Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wakefield diocese rejects Anglican Covenant

Updated Friday morning

Press Release from Modern Church, Inclusive Church and the No Anglican Covenant Coalition

First English diocesan vote rejects Anglican Covenant

Modern Church, Inclusive Church and the No Anglican Covenant Coalition are pleased with the result of the first diocesan vote on the proposed Anglican Covenant.

Both clergy and laity (the latter overwhelmingly) rejected the Covenant at the Wakefield Diocesan Synod meeting on Saturday 12th March.

While recognising the need to avoid the bitter controversies of recent years, we are glad that this Synod does not believe the Covenant is the way to do it.

We believe we should retain the traditional Anglican openness in which provinces govern themselves and disagreements are resolved by openly debating the issues free from threats of sanctions or schism.

The proposed Anglican Covenant offers instead a process for suppressing disagreements by establishing a central authority, with power to pass judgements and penalise dissident provinces by excluding them from international structures.

We trust that other Church of England Dioceses will have the courage to follow Wakefield’s example.

Further information:
Rev Giles Goddard, 07762 373674, www.inclusivechurch2.net
Rev Jonathan Clatworthy, 0151 7276291, www.modernchurch.org.uk
Rev Lesley Fellows, 01844 239268, www.noanglicancovenant.org

Friday update

The Church Times has a report, Wakefield synod votes against the Covenant.

THE first English diocesan synod to debate the Anglican Covenant has rejected it. On Saturday, in Wakefield diocese, the vote was lost in the Houses of Laity (10 for, 23 against) and Clergy (16 for, 17 against, 1 abstention). Both Bishops voted for its adoption…

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Comments

I feel encouraged by such a down to earth approach. Traditional British common sense and decency.

I do feel encouraged by this, yes , that's it.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 1:17pm GMT

"London Bridge is falling down, falling down...."

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 3:13pm GMT

As an American with no real sense of the "flavor" of Wakefield, I'm hoping someone will let us know if this was expected.

Is Wakefield a diocese that might have been expected to affirm the Covenant, or is it one where this outcome could have been seen by the most inept of prophets?

Posted by: Michael M. on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 4:34pm GMT

Excellent news, I wonder how it was done? It will be very interesting to see reports of the proceedings.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 4:51pm GMT

Some common sense at last!

Posted by: concerned anglican on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 6:45pm GMT

This is good news. I'm glad to hear at least one diocese has voted against the covenant. Those for whom the covenant was designed have already freely admitted that it doesn't meet their demands, it's a bad thing and we should have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Adrian F Sunman on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 10:05pm GMT

Lesley Fellows has some information about what happened at http://revdlesley.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-happened-in-wakefield.html

Posted by: badman on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 9:29am GMT

Michael M. It doesn't really matter how it has come about. It has actually happened. A Common-Sense Diocese from the North of England has signalled the Path of Reason for a continuing Anglican Communion - free from prejudice and the threat of Magisterial Rule, a la Vaticano style.

One can only hope that this tells GAFCON and ACNA that you can't muck about with the Scripture, Tradition and REASON-ability of the Anglican Communion. Either the Gospel is for ALL people, or it is for only the Self-Righteous, and which one of us is capable of judging the integrity of another Province of God's Church? Deo Gratias!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 10:20am GMT

Shocking rejection. Everyone is out of step except for +Cantuar.

Posted by: toby forward on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 10:57am GMT

Perhaps the Covenant is not as inevitable as we've been told.

Posted by: Counterlight on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 11:29am GMT

To our american friends: I am not sure that anyone will be able to make predictions about this with regard to laity and clergy. It may be more a conservative/liberal split than a churchmanship one but it is rather a unique thing for a Diocesan Synod to debate. My sense would be that laity often look to the Bishop for a steer in this sort of matter...but this clearly didnt happen in Wakefield.Not sure how you would characterise the "flavour" of Wakefield.I sense evangelicals are not strong and there are a fair number of anglo-catholic parishes esp in former pit villages and towns. it would be good to hear from someone in the diocese.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 11:55am GMT

The post on my blog mentioned above (http://revdlesley.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-happened-in-wakefield.html) contains information from someone who was at the synod, and there is a comment from a priest in the diocese who couldn't make the synod meeting.

