GAFCON (The Global Anglican Future Conference) has posted a note on their website claiming that over 1000 people have signed on for the conference. The first paragraph of that notice reads,"Over 1000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, have registered for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem at the close of the online registration process. They include 280 bishops, almost all accompanied by their wives. Final attendance figures will depend on smooth processing of requested visas, and other factors."
Note the final sentence: "Final attendance figures will depend on smooth processing of requested visas, and other factors."
Interestingly there is no mention in this latest rendition of the GAFCON song of the meeting in Jordan of an "important Consultation in Jordan from 17-22 June (which) will include the conference leadership, theological resource group, those bishops serving in majority Islamic settings and other key leaders." (This from an earlier press release from the GAFCON leadership meeting in London.)
The processing of requested visas might be more difficult than imagined. Jordan might not be too interested in having a consultation of religious leaders highly critical of Islam. Israel might find 1000 Anglicans and fellow-travelers who come in part with an agenda that is difficult for the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem at best a bother, at worse a politically charged problem.
And then, what about "other factors?" Is this a signal that registration has been made by individuals who may not have yet secured funds to attend, or shortfall of outside funding?
Who knows? But it is interesting that the number 1000 consists of registrations some of which are not yet secure.
We are now one month from the date of the Conference.
My bet is that Jordan will become a rump meeting held, if at all, in Jerusalem just prior to the larger Conference, billed as a pilgrimage (but we know better), and that there is some possibility that the Conference will be considerably smaller than predicted.
We shall see.