Thinking Anglicans

Nigeria: violence destroys cathedral

ACNS has Cathedral burned and Bishop’s Office attacked in a riot

Other reports:
Reuters Nigeria clamps curfew on town after churches burnt
Associated Press Nigerian Christians flee to police after Muslim rioters burn churches, homes
BBC Arrests after Nigerian violence
Anglican Mainstream Cathedral burnt in Nigeria

And a background report to give some context: Norwegian Refugee Council via Reuters Nigeria: heightened risk of violence and displacement ahead of 2007 elections


Private Members' Motions

Individual members of General Synod can put down private members’ motions. They are available for signature by members and the most popular are actually debated, typically one or sometimes two at each meeting of Synod. From today the motions are available on the Church of England website.


letter to Archbishop of Latvia

Earlier this year, the Bishop in Europe wrote to the President of Latvia. You can read that letter here.

Now, Archdeacon Mark Oakley has written another letter, this time to the Archbishop of Latvia, on behalf of the Deanery Synod of the Baltic and Nordic Countries. This new letter can be read in full here.

The synod had passed this resolution:

This Synod affirms the motion carried at the Diocesan Synod of 2006 affirming the statement of the Anglican Primates in the Dromantine Communiqué of February 2005, that “in our discussion and assessment of the appropriateness of specific human behaviours, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual persons. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual persons that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship”, and asks the Venerable Mark Oakley to draft and sign an open letter to the Archbishop of Latvia and others on its behalf, stating the same and expressing its support for the Revd Juris Calitis as a member of this Synod.


news from Kigali

Updated Thursday evening

Some news reports from the Global South bishops meeting at Kigali in Rwanda:

Reuters Conservative Anglican bishops to sign anti-gay pact:

Conservative Anglican bishops largely drawn from developing countries are expected to agree on a pact condemning the ordination of gay clergy, Nigeria’s archbishop said on Wednesday.

The agreement, expected to be signed later this week by clerics from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia meeting in Rwanda, is likely to deepen rifts between the conservatives mainly from the “Global South” and liberals in the United States and Europe.

“In order to put to rest this issue of homosexuality, we are working on an Anglican covenant with provisions that very clearly say what it means to be an Anglican,” Nigeria’s Archbishop Peter Akinola, told reporters.

“Who ever subscribes to this covenant must abide by it and those who are unable to subscribe to it will walk out.”…

Associated Press via Beliefnet: Anglican Conservatives Seek Formal Statement Banning Gay Priests

…Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola said the proposed statement, or covenant, is being drafted at this week’s gathering of 25 bishops mainly from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The meeting in Kigali ends Friday.

“We have provisions in the covenant that very clearly state what it means to be an Anglican. The dos and don’ts of an Anglican,” said Akinola, the chairman of Global South grouping, which represents more than two-thirds of the Anglican Communion’s members.

…Akinola and his backers see moves to embrace homosexuals and many other liberal church movements as violations of Scripture.

Akinola said that proposed Global South document would condemn homosexuality and demand that any followers in disagreement must “walk out.” …

IRIN AFRICA: Anglican prelates focus on poverty eradication:

KIGALI, 20 Sep 2006 (IRIN) – A conference of Anglican prelates, which opened on Wednesday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, is due to deliberate ways of overcoming poverty in the South, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria said.

“In the past we went to the North, cup in hand, asking for donations to enable us to do our work; this can’t continue,” said Akinola, who is chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa representing some 37 million believers.

Twenty-five archbishops from North, South and Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are attending the conference, which runs until 22 September.

The archbishops are part of a conservative network known as Global South, which brings together churches opposed to changes in the doctrines of the Anglican church…

New Times (Kigali) via Rwanda: Premier Makuza Hails Visiting Religious Leaders


Bishop Duncan interviewed

There is a fascinating video interview with the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert Duncan. It can be found here. (changed URL)

It is almost 26 minutes long, and so takes a while to download. However, it is well worth watching if you wish to understand what and how he thinks.

It includes more “colour” on the New York meeting and also discusses briefly this week’s Camp Allen meeting.

