Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Reference to Dioceses: Anglican Covenant

Updated 9 & 11 January 2011: All the four documents linked below are now available on the new Church of England website, and I have updated the links accordingly.

As a result of the debate at the November 2010 General Synod on the Anglican Communion Covenant, the matter was referred to Diocesan Synods. The papers sent to dioceses and are available online. They include this paper outlining the process

Reference to Diocesan Synods (GS Misc 971)

and these background papers.

Transcript of debate on Anglican Covenant November 2010
Draft Act of Synod (GS 1809)
Faith and Order Commission: Briefing Paper (GS Misc 966)

Dioceses are required to respond by 5pm on Monday 30 April 2012, so the earliest that this matter can return to General Synod for a final decision on whether to adopt the covenant is July 2012.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 4 January 2011 at 6:33pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | General Synod
Comments

So, just a few months before the Mayan Long Count comes to an end ... [chuckles].

Posted by: Charlotte on Tuesday, 4 January 2011 at 8:54pm GMT

Peter,
Was there a similar reference to diocese re women bishops following the July session of the General Synod?
Can you point me to the post on TA?

Chip

Posted by: Chip on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 at 12:35am GMT

All right, folks: with only a quick skim, I'm not prepared to offer a systematic analysis. However, I do have some questions.

From paragraph 30: "In recent years there has been some lack of clarity as to the status of the Resolutions of the Lambeth Conference...." I think it would more accurate to say that some haven't been happy with the established (and clear) status, and asserted a change.

From paragraph 37: It is important to understand that the Covenant will function within the existing Anglican structures; it does not envisage new structures, although it will probably bring about some formalisation of what were originally more flexible arrangements." While the Covenant does not "envisage new structures," there remains the role of the Standing Committee. While it was not created for the Covenant, it has been given by the Covenant a radically new role, and a different purpose, one that is not simply "formalisation of... more flexible arrangements."

From paragraph 38: "The importance of the existence of the Anglican Communion as a worldwide communion should not be underestimated. It is its global character which makes possible the relationships with other global churches. Certain structures are necessary for the organisation of a global communion and the proper representation of its members." I'm not sure that lack of "certain structures" have been required to express a "global character;" for example, the Anglican witness in the World Council of Churches. Such structures don't seem necessary for the Orthodox witness.

From paragraph 47, and quoting Archbishop Williams: "It doesn’t set out, as I’ve already said, a procedure for punishments and sanctions. It does try and sort out how we will discern the nature of our disagreement, how important is it? How divisive does it have to be? Is it a Communion breaking issue that’s in question – or is it something we can learn to live with?" I've read the Draft a number of times. One thing it does *not* describe is *how* we will discern just how important, how divisive a question might be. The process is clear once the Standing Committee has decided that it *is* divisive; but nothing about how to measure the issue.

Well, this seems a good start.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 at 4:12am GMT

I am not Peter but the WB reference was reported on 27 September, at
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004634.html

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 at 7:45am GMT

36. At the same time, supporting the Covenant does not involve giving an uncritical endorsement to the Instruments in their current form. The Instruments of
Communion will continue to develop as they have in the past. The Covenant provides an agreed theological framework in the light of which this continuing development can be shaped.
Will the Covenant create highly centralised, and un-Anglican, structures?
37. It is important to understand that the Covenant will function within the existing Anglican structures; it does not envisage new structures, although it will probably bring about some formalisation of what were originally more flexible arrangements.
This is probably inevitable given the growth in the size of the Anglican Communion.

I apologise for putting up these paragraphs in their entirety but am I alone in thinking them contradictory?

If the Instruments of Communion "will continue to develop as they have in the past" (#36) then does not that the claim in the next paragraph "the Covenant will function within the existing Anglican structures; it does not envisage new structures" ring hollow?

New "structures" have been thrown up at the apparent whim of the ABC in the past - is that at an end? What the Covenant does - though the FOAG misses this for some reason - is give the present batch some standing. I think that omission somewhat significant too.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 at 3:29pm GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.