Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Anglican Covenant: Church of England's current status

The press release for the forthcoming General Synod group of sessions includes this statement:

One item not on the Agenda for July is the Anglican Communion Covenant. The Business Committee publishes today its report on the voting in the diocesan synods on the draft Act of Synod adopting the Covenant. 18 diocesan synods voted in favour and 26 against, so this draft Act of Synod cannot be presented to the General Synod for final approval. As the report shows, the voting was quite close. The majority of Houses of Clergy (26) voted against, but the majority of Houses of Laity (23) voted in favour. Overall, of the 1516 members of houses of clergy who voted, 732 (48%) voted in favour and 784 (52%) voted against, whereas, of the 1813 members of houses of laity who voted, 960 (53%) voted in favour and 853 (47%) voted against. The Business Committee believes that it would be helpful for members of the Synod to have time to reflect on the position before the Synod debates the report and the Diocesan Synod Motions about the Covenant that have been passed by nine diocesan synods. These will therefore be debated not in July but at the next group of sessions after July.

GS 1878 Anglican Communion Covenant: Draft Act of Synod - Report by the Business Committee on the reference to the dioceses has been published, although at this writing it is linked only here, and not over here.

Paragraph 6 may be of particular interest:.

The draft Act of Synod was approved in eighteen dioceses and not approved in twenty-six dioceses. Thus the draft Act of Synod was not approved by a majority of the dioceses and it therefore cannot be presented to the General Synod for Final Approval. For the record, there is nothing in the Synod’s Constitution or Standing Orders that would preclude the process being started over again, whether in the lifetime of this Synod or subsequently, by another draft Instrument to the same effect being brought forward for consideration by the General Synod before being referred to the dioceses under Article 8. The Business Committee is not, however, aware of a proposal to re-start the process in this way.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 4:50pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England

I do find all this very worrying and I am very suspicious as to what may be planned. After the furore over women bishops and gay marriage one would think that 'the powers that be' may have learned something but I fear not.

Some of us are, however, constantly vigilant and will do all we can to ensure this damaging covenant is not smuggled back.

Posted by: Jean Mayland on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 6:17pm BST

The tiresome Lambeth ¨facesavers¨ are gasping to make sense.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 7:23pm BST

It's hard to know what to make of this. It must be driven by the need to 'save face' but I can hardly think of a more divisive thing to do than even to contemplate re-opening something which has just been so conclusively rejected.

Surely, the next Archbishop, whoever he is, would be reluctant to take up his predecessor's failed initiative? Rather like a new vicar coming into a parish with a 'bit of a history', no doubt the new Archbishop will have sweet words for Rowan William's time at the helm and then quickly scurry away to pursue a new and different agenda.

Herewith, of course, the problem for those staff who remain at Lambeth and in the Communion Office, they'll be a bit desperate and concerned for their futures having been 'hung out to dry' as it were.

Still, not long now, there are the summer holidays ahead and then Christmas after which in the New Year we enter a land flowing with milk and honey!

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 8:04pm BST

"Therefore it is a mistake to focus too narrowly either on the disagreements around human sexuality, or on seeking legally or structurally based solutions to current Anglican Communion
difficulties." Archbishop of York (Annex 'A') -

And this is precisely why the Anglican Covenant, as presently constituted, would not meet the current needs of Communion Partners. GAFCON has already said it would not join in a Covenant relationship with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. If they, therefore, are not willing to be part of this Covenant, the issue of sexuality may not remain a defining issue of difference between the rest of the Provinces. So No Covenant required.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 at 9:52am BST

And if the new archbishop is Sentamu, who has already nailed his colours to the mast on this issue, Concerned Anglican?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 at 12:08pm BST

"would not meet the current needs of Communion Partners" if you mean "Communion Partners" in the US, that is incorrect. The CP parishes, rectors, Bishops are positive re: Covenant. They do not think it likely that the TEC GC would adopt it. I think that is fairly agreed across the board. TEC believes it is a special church with special gifts.

Posted by: cseitz on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 at 12:39pm BST


John Sentamu will not be the next ABC whatever the Daily Mail (aka The Jupiter of Barchester) says.

However, to avoid any charges of 'bias' the Nominations Commission is bound to interview Sentamu and probably Christopher Cocksworth, Graham James and possibly Richard Chartres.

... but I've got my money (Gift Aided of course) on the Commission surprising us with an unexpected choice.

I'll give you 50 pence on Tim Stevens of Leicester. Popular and trusted amongst the bishops, liberal but cautious, he could well be their short-termer choice to see the C of E and the Communion through the next four or five years whilst everything quietens down.

... and a piece of advice for the next incumbent at Lambeth as its one of the few things directly in his gift. Postpone the forthcoming Lambeth Conference by five years to about 2023 by which time a fresh leadership of the Anglican Communion will have emerged.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 at 3:54pm BST

Two words should cover the situation: Dead Duck!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 21 June 2012 at 12:46pm BST

"Sentamu will not be the next ABC...." I hope you are right, CA, but never count your chicks.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer on Thursday, 21 June 2012 at 5:18pm BST

On the Covenant map of England, you could travel on a reasonably direct route from the Yorkshire Dales to the Cotswolds, from the Humber to the Solent and from the Severn to the Medway without crossing a single pro-Covenant diocese. All six dioceses neighbouring London, including the capital itself, rejected it. Perhaps the most remarkable factor was the influence of the anti-Covenant bishops on their synods, emboldened into voting against without appearing disloyal.

Posted by: Andrew on Thursday, 21 June 2012 at 10:14pm BST

""would not meet the current needs of Communion Partners" - if you mean "Communion Partners" in the US, that is incorrect." - cseitz - Wednesday

If you looked at the context of my original comment, Christopher, you would realise that I was not speaking of 'Communion Partners' as in some esoteric part of TEC, but rather in the larger context of Anglican Communion Partners (Provinces)

I am aware that the U.S. 'Communion Partners' are not in synchrony with their host Church, TEC, but that does not make them 'Communion Partners' in any realistic sense of those words - especially when one realises that their nemesis (TEC) actually is a legitimate 'Communion Partner'..

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 22 June 2012 at 12:06pm BST
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