Comments: Anglican Covenant: London Diocesan Synod

Synod then debated and passed a following motion:

‘This Diocesan Synod, following the reference from the General Synod of the draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant, requests the General Synod to debate the following motion:

“That this Synod:

a) rejoice in the fellowship of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which is rooted in our shared worship and held together by bonds of affection and our common appeal to Scripture, tradition and reason;

b) thank the Archbishop of Canterbury for his tireless efforts throughout the Communion to sustain and strengthen unity in difficult times; and

c) call on the House of Bishops:

i. to find ways to maintain and reinforce strong links across the world-wide Anglican Communion and to deepen the Church of England’s involvement with the existing Communion ministries and networks (especially the continuing Indaba process);
ii. to publicise and promote this work within the dioceses of the Church of England in order to broaden understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the Anglican Communion; and
iii. to encourage a wide understanding of, and support for, the next Lambeth Conference.” ’


This motion was passed and seems a very good thought in the circumstances

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 8:53pm BST

Thank you/mil gracias from Central America to the diocese of London, Church of England.

You´ve lightened our burden, you´ve given us another measure of hope that we can grow together while understanding one another better at The Anglican Communion...you´ve revealed to us more of your ongoing willingness for Comprehensive Unity. Unity amongst equals.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 9:24pm BST

This is very good news indeed. Whilst Martin Reynolds and others on Saturday cautioned against any sort of 'triumphalism', not least because good people have been hurt and burned by this, nevertheless I think the alternative (passing the Covenant) would have been so damaging and disastrous, that the joy and gladness of relief are entirely appropriate.

The architects of the Covenant proposals have been revealed to be hugely out of touch (and do disregard Graham Kings/Fulcrum claiming that support is 50/50, because large numbers of those who voted in favour have been swayed by lily livered Bishops and will have voted for the official default position), and I worry that they still have not awoken to reality. This is a huge achievement for many of us who immediately saw the dangers of the politics being played out, not least the likes of Pluralist.

And we remain signed up to a Communion of 'grapes' - and just hope the 'marbles' (who are in a minority) of Kings and Wright and co. will soften their hard glass edges and join in the good wine. And calm down in their evident contempt for our brothers and sisters of Ecusa. Fulcrum did not start the idea of choosing a fight over the gay issue 20 years ago, but they joined in by backing this flawed and failed solution, as did Rowan Williams, and they need to discover a new politics.

I am encouraged to see that at least the likes of Gregory Cameron, who invested so much in this, have had the humility to stay quiet. We never thought we would win this, although my own hunch is that the 'hard' support for the Covenant is fairly minimal and that at least 2/3 or even more ordinary CofE members are opposed. Cheers!

Posted by Neil at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 9:46pm BST

It will be interesting to see whether this result is repeated in the remaining synodical voting. Perhaps, now that the Covenant cannot be passed and therefore being seen to support the Archbishop is irrelevant, synods will increasingly vote against with larger majorities.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 10:09pm BST

From the Yes to the Covenant Website: 'The Covenant is ‘the only game in town’ if the Church of England is to remain in any meaningful sense apart of the third largest world church. There is no alternative. So the Church of England’s choices are to adopt the Covenant, or to disappear from the world's radar as a significant voice in the world.'

What has been most scandalous on the part of those behind the Covenant is to portray opponents as disinterested in the Anglican Communion. There IS an alternative to the Covenant for those who celebrate the rich diversity of worldwide Anglicanism, and London was not the only Diocese to pass the follow-on motion to 'maintain and reinforce the strong links across the world-wide Anglican Communion'. We carry on as we always have, tending and nurturing those links in generous fellowship that will ultimately see us through current difficulties. Meanwhile *PREPARE YE*: the pro-Covenanters have predicted doom and imminent disappearance of the CofE from the world's radar as a significant voice in the world!!!

Posted by Neil at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 10:22pm BST

Given the relative importance of the London Diocese in the Church of England, this result must be seen as a real litmus test of the Covenant - and its unsuitability as a rallying point for Communion loyalty to Scriptural, Traditional and Reasonable Anglicanism. Now, perhaps, those Provinces in the Communion that wish to remain partners in mission - on the basis of 'Unity in diversity - can get on with the task, without let or hindrance.

The Following Motion' that was passed, adds a degree of willingness to stay 'in Communion' with all who want that to happen. Deo gratias!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 12:32am BST

'remain in any meaningful sense apart (sic) of the third largest world church.'