Greg Jones has commented at Anglican Centrist Response to Bob Duncan.


South Carolina episcopal election

Updated Wednesday evening

South Carolina is an ECUSA diocese that is part of the NACDAP or Anglican Communion Network, and one of those that has recently requested “alternative primatial oversight”. It is one of the fastest growing dioceses in ECUSA. There are 48 parishes and 27 missions with a total of 28,703 baptised members, and 105 active parish clergy.

The previous diocesan bishop, who had been in office since 1990, reached mandatory retirement age in early 2006. The episcopal election for his successor was originally planned for 2005, but was caught by the moratorium on approvals of elections that was imposed by the House of Bishops in its initial response to the Windsor Report. Last Saturday the election finally took place. Mark Lawrence from the diocese of San Joaquin was elected on the first ballot.

The diocesan press statement is here. The ENS report of this can be found at San Joaquin priest elected Episcopal bishop of South Carolina and explains the slightly unusual lay delegate election procedure.

The local newspaper has published a report of this election under the headline Bishop vote reflects schism. One of the persons interviewed, John Burwell, has strongly repudiated the quotations attributed to him.

You can however get a good flavour of the nature of this diocese by reading its own profile prepared for the election process, and available as a PDF file here. This includes the results of a survey of the diocesan clergy. You can also see the exact form of the survey document and read the answers of Mark Lawrence by going here (also a PDF file). His answers to other questions (mentioned in the ENS report) are here. Other remarks are here also.

The consecration of Mark Lawrence is scheduled for February 24, 2007. First, the consents of a majority of both bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must be obtained: some resistance is likely. It is unclear who will preside at this service.

Update Here is the Living Church report.

Update Tuesday
Fr Jake has published Consents and Covenant Considerations in which he discusses why some of Mark Lawrence’s statements will give concern to others in ECUSA.

Update Wednesday
Tobias Haller has also discussed this issue of consents in Consenting Adults.

There is a further news article by Associated Press Election of S.C. bishop could further divide Episcopalians




Mark Harris has drawn attention to the latest pronouncements of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

The original documents are: PASTORAL LETTER TO THE CHURCH which includes:

…We also took considerable time to reflect on the context and application of the theme. We came under the conviction that whatever we do to replace the supremacy of God, He would destroy. We also discerned afresh that the voice of the people is not always the voice of God since, as in the case of the Israelites and the golden calf, the voice of the people can actually be rebellion. The serious implication for us is that when our culture, tradition and disposition go against the Word of God, we must choose to be on the Lord’s side. The time-tested and inerrant rule of life must remain the written Word of God. To toy with these in the name of cultural accommodation or contextualization can only lead to worship of pseudo gods and the inevitable attendant confusion and disharmony, as in the case in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

… As part of our growing mission emphasis, we have also sought to understand better ways of understanding and evangelizing our neighbors in other faiths, particularly the Islam in the context of growing worldwide concerns. It is apparent that there is a worldwide Islamic agenda which has the political domination of every nation in view. Considering the negative consequences of this development, it is therefore imperative for Christians to be properly informed about what Islam stands for and dialogue with Muslims only when it is done on equal terms…

and MESSAGE TO THE NATION which includes:

Human Sexuality
The Church affirms our commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality since it is incongruent with the teachings of the Bible, Quran and the basic African traditional values.

Mark Harris’s comments are at The Church of Nigeria Standing Committee Speaks. Who speaks back? and also at Pearls of Great Price from The Church of Nigeria (Anglican)

In case you forgot what “Bill” they are talking about, Political Spaghetti has a full explanation here. Or ask CANA. The latest letter from their Missionary Bishop can be found here.

Update Monday
Jim Naughton has chimed in about this too.

Update Tuesday
Matt Thompson has another go in What kind of black eye are Minns and the ACN hoping for?


