Dean Paul Elected as Gafcon General Secretary

In November 2023, the Global Anglican (Gafcon) Primates, with the consent of our Vestry, elected Dean Paul Donison to be the new General Secretary of Gafcon. As he continues to faithfully serve as our Rector and Dean, he will help to lead Gafcon's global staff and leaders. Please review the following FAQ for more information about this new role.
November 14, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gafcon?

Gafcon (the Global Anglican Futures Conference) is a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to proclaim the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the lost. Guarding the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), this missional and reformational movement is led by a Primates’ Council comprised of the senior Archbishop of each national or regional member Province. Beginning in 2008 a world-wide conference has been convened every 5 years for the purpose of encouraging and equipping biblical orthodox Anglican bishops, clergy, and laity in mission, and to discerning together what the Spirit is saying to the churches in our day (Revelation 2-3). Gafcon represents approximately 85% of the 85 million Anglicans worldwide.

What is the General Secretary’s role?

The Gafcon General Secretary leads the global staff and regional leaders in implementing the vision and decisions of the Primates’ Council, chaired by Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Rwanda). Whether communicating stories from the mission field, planning conferences, connecting regions, fundraising, administering global initiatives, or encouraging those persecuted for biblical faith, the General Secretary is responsible for delegating and directing a worldwide network of leaders.

Is it manageable for Dean Paul to serve as both Rector/Dean and General Secretary?

Yes, because the priorities are clear. The General Secretary (Dean Paul), the Chairman (Archbishop Mbanda), our own ACNA Primate (Archbishop Foley Beach), and our Vestry all share the conviction that Christ Church Cathedral Plano will remain Dean Paul’s primary ecclesiastical responsibility. Gafcon comes second, and, as such, Dean Paul has refused to receive additional remuneration for his role as General Secretary. It is common within the Anglican world for church leaders to take on additional unpaid roles that serve the broader church. For example, our own Archbishop Foley serves as the Primate of an entire Province, the Bishop of a Diocese, and until recently served as well as Chairman of Gafcon. With much prayer, wise delegation, and careful planning we believe this is manageable and life giving; but the emphasis on prayer support from the congregation cannot be overstated.

How will Dean Paul’s new role benefit the life and ministry of Christ Church?

From its founding, Christ Church has always been committed to partnering with and learning from the example of other faithful Anglicans from around the world as we go about the work of proclaiming Christ in our own community. Dean Paul’s new role as General Secretary of Gafcon will ensure that we continue to support and learn from Anglican brothers and sisters around the world, and that our participation in global relationships and shared ministry will grow even stronger.

How much will this role take Dean Paul away?

Some global travel will be required, but the commitment is to have Dean Paul home and in the pulpit most Sundays. The Cathedral is blessed with gifted and faithful clergy and staff, and in our digital age the Dean can continue to lead his team effectively even when on global assignment.

Explain the request that Dean Paul be made a bishop?

The Primates’ Council unanimously believes that this is an episcopal role for the guarding and furtherance of the mission of the Church. Dean Paul follows two Archbishops who previously held this post, and the Primates’ believe that being consecrated a bishop is vitally connected to this call and the fulfillment of the mandate that Gafcon has put before him.

Following good Anglican order, Archbishop Mbanda and Archbishop Beach are discerning the best way to carry out the request from the Global Primates. As decisions are made we will be sharing more details.

If the ACNA agrees to make Dean Paul a bishop, will he become “our Bishop” here at the Cathedral?

No. Archbishop Foley will continue to be our Diocesan Bishop, and therefore be the chief shepherd over all the congregations, clergy, and people of our diocese. If consecrated as a bishop, Dean Paul would continue to serve as Rector and Dean under the authority and oversight of our Diocesan Bishop, Archbishop Foley.

How can we pray for Dean Paul in his new role as General Secretary?

This is the Gafcon prayer that the Primates commend to all members of our global family for regular petition:

Eternal God and gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ died for our redemption; commissioned His disciples to preach the good news; and sent the indwelling Holy Spirit in every generation to embrace and proclaim salvation in Christ alone: Arise and defend your Church, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Shine the light of your Holy Word upon hearts darkened by error and strengthen the work of Gafcon so that the Anglican Communion throughout the world proclaims Christ faithfully to the nations, that captives may be set free, the straying rescued, and the confused restored. Bind your children together in truth, love, unity and courage, that we, with all your saints, may inherit your eternal kingdom, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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