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Church of England Faces Possible Split over Homosexuality

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The Church of England is looking at a possible split over issues including homosexuality and the church moving further away from Bible.

The split may not be immediate, but if the church continues its liberal stance, changes are expected to be made, according to a recent report from The Telegraph.

The creation of a new "shadow synod" would vow to uphold tradition. Representatives from about a dozen congregations plan to meet in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week to develop a possible alternative church in England.

The new alliance is said to be viewed as a "church within a church," but the founders have not ruled out full separation.

The Church of England is expected to offer blessing-style services for same-sex unions in next few months.

Differences over sexuality have already caused a major split in the 80 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion and formal splits in the U.S. and Canada after the ordination of openly homosexual bishops.

Congregations from Rochester, Canterbury, and Chichester are to become founding members of the new group, which does not yet have a name.

They claim the Church of England's leadership is "watering down" centuries-old teaching, not only on sexuality, but many other core beliefs that include the authority of the Bible.

The group's mission is to create new "Anglican" congregations in England, with or without the blessing of the church's hierarchy.

They also may decide to withhold money from the offering plates and instead put funds toward their own "missionary" plans.

"If senior leaders of the Church of England water down the teaching of the Church of England on key issues like homosexuality then this synod could easily evolve into a new Anglican jurisdiction in England," Rev. Peter Sanlon said.

"My overriding concern is to see the mission of the Church of England effectively discharged: the partnerships to do that are not possible between churches which promote ambiguity about teaching on sexuality," he added.

Some evangelicals also believe that the church is moving away from its Christian foundation, especially after York Minister introduced a Zen Buddhist meditation group.

Sanlon said he would not abruptly leave the church, but wants the church to preach what it should according to the Bible.

"Clergy like me are not going to just leave the Church of England. However, we need new structures to establish new churches to fulfill the mission that the Church of England ought to be discharging."

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