South Africa

In South Africa the government is considering a Civil Unions bill, and Reuters has reported that Thousands in South Africa protest gay marriage bill. The Anglican church there made its position known at a press briefing earlier in the week:
Cape Times ‘Church won’t challenge civil unions bill’
Daily Dispatch Anglican cleric searches for unity over gay issue Gays are God’s children – Archbishop


an eighth diocese calls for alternative oversight

As expected, the Diocese of Quincy in west central Illinois, at a special synod held yesterday, voted to seek “alternative primatial oversight”. This is a small diocese with no more than 2500 baptised members in 23 congregations.

Local newspaper report: Peoria Journal Star Diocese of Quincy seeks alternative oversight. (The clergy delegate number of 100 quoted here is surprising as ECDplus shows only 61 clergy canonically resident including all retired clergy.
Update the newspaper reporter now tells me he was wrong, and there were 39 clergy members voting and 68
lay delegates voting. The article has been amended online.l)

Update here is the diocesan press release.

And here is the Living Church report.

ENS has caught up with Episcopal Diocese of Quincy seeks alternative oversight


still more about the New York meeting

The Living Church has published a further report which contains a lot more “inside information” about what happened. See Consensus on APO Requests Still Elusive. The most amazing detail is this one:

It soon became apparent that Canon Kearon and at least some of the bishops had not received a copy of the consolidated request for APO which had been sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury at his request in July.

This document was published in full here and elsewhere on 9 September.

Mark Harris has some further opinions in Curiouser and Curiouser: Mapping the Anglican Swamp. Incidentally it appears that the NY meeting involved only 11 bishops not 12 as some including me previously supposed.

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Evangelicals worry about image

The Evangelical Alliance’s general director, Joel Edwards wrote an interesting article recently in the Baptist Times. This was reproduced by Ekklesia as ‘Time for rethink of how evangelicalism presents itself’ says Evangelical supremo. Edwards is quoted as saying:

“Evangelicalism has become a synonym, in popular understanding, for moralising bigotry, fundamentalism and reactivity.”

Maybe the EA has noted the growth of Fulcrum whose history was recently published in a newsletter written by Graham Kings and which was formed largely in response to the increasingly conservative positions being taken by other evangelical Anglican groups who claimed to represent the whole of the spectrum.

Then there is also this report from the USA: Meet the New Evangelicals by Mark Pinsky.


report from New Zealand

In New Zealand the General Synod has voted in favour of a motion for inclusion. Here’s what Tony Fitchett wrote for the official magazine Anglican Taonga. (The original is in a large PDF file which can be accessed from here.)

A vote for inclusion

Tony Fitchett explains why he asked General Synod to uphold the listening process

“The cancer needs to be cut out.” So said some who would like to exclude the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Anglican Church in Canada from the Anglican Communion.

The Episcopal Church’s consecration of Gene Robinson, a homosexual in a relationship, and the authorisation of blessings of same-sex unions by the Canadian Diocese of New Westminster provoked a flood of denunciation from parts of the Communion.

Guided and funded by traditionalist groups in the United States, this strategy initially aimed at complete exclusion of ECUSA and Canada from the Communion. But in the longer term, it’s a thrust for domination of the Communion.

Though claiming, with partial justification, that the Windsor Report supports their attitude, they have been as selective in abiding by the Windsor proposals as in their interpretation of Scripture. And they have achieved considerable success.

The Primates at Dromantine, in February 2005, asked ECUSA and Canada not to attend the Anglican Consultative Council – the only constitutional body among the so- called Instruments of Unity– and the rump of the ACC, shamefully and by a wafer-thin margin, endorsed that request.

Some of what I heard at ACC-13 last year concerning ECUSA and Canada (and homosexuals) could best be described as a ‘hymn of hate’, reminiscent of the genocidal parts of the Old Testament rather than of the gospels, and profoundly un-Christian.

Hence my motion at this year’s session of General Synod/te Hinota Whanui, which

  • noted the present situation,
  • endorsed the traditional Anglican teaching that all human knowledge is incomplete,
  • agreed that Anglicans should therefore listen to those with different views, acknowledge their integrity, and remain in communion with them,
  • recommended that all Communion- wide gatherings should try to include all churches of the Communion.

