaders from around the world to discuss the future direction of the Anglican Communion will be a pivotal meeting for our Church," says Giles Fraser, chair of Inclusivechurch.net.
"We are praying that justice will prevail and that the historic, tolerant spirit of the Church of England, which is its genius, will grow, not diminish."
"People want an inclusive church," says Ann Kiem, a laywoman from All Saints Church, Fulham who will be at the vigil.
"I do not want to belong to an organization that excludes people on any grounds. This is what, I believe, the vast majority of people in the Church of England think too."
"Grassroots members of the Church of England are now speaking loud and clear to Anglican leaders," says April Alexander, the lay chair of Southwark Diocesan Synod, another supporter.
"We believe that it is appalling that some parts of our Church are threatening schism over issues like homosexuality. When secondary issues come to dominate over the churchís core beliefs about the loving-kindness of God, something very serious has gone wrong."
Inclusivechurch.net is a grassroots network of Anglicans with a campaigning edge, open to anyone who shares the vision of an inclusive church.
It began as a group of friends from Southwark, London and Oxford who were increasingly worried about the future direction of the Church of England.
Others similarly concerned over recent injustices in the church asked if they could join, including individuals from the evangelical wing of the Church.
It snowballed very quickly: over 5000 people have now registered their support. A number of organizations including LGCM, Changing Attitudes, Affirming Catholicism, MCU, GRAS and the Open Synod group are involved.
In August 2003 a petition was launched on the website Inclusivechurch.net. It contains a Statement of Belief written by a group of Oxford theologians.
The statement expresses the strong conviction that the Church is for all people regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. It calls on the Church to act justly, particularly in the appointment of clergy and bishops regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation.
Visitors to the website, be they individuals, PCCs (Parochial Church Councils) or other organizations, are invited to register their support.