Promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ by reforming the Church of England

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What is Reform?

[The text of the original leaflet]

Introduction

For some years groups of mainstream evangelicals have met to discuss issues in the church and nation. These issues include the authority and sufficiency of Scripture; the uniqueness and finality of Christ; the priority of the local church; the complementarity of men and women.

Representatives of these various groups, all parochial clergy, met together on 22 February 1993 to pray, to discuss and to consider appropriate action.

As Christians first, Evangelicals second and Anglicans third, they would all affirm the Anglican faith as expressed in its historic formularies. They committed themselves to unite for action under the authority of Scripture as God's Word written, as expressed in the Chicago Statement (to be found in "God Has Spoken", J I Packer, Hodder & Stoughton).

Out of that meeting was started Reform.

Need for change

Historic Anglican theology is committed to continuous Reformation of the church. We are committed to the reform of ourselves, our congregation and our world by the gospel.

We are thankful for the Christian heritage which God has given us in the UK.

  • The majority in our nation still "identifying" with the Christian faith
  • The resources and property of our national church given for gospel purposes
  • The relative freedom to preach the gospel

Reform, however, is urgently needed.

  • The gospel is not shaping and changing our church and our society: our society seems to be shaping and changing us
  • A biblical Christian voice is heard too little in our society
  • The Church of England seems to have lost confidence in the truth and the power of the gospel.
  • Active participation in church life is declining (during the last decade Anglican membership decreased by 15%)
  • National moral and social values are therefore being eroded

To reverse these trends we are committed to change and growth.Such change will be costly.

Aim - Evangelisation of the Nation

To honour Christ as Lord and Saviour through:

  • Prayer and the preaching and teaching of the apostolic gospel
  • The Christ-like living of the people of God
  • The recruiting, training and deploying of ministers of the gospel
  • Church growth and church planting throughout the UK
  • The release of money and people to these ends

Process

We do not believe this change can come from the denominational centre. The local church must take back responsibility for the denomination.

Initiatives must come from local parishes and congregations and are already being taken.

We are committed to:

Pray, study God's Word and take action together.

The reforming Process is to change:

  • Ourselves
  • Our churches
  • Our denomination
  • Our nation
  • Our world

How does it work?

  • By establishing a network of individuals and affiliated churches
  • By encouraging groups and conferences where members can pray, think, study and come to a common mind from which they can take joint action
  • By publishing discussion papers and circulating the membership with ideas, news and developments
  • By facilitating action on our aim

How can I play a part?

Reform is open to all who are willing to pay the price of:

  • Prayer
  • Time
  • Work
  • Thinking
  • Changing
  • Facing criticism for changing
  • £25 (£30 couple or £10 Student/Pensioner) to join the network [nb: original subscription levels]

The [original] Council members:

Donald Allister, Mark Ashton, David Holloway, Tony Baker, Dick Lucas, David Banting, Wallace Benn, Ken Moulder, Mark Burkill, Hugh Palmer, David Fletcher, John Pearce, Jonathan Fletcher, Alex Ross, Miles Thomson, Chris Green, Melvin Tinker, Philip Hacking.

Reform, as a grass roots movement, envisages action coming from members who have thought, studied, discussed and agreed. All these web resources are in keeping with the Reform Covenant but the individual contributors alone are responsible for the content.

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Reform, PO Box 1183, Sheffield S10 3YA. Reform is a registered charity, number 1036194.
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