Uncontroversial stuff, a few years ago – but not now.

The debate in General Synod was passionate from both sides, and at times angry. Though not plumbing the depths of virulence at ACC-13, the same sub-text emerged: that homosexual love is the ultimate evil. I was reminded of the dramatic image from Lambeth 1998, of an arrogant bishop attempting to exorcise a homosexual lobbyist.

When the synod motion was put, the voices sounded even both ways. Hearteningly, what that showed was not that synod was evenly divided, but that some synod members can shout! In a division, the motion passed overwhelmingly in each House, with a total of 67 “Ayes” to 14 “Noes.”

So, what was achieved?

Firstly, this church has not adopted any particular position in regard to homosexual relationships and leadership. Despite what was said in debate, my motion was not about homosexuality, though triggered by different responses from different churches to the place of homosexuals in the church.

What this church has done is to restate its support for the Jesus model of relationship – inclusive, not exclusive, tolerant of diversity, accepting rather than rejecting, loving rather than hating.

Will the synod motion make any difference to the Communion?

Perhaps not: this small banner for tolerance and Christian relationship appears to have gone unnoticed in the wider Communion as it focuses on the agonies of ECUSA’s response to the Windsor Report, and the denunciation by some [often the same who denounce acceptance of homosexuals] of its election of a woman Presiding Bishop. [Remember: neither Lambeth nor the ACC opposed the ordination of women.]
This church has a reputation in the Communion for innovation, lateral thinking, and tolerance. And that may get us into trouble: The Times of London, reporting Rowan Williams’ recent speech about the Communion, listed us with ECUSA, Canada and Scotland as likely to be relegated to the outer marches of a two-tier Communion.

But, nonetheless, we have upheld that banner of tolerance and love – and, God willing, we will continue to do so.

The young people of our church have got it right in the prayer for Toru, the Anglican Centre for Youth Ministry Studies: “Most merciful God, your love compels us to come to the table of unity, despite our differences…”

Tony Fitchett is a lay representative of the Diocese of Dunedin in General Synod/te Hinota Whanui. He is also a lay representative of this church on the Anglican Consultative Council.


opinions this weekend

Colin Slee writes in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column about how the recent guidance from bishops on same-sex civil partnerships is unworkable and totally wrong-headed.

Stephen Bates writes at the Guardian’s blogsite commentisfree about how the Pope has been misunderstood about Islam: Whoops, a pontiff.

Giles Fraser seems less sure of that in the Guardian itself: The unmistakable whiff of Christian triumphalism.

Damian Thompson also weighed in on this topic at the Telegraph in He bears no malice, but he is a worried man.

Ruth Gledhill also had an analysis on The Times website and more thoughts on her blog.

Andrew Brown has also written about the papal statement for commentisfree: Appealing to reason.


alternative primatial oversight

Two items. First, the Diocese of Fort Worth’s Executive Council issued this (original is PDF file):

FORTWORTH, Texas – The Executive Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, meeting in regular session, today approved the following Resolution supporting the diocesan Standing Committee’s June 18 decision to seek Alternative Primatial Oversight.
Be it resolved that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth endorses and affirms the appeal made to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion by the Standing Committee and Bishop of our diocese for Alternative Primatial Oversight and pastoral care.
The resolution came before the Council on the day following the conclusion of a special Summit Meeting in New York City. The Summit was called by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the purpose of “finding an American church solution to an American church problem,” as Bishop Iker expressed it in his statement on the meeting, which was also released today. Participants at the Summit, who included Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori, failed to reach any agreement.
The Standing Committee’s June 18 resolution came as a response to the election of Bishop Jefferts Schori to succeed Bishop Griswold. The election was held during the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which met in Columbus, Ohio. In late June and July, six other dioceses filed similar appeals, prompting the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for the Summit.
The Standing Committee is the Bishop’s council of advice; the Executive Council has power act for the Diocesan Convention when that body is not in session. Both bodies are elective. A further resolution affirming the appeal will come before the Diocesan Convention when it meets in plenary session on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Second, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his pastoral letter yesterday, said this about it:

