The Church of England is fundamentally divided over the issue of sex and marriage. For too long we’ve been trying to put sugar and salt in the same pot. We need to be honest and say, look, we have actually got two different visions of the future we wish to build (in reality, I suspect we actually have two gospels – it certainly is the case that the question ‘what does repentance and faith look like’ will elicit divergent answers). 

In response to this, the CEEC is working to secure a future for those committed to biblical and Anglican teaching, primarily through a permanent structural settlement – something we often refer to as structural differentiation. 

The pursuit of this differentiation will however take time and in the meantime evangelicals across the country find themselves in ‘limbo’ with regard to a number of issues of conscience.  

Lay people across the country have told us that they’ve lost confidence in their giving. They have told us that they don’t feel they can continue to give to their diocese, in good conscience, when it might be used to support a bishop and/or churches that have walked away from a biblical understanding of sex and marriage and have commended/are using Prayers of Love and Faith. 

The idea behind the Ephesian Fund is to enable people to continue to give joyfully and in good conscience by ensuring that their money is going to be spent on gospel purposes.  

As individuals, people can use the Ephesian Fund to give to their local church in a way that says ‘I support orthodox ministry’. 

It also means that churches can pay their share to the diocese through the Ephesian Fund and be assured that their money has been allocated to orthodox churches like theirs. This is particularly important in dioceses where there is a real concern about the liberal inclination of bishops and an agenda to drive the Prayers of Love and Faith forwards. 

Five reasons to give through the Ephesian Fund (as an individual and as a parish) 

 Here are five reasons for PCCs (regardless of their size) to consider paying their parish share through the Ephesian Fund.  

 1. It enables all parish share giving to be used solely to support orthodox churches and clergy. 

2. It enables PCCs that would like to pay their parish share, to ‘have a voice’ and express their concern in their diocese and beyond.

3. It allows orthodox lay people to have a voice – when they often feel that they don’t.

4.  If you have an orthodox diocesan bishop, it allows you to support them but express publicly the concern you feel.

5. If your church is a net financial receiver, and you are ’linked’ as a recipient of the Ephesian Fund to other evangelical churches in your diocese, you might be in a stronger position in the event of a vacancy, to resist being joined with liberal parishes.