The Evangelical Alliance (EA) is a national evangelical alliance, member of the World Evangelical Alliance. Founded in 1846, the activities of the Evangelical Alliance aim to promote evangelical Christian beliefs in government, media and society. The Evangelical Alliance is based in London, with offices in Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast.
|Founders||Edward Steane, John Henderson of Park, Ridley Haim Herschell and Sir Culling Eardley, 3rd Baronet|
|Type||Evangelical Christian union|
|Registration no.||212325 (England & Wales) SC040576 (Scotland)|
|Origins||London, United Kingdom|
|United Kingdom, worldwide|
|Method||Provides advocacy, advice and information|
|3,300 churches, 700 organisations|
The Evangelical Alliance was founded in 1846 by Ridley Haim Herschell, Rev. Edward Steane – a Baptist pastor from Camberwell – John Henderson and Sir Culling Eardley, 3rd Baronet. Eardley became the organisation's first chairperson, leading the Alliance in its various campaigns for religious freedom; in 1852, Eardley campaigned on behalf of the Tuscan prisoners of conscience Francesco Madiai and Rosa Madiai, who had been imprisoned for their Protestant faith.
The Evangelical Alliance works across 79 different denominations of Christianity, 750 organisations, and has 3,300 member churches.
The Evangelical Alliance's CEO is Gavin Calver. Peter Lynas is the UK Director, with Fred Drummond acting as Director of Scotland and Siân Rees as Director of Wales. A number of Members of Parliament are associated with the Evangelical Alliance: Conservative MP and former Conservative Party leadership candidate Stephen Crabb is associated with the Alliance through Gweini (The Council of the Christian Voluntary Sector in Wales); Conservative MP Stuart Anderson is associated with the Alliance through the Freedom Church; and Conservative MP for Congleton Fiona Bruce is a member of the Evangelical Alliance. Member organisations include Tearfund, an organisation originally established by the Alliance.
The Evangelical Alliance has historically supported ecumenism – the principle of unity between different church doctrines – with the Roman Catholic Church, an approach criticised by some as in direct contradiction to the beliefs of the Evangelical Alliance's founders. In 2019, the Alliance supported the 'Thy Kingdom Come' initiative – an event organised by the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to bring more people to Christianity through a sustained period of prayer from the dates of the Feast of the Ascension to Pentecost annually.
According to a 2016 Private Eye report, the Evangelical Alliance is openly opposed to homosexuality and same-sex relationships, preaching sexual abstinence for those with same-sex attractions, with membership for openly lesbian and gay people open only to those who "come to see the need to be transformed" from their same-sex attraction.
However the Evangelical Alliance's website distinguishes between same-sex attraction and same-sex sexual relations, rejecting only the latter: "We encourage evangelical congregations to welcome and accept sexually active lesbians and gay men. However, they should do so in the expectation that they, like all of us who are living outside God’s purposes, will come in due course to see the need to be transformed and live in accordance with biblical revelation and orthodox church teaching. We urge gentleness, patience and ongoing pastoral care during this process and after a person renounces same-sex sexual relations."
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- "About us". Eauk.org. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
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- Rosemary Chadwick, ‘Steane, Edward (1798–1882)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 30 July 2014
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- Anderson, John Shaw (1971). Heroes of the Faith in Italy. Illinois: Bible Truth Publishers. p. 115. ASIN B000Z2ST2Y.
- Madiai, Francesco; Madiai, Rosa (12 November 2011). Letters Of The Madiai: And Visits To Their Prisons By The Misses Senhouse. Charleston: Nabu Press. p. 180. ISBN 9781271735235.
- "Gavin Calver announced as new CEO of the Evangelical Alliance". eauk.org. Evangelical Alliance. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
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- "Crabb mentality (HP Sauce)". Private Eye. No. 1422. Pressdram Ltd. 8 July 2016. p. 9.
- Cook, Chris (16 February 2010). "Christian Tories rewrite party doctrine". ft.com. The Financial Times. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Matthew Frost, Tearfund's Chief Executive. "History". Tearfund. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
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- "Gavin shares why we're so passionate about joining with Thy Kingdom Come". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- "Biblical and pastoral responses to homosexuality: A resource for church leaders". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
- Massie, James William (1847), The Evangelical Alliance, Its Origin and Development.
- De Kewer Williams, John. The Basis of the Evangelical Alliance (1847).
- Thompson, Todd. "The Evangelical Alliance, Religious Liberty, and the Evangelical Conscience in Nineteenth-Century Britain," Journal of Religious History (2009), 33#1, pp. 49–65.