I have also received – as you will have done also – the appeals of seven dioceses of the Episcopal Church for ‘alternative primatial oversight’. As we move to reflecting on these requests, we have to acknowledge that we are entering uncharted waters for the Communion, with a number of large issues about provincial identity and autonomy raised for all of us. I write having just heard the outcome of the meeting in New York which was requested in order to see what might emerge from a carefully structured discussion between American Bishops of diverging views. So far, no structure has been agreed, but there is a clear sense that the process has been worthwhile and that it is not yet over. I am sure that there will be more need in the months ahead for such face-to-face discussion, and I continue to hope that colleagues will not take it for granted that there is a rapid short-term solution that will remove our problems or simplify our relationships for good and all without the essential element of personal, probing conversation.


archbishop issues pastoral letter

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a Pastoral Letter to the Anglican Communion’s Primates and presiding bishops. The full text of it is included in this Lambeth press release.

This is reported here by ENS and here by the Living Church.

The pastoral letter include this:

In our uncertainties and explorations in the Communion, my prayers are not only for those who, like ourselves, have the responsibility of leadership in our Provinces, but most especially for all those ordinary people of God, in the Episcopal Church and elsewhere, who are puzzled, wearied, or disoriented by our present controversies. So many say they simply do not want to take up an extreme or divisive position and want to be faithful to Scripture and the common life. They want to preserve an Anglican identity that they treasure and love passionately but face continuing uncertainty about its future.

This letter includes information about the initial report Joint Standing Committee’s group of four “set up to advise in the wake of the Episcopal Church’s 75th General Convention”:

…You will recall that the Joint Standing Committee appointed a small group of representatives from its number (two Primates and two laypeople, along with staff support) to assist me in preparing an initial response…

The membership of this group is not named in the letter but is: Archbishop Bernard Malango (Central Africa), Archbishop Barry Morgan (Wales), Mrs Philippa Amable (West Africa), and Mrs Elizabeth Paver (England). Their initial thinking is presented as follows:

It is clear that the Communion as a whole remains committed to the teaching on human sexuality expressed in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, and also that the recommendations of the Windsor Report have been widely accepted as a basis for any progress in resolving the tensions that trouble us. As a Communion, we need to move forward on the basis of this twofold recognition.

It is also clear that the Episcopal Church has taken very seriously the recommendations of the Windsor Report; but the resolutions of General Convention still represent what can only be called a mixed response to the Dromantine requests. The advisory group has spent much time in examining these resolutions in great detail, and its sense is that although some aspects of these requests have been fully dealt with, there remain some that have not. This obviously poses some very challenging questions for our February meeting and its discernment of the best way forward.

Concerning the proposed Anglican Covenant, the archbishop says this:

My earlier observations — building on the Windsor Report — on the possibility of a Covenant have on the whole been received with sympathy, and the work on this continues. At the March meeting of the Joint Standing Committee, it was decided to adopt a short introductory paper on the Windsor Covenant proposals, outlining some of the issues that would need to be addressed. It would be of great help to receive observations from any of you who have not yet expressed views on this paper (available at

The Joint Standing Committee also asked me to appoint a small Covenant Design Group to take forward the work. I have asked Archbishop Drexel Gomez to chair this and would now welcome your suggestions for membership before I proceed to nominate people who might serve. We are envisaging a small number of full members (perhaps no more than ten in the core group) with a wider circle of ‘corresponding members’, and in the first instance I shall be looking for nominations representing expertise in ecclesiology, missiology, ecumenical relation[s] and canon law. If you wish to make a nomination, perhaps you could indicate something of the background and competence of the person or persons you suggest. I hope, as I wrote earlier, that this will be a major and serious focus for the Lambeth Conference, and the work now commissioned will be a vital task in preparation for the Conference.


Christ Church, Plano, Texas

Updated Saturday and Sunday

Christ Church Plano and the Bishop of Dallas have both issued statements which can be read in full here.

The Episcopal News Service has issued this release: Plano parish will pay to leave Episcopal Church.

The Living Church has Christ Church, Plano, Leaves The Episcopal Church.