The Church of England is not and never has been, 'in any meaningful sense' part of 'the third largest world church'.

Nor, should it wish to be.

World domination does not sound like a radical Christian vision, or at all 'C of E'. We should learn the lesson of the denomination with such pretensions (the RC denomination), whose sense of truth and decency has suffered so badly from its worldly pretension - let alone any mission of Christian presence.


thank goodness.

Posted by Mary Marriot at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 12:50am BST

Aren't we as a church supposed to be episcopally led and synodically governed? If so the former seems to have been ignored and the latter most definitely holds sway.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 7:14am BST

Depends if you think the Covenant is about leadership or governance I suppose. It looks like a governing document to me.

Posted by Jim at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 7:39am BST

"So the Church of England’s choices are to adopt the Covenant, or to disappear from the world's radar"

Now, who was it who said we were to be "NOT OF the World"? O_o (As far as being IN the World, we pretty obviously don't need a covenant for that)

Posted by JCF at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 8:17am BST

No, Father David sometimes there is a failure in leadership.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 9:15am BST

Martin, I cannot think that the leadership has failed in giving a firm lead with the strong support and backing given to the Covenant by many of the bishops. Surely, it is more of a case of the sheep failing to follow the lead given by the majority of the shepherds and seeing that the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the debate so vigorously endorsed by the shepherds.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 11:29am BST

Martin: Exactly. "Episcopally led" does not mean that when the bishops say jump, laity and clergy must ask "how high?"

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 11:36am BST

Good. Relieved but not totally surprised by the rejection of such a concept by the London Diocese. I am sorry, though, for its support by bishops, in most cases, around the country. I suspect in earlier votes it was to show solidarity with Rowan Williams. It's a pity that more did not support him when fellow bishops openly attacked his authority (and Richard Harries') over the proposal for a new Bishop of Reading. Oh dear!

Posted by Rachel Barlow at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 11:57am BST

Only three of the four London bishops present? Out of interest ( I served all my ministry in the London diocese)who was missing, and who voted against?

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 12:06pm BST

Meant to say only three of the FIVE bishops present...half asleep...

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 12:22pm BST

As I understand it, the Bps of London and Kensington voted FOR, the Bp of Stepney against, and the Bps of Willesden and Edmonton didn't vote. I've no idea if they were present.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 12:42pm BST

When are we going to hear about the promised
+ Fulham's appointment?

Posted by Father David at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 1:28pm BST

Bps of Willesden & Edmonton weren't present. A really excellent speech from Stephen Coles drew sustained applause - all in all a good debate and a good day for the Diocese of London.

Posted by Philip Chester at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 2:56pm BST

I keep sheep. They are nice sheep. They trust me and, like biblical sheep they will follow me. If, however, I tried to call them into a fast flowing river or over a cliff, they would stop dead, puzzled. They are sheep, each sheep with a sense of responsibility for its own well-being. Even in real sheep, failure to follow the leader does not equate to stupidity or selfishness.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 6:45pm BST

The bishop of Willesden who wasn't present to vote on Rowan's covenant would be the same bishop of Willesden who jumped down our throats two weeks ago for ganging up on the "much loved" archbishop and told us "You're pathetic"?

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Friday, 30 March 2012 at 6:51pm BST

I'm quite proud to now be part of one of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion (ACANZP) that determined early on that the faithful Laity should be part of the governing process of the Province. It was not until late that the C. of E. followed suit. Bishops have their place - but so also do the Faithful among the Baptised. Being 'led by the nose' has always not resulted in 'mishpat'.

3-strand synodical government is one of the most distinctive marks of modern Anglicanism - a feature which - to my mind - remains preferable to papal rule. This is one reason I would not vote for the Covenant. (Nor would I become an R.C.)

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 31 March 2012 at 12:04am BST

"Much loved?"

Those of you who see Dr. Williams up close may find him thoughtful, holy, even saintly.

From a distance, however, what stands out is his fecklessness, his lack of strategic sense, and his willingness to use the sexual-ethics crisis of the moment to arrogate more authority to--surprise, surprise--his own office.

Good riddance!

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 31 March 2012 at 2:51am BST

Quite so, Rosemary - sheep are not to be confused either with lemmings nor Gadarene swine.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 31 March 2012 at 4:51am BST

Anything mentioned about the publication of the New London Plan and Area Scheme within the Synod and about the Bishop of London's Fulham Consultation process?

Posted by Mark Baker at Saturday, 31 March 2012 at 10:16pm BST
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