In our Church website, I found news about the Free Church of England in South Africa making an approach to the ACC diocese down there.
The Free Church of England, a Continuing Anglican body with about 3,000 members in the Free State Province of the Republic of South Africa, has signified its intention to come into the ACC.
I was quite surprised and wrote to my Bishop asking whether the Free Church of England established in our country was also approaching the ACC, since it is in dialogue with the Nordic Catholic Church and Bishop Roald Flemestad (cf. the Free Church of England website under 22 April 2013). Bishop Mead replied saying that the Free Church of England in South Africa is a different body to the Church of the same name in the UK. He said he was not sure if they have had links but that he thought they just share a name. It would be the safest thing to say that this concerns South Africa and not England.
The Free Church of England in the UK has always been a movement of reaction against the influence of Anglo-Catholicism. Recently, it has developed a more Orthodox or “undivided church” theology and openness to a more Catholic and sacramental perspective. Some of the more Protestant-minded of the FCC’s members split away, but I am unaware of any church body they may have founded. The move of the FCC towards the Union Of Scranton and the Nordic Catholic Church is significant.
There is an article in the South African ACC website. We should pray for the conclusion of this move towards union of the two Churches. This is good news indeed.