What is AMiE?
Not the name of a person, but an organisation that is going to help evangelicals in the Church of England.
For about 10 years now, I have been going to conferences looking at how to be evangelical in the Church of England. Above and beyond fellowship and Bible teaching, for me, many of those conferences never really delivered the goods.
However, in June 2008, came a meeting of Anglican Evangelicals in Jerusalem (known as Global Anglican Futures Conference). Gathering with huge representation from the southern hemisphere, they represented millions of worldwide Anglicans and called the Anglican Church back to orthodox Bible believing faith. They did so led by Bishops and Archbishops, as well as Ministers and Lay People from around the world. And they did it with passion and missionary zeal! It reminds us that Anglicanism extends far beyond our own shores and that is a very good thing.
Perhaps you missed it happening; but it did!
This is what they declared:
'We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.' (The Jerusalem Declaration, an extract).
From this great movement has come the organisation the Anglican Mission in England, known as AMiE. As a young Anglican minister this is a game changer for me. I rejoice in being Anglican- I was raised in this tradition and have spent most of my Christian life in this tradition. But the Church of England for many people of my age has been characterised by lacking missionary zeal and increasingly letting the Bible slip from its hands. Just consider that we are being invited to have 'good disagreement' now on issues of sexuality that the Church should be calling us to agree on from Scripture, as people following Jesus.
AMiE is a society that wants to stay in the Church of England. It most definitely is not about leaving through joining. But it provides a place for people who want to call the Church back to faithfulness, without themselves being pushed to the edges or sadly, as in some cases, pushed out for traditional Biblical belief. In their own words:
'The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in areas covered by the Church of England (principally in England, but also in other parts of Europe) by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures.
AMiE came into being as a result of GAFCON and is one of a number of agencies that relates to GAFCON through the FCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) UK and Ireland. You can read more about the history of AMiE by clicking here.
A variety of Anglican churches are part of AMiE. Some churches are outside the structures of the Church of England. Others remain within the denomination but are experiencing tensions, whilst others have joined to support them.'
St John's PCC voted to join AMiE this year and I am grateful to God for this. While we ourselves find ourselves blessed in many ways as a parish, we want to stand together with those who are not so fortunate and experience difficulties for being evangelicals in the denomination.
We also have at our fingertips a great resource, for learning to be faithful Christians who are Anglican and to reach out to our world with true Anglican missionary zeal.
Perhaps you would be encouraged by finding out more about AMiE or to become an individual member, which you can do? You can find out more by clicking on this link.