Lesley

Posted by: Lesley Fellows on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 1:35pm GMT

'The points in favour were that we've come so far with this process that we may as well sign up to it and there isn't any alternative on the table.'

(Quoted on the Wakefield badman link given above)

I have sympathy with this, as after spent ages planning to murder my wife, including doing a lot of research into divers methods and buying the Necessary, so that when I began to have second thoughts, I felt I'd come a long way - and it would be such a shame not to....

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 1:51pm GMT

Even in Wakefield the conservatism of ministers -especially bishops is appalling - as reflected in the voting figures clergy 16 for; 17 agin;

Bishops all 2 for it !

I do hope it is all done proper secret ballot.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 2:04pm GMT

Looking at the actual results in Wakefield. It's fascinating how the bishops are toeing the line (both voted in favour) - I am sure that there won't be a single episcopal vote against in any Diocesan Synod. However, the laity are free to vote with their conscience (clear majority against) and the clergy partly so (just voted against).

Hence the Wakefield results and hopefully they are to be repeated elsewhere.

Posted by: concerned anglican on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 3:47pm GMT

This result was a surprise to people in Wakefield but I think the answer is (from someone who was there) that Yorkshire people are pretty independent minded and just say what they think. There were good presentations with points for and against well explained and also several points made from the floor so I think people were clear about the issues.

Posted by: Joyce Jones on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 11:06pm GMT

They start growing their rhubarb in the dead of winter in Wakefield, and succeed, that's how stubborn they are there.

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 12:56am GMT

"Yorkshire people are pretty independent minded and just say what they think" Joyce Jones

In the same way that gay men have great dress sense?

I also noticed Father Ron Smith, in the thread re women bishops mentioned "a typical Midlands exercise in pragmatism".

I realise that both these comments were meant well but they are still stereotypes, which in the context of both threads is somewhat ironic.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 9:39am GMT

In the same way that gay men have great dress sense?'
Posted by: Laurence C. on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 9:39am GMT

You can't ever have met me ! :)

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 5:48pm GMT

As a Lancashire child, Lawrence C, I learned
"Yorkshire born,
Yorkshire bred,
Strong i'th'arm,
Weak i'th'ead."

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 6:16pm GMT

Hm. I wonder how this would shake out if the driving force behind the covenant were the liberals?

Those hot for this thing (the covenant, that is) would be wise to consider their position if at sometime in the future it's their ox that's getting gored.

The old saw is true: Be careful what you wish for...

Posted by: Deacon Charlie Perrin on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 6:38pm GMT

As a Canadian, I'm resigned to the fact that the covenant will be signed by our Province--operative word being "provincial". However, I am cheered by stories from my neighbors in the States (in the link below) that give hope that such a signing will matter not a hill of beans in the long run.
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_127620_ENG_HTM.htm

Posted by: Rod gillis on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 11:41pm GMT

The original of this rhyme usually runs:

Yorkshire born
And Yorkshire bred.
Strong in the arm
And thick in the head.

Yorkshire men and women will point out to you that ‘eek’ means ‘also’. Check your Chaucer:

‘His head was balled, that shoon as any glas,
And eek his face, as he hadde been enoynt.
He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt.’

So the rhyme then runs:

Yorkshire born
And Yorkshire bred.
Strong in the arm
And th’eek (the same) in the head.

Yorkshire men and women are strong-willed and strong-witted.

The sensible Yorkshire folk of Wakefield have shown great good sense and independence of spirit in rejecting this parcel of nonsense which is the Covenant.

No, I’m not a Yorkshireman.

Posted by: toby forward on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 9:13am GMT

Strongitharm is a surname in the North, Toby. I was at grammar school with someone so named.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 10:16am GMT

Thanks for that info, lapin. New to me and very welcome. I've never come across anyone called that, though I've known several prelates who might well have been call Weakithead, with no Chaucerean gloss.

Posted by: toby forward on Monday, 21 March 2011 at 6:42am GMT
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