What is the Evangelical Centre?
fulcrum believes that it is in the Gospel we find the liberating truth about what it means to be truly human in relationship with God and one another. We are therefore dedicated to calling all people to recognise Jesus Christ as Lord, who has opened the way to salvation through his cross and resurrection.
We are committed to:
- proclaiming the Good News
- nurturing new believers
- responding to human need through loving service
- transforming unjust structures in society
- safeguarding the integrity of creation
fulcrum affirms the intrinsic authority and trustworthiness of the Bible, given by God, as the ultimate rule for Christian faith and conduct and the supreme authority by which the church should judge itself, its thinking, and its traditions.
We recognise the:
- contribution of the historic church to biblical interpretation
- positive fruit of contemporary biblical scholarship
- insights from the worldwide church and marginalized people
fulcrum is committed to the renewal of Anglicanism at local, national and international levels.
We are open to the:
- leadership of the Spirit in directing the church
- gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church
- importance of the sacraments, together with preaching, in creative liturgy
- ordination of women to the three historic orders of the church
- positive contribution made by other Anglican traditions
- ecumenical partnership with other churches to further the Gospel
- ongoing conversations between Anglicans and people of other faiths
The above commitments take shape in particular ways in the following three key areas: i) the inter-relationship of mission and Christian unity; ii) the nature and shape of the church; and iii) the inter-relationship of theology and ethics.
Mission & Unity
- The foundation of our unity in the Body of Christ is that we are all gathered into communion with God and each other through the sending of the Son in the power of the Spirit
- As those gathered by the mission of God to dwell in communion with God we are also sent, as participants in God's on-going mission to the whole created order, to bear witness, in word and deed, both individually and corporately, to the Good News that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again. In this Good News we find the liberating and loving truth about every aspect of what it means to be part of this good, but fallen and now redeemed creation. The Anglican Consultative Council's 'Five Marks of Mission' is a key statement defining and setting an agenda for what such participation in God's on-going mission looks like.
- To work for Christian unity is thus a mission imperative as it is part of the evangelical witness of the body of Christ. In practice this will necessarily involve ecumenical partnerships for strategic missionary engagement.
As those who are gathered into communion with God and each other we are called:
- To membership of the Church as the community of the baptised. Such gathering necessarily takes particular and historic forms; thus, we seek to undertake full and constructive participation in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, enriching the quality of discourse in the life of this particular church as a contribution to the vibrancy of the universal Church.
- To affirm as God-given the pluriformity of the global Christian community. Thus, we will work for a reconciled diversity and understanding between the Churches. This is increasingly important in a context where the Christian Church in the northern hemisphere is in recession, Churches of the economic south are vibrant, growing and can rightly claim to be the largest and most representative form of contemporary Christianity, and yet relationships between north and south are strained and filled with misunderstanding.
- To seek ways of being Church that engage prophetically with contemporary culture and that take account of the unique nature of the Church - the way it is simultaneously local and catholic, particular and universal. One implication of this is the need to maintain and enhance links with the Church in the southern hemisphere, supporting and celebrating its pioneering mission, particularly in places where the name of Jesus is never (or rarely) heard.
- Implement patterns and structures of leadership that are transparent, accountable and focus on service and not domination, and develop systems of governance that do not ferment party strife. Within the Anglican Church this means being committed to and working with an episcopally led and synodically governed church.
- Both individually and corporately, to live Spirit-empowered, Christ-shaped lives marked by worship and prayer, loving service to others, a just generosity, and a commitment to grow in knowledge of God's Word and Spirit, primarily through study of the Scriptures.
- To build up and release all the saints so that each person's gift and call can contribute to the full witness of the Body of Christ. This necessitates affirming and supporting the laity both in their vocations and in their on-going discipleship and Christian formation.
- To develop an appreciation of the importance of both word and sacrament to the on-going life and faithful witness of the Church. Within the Anglican Church this means deepened appreciation of liturgies, the right administration of the Sacraments and faithful preaching of God's word.
Theology & Ethics
As participants in God's on-going mission, we are sent:
- To affirm that Jesus is the only Saviour and that it is on his death and resurrection that the eternal hope of all creation rests. Enabling others, through word and deed, to hear the invitation to enjoy communion with God through Jesus Christ is central to the mandate of the Church. Ensuring that all humans are free to hear this invitation, without undue pressure, and are able to respond without fear or punishment, is a responsibility upon all Christians everywhere.
- To be always open to the Holy Spirit as comforter and challenger, the dynamic transforming, life bringing presence of God in creation. Central to the faithful witness of the Church is enabling others to receive the life of the new creation that the Spirit brings, whether it be in the formation of just and peaceable economic and political structures, or in the healing and renewal of persons and relationships.
- To affirm that Christian ethics grows from a faithful response to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is shaped by the history of God sending His People to be a holy and righteous witness to the nations so that others might know how God's salvation is demonstrated in national life, community and family relationships. In the much-contested area of sexual ethics this means that the proper context for sexual expression is the union of a man and a woman in marriage. We will participate in debates on issues in sexual ethics arising today in the life of the Church and we identify as key references the CofE document Issues in Human Sexuality and Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and True Union (a document shared with the Anglican Primates' Meeting, Brazil 2003).