Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Covenant news

This week, stories about the Windsor proposal for an Anglican Covenant resurfaced:

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop backs two-track Church to heal divisions
Ruth Gledhill That Petre ‘covenant’ story
Living Church Steve Waring Anglican Covenant Unlikely in Less than Five Years

Jim Naughton had this comment.

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MerseymikeJ. C. FisherKurtPrior AelredDave Recent comment authors
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Göran Koch-Swahne

“A covenant would set out the ‘house rules” Oh, this dysfunctional family imagery! “a well-written covenant would clarify the identity and mission of the churches of ‘or in association with’ the Anglican Communion” The problem is not a want of “covenants”. There is the Bible in various versions, short and long; there are the XXXIX Articles; a host of Books of Common Prayer; the Lambeth-Chicago Quadrilateral, and so on and so forth. The trouble comes when differing and incompatible interpretations held by different strands within the Anglican churches confront each other – or, rather, when anachronistic and allegoric late-modern interpretations… Read more »


Well, I actually agree with Göran on one point! That suitable covenants exist. These have the welcome advantage of historical authority and distance from the current problems. In particular I think a mildly recontextualized form of the thirty-nine articles might well do the trick to sort out inter-Anglican relationships. If I were a non-liberal Primate I would be thinking that the draft covenant seems much too relative – basing authority in certain individuals and councils rather than Christ’s teachings and Holy Scripture; and aiming for ‘communion’ with each other rather than with God. Much too humanistic… and doomed to perpetuate… Read more »

Prior Aelred

I must admit that I have never been happy with “Covenant” theology — those of the Anglican family who enthuse about it always end up leaving — I am happy with the Quadrilateral & mutual respect among those who differ in adiaphora (not “making windows into men’s souls”) — sadly, I feel increasingly like a dinosaur in contempoary Anglicanism.


As projected it is unacceptable, period, full stop.

J. C. Fisher

In an organization which has *not* been run by “majority rule” (e.g., as the AC hasn’t been), a majority cannot suddenly RULE that it *is* now a “majority rule” organization.

The AC has been constituted by the “bonds of affection” (aka a “defacto consensus” . . . aka “showing up”!). ANY CHANGE to that unofficial constitution, can only occur now, through an EXPLICIT CONSENSUS. Unanimity. Period. Any province/church which “shows up” can BLOCK any change (change coerced *without* achieving a consensus, would then be properly described as a “coup”)

Five years to a Covenant? Try five millenia…


Yet another compromise that no-one will agree with.

There is no way of bridging the gap.