Updated Saturday
The Dallas Morning News reports this: Church gets OK to leave Episcopal denomination.

Updated Sunday
Fort Worth Via Media notes here that:

They have a debt of 6.8 million on the building and they have 11 acres of property. At today’s prices you can’t buy 1 acre out there for less than 2 million. Could one say the Bishop and Standing Committee gave it away?


New statistics

The Church of England has released two sets of statistics today.

1. Church Statistics 2004/5
Official press release: Statistics show increased giving and ordinations

These statistics cover

Parochial affiliation and attendance 2004
Licensed ministers 2005 (figures at 31 December 2005)
Parochial finance 2004

and in many cases include comparative figures for earlier years.

Statistics for previous years are also available.

2. Bishops’ Office and Working Costs 2005
Official press release: Bishops’ office and working costs published

Bishops’ costs for earlier years are also available.


two bishops comment

Updated again Friday evening

Episcopal News Service has a report on four bishops comments: in addition to those below, they have Bishop Mark Sisk and Bishop James Stanton, see More bishops offer reflections on New York meeting

Here’s a third bishop, Bishop John Lipscomb Bishops fail to reach consensus over ‘primatial oversight’ issues

First Bishop Peter Lee:

A letter to the Diocese of Virginia from the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Bishop

September 13, 2006

Dear Friends:

As you know I have just completed a three-day meeting which I co-convened with Bishop John Lipscomb of the Diocese of Southwestern Florida at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The purpose of our meeting was to address the many complex issues that face our church as one of the 38 autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion and of the Communion itself.

You no doubt will have read the statement we adopted this morning which says, in effect, we have not reached a conclusion. I feel as though I am writing you with that sentiment an awful lot these days. While each of us in that meeting and many church observers are finding this process frustrating, especially as we operate in a culture which desires quick, decisive action, I am reminded of the lesson from the Epistle of James this past Sunday and the call to us to be quick to listen and slow to action.

In that spirit, I want to share with you my sense of hope coming out of this meeting. While it is true we did not reach a conclusion, the level of candor and charity shared in our meeting was remarkable. I am hopeful that as we continue to meet, the Church will reclaim its historic generous orthodoxy and its respect for diversity and offer the Anglican Communion an example of faithfulness in unity and mission.

I am grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his care for our Church at this time and the sensitivity with which he has asked leaders of our province to assemble to address the complex issues within our Church. I look forward to our next meeting.


Peter James Lee
Bishop of Virginia

Second, Bishop Jack Iker:


Another meeting has come and gone, with no clear results or final resolutions. Another “conversation” has taken place, where diverse views were exchanged, but no unified way forward could be discerned.

So where does that leave us? Well, it does not leave us in the same place as where we began! We have moved further along the path to the difficult decisions that ultimately must be faced, in every diocese and in every parish. Certain options have been discarded; others remain open.

I am grateful that the New York summit provided an opportunity to “clear the air” in face-to-face encounters among bishops who stand on opposite sides of the issues that so deeply divide us. It was helpful to say what was on my heart and mind and to hear directly from the other side as to how they see things. It was not always a pleasant exchange of views. At times the conversations were blunt and even confrontational. Nonetheless, what needed to be said was said and heard, in a spirit of honesty and love. That being said, it is my sense that the time for endless conversations is coming to a close and that the time for action is upon us. I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings.

Our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight is still before the church, and provision must be made for the pastoral need we have expressed. The initial appeal from this diocese was made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates and the Panel of Reference. (We soon withdrew our request for consideration by the Panel of Reference due to its apparent inability to act on any of the petitions that have been placed before it over the past year or so.) When six other dioceses made very similar appeals, we consolidated them into one joint appeal and submitted it to the Archbishop of Canterbury in late July.

After prayerful consideration and consultation, the Archbishop called for the New York summit, which took place on September 11-13, 2006, in hopes of finding an American church solution to an American church problem, but to no avail. We could not come to a consensus as to how to recognize and respond to the needs expressed in the appeal. So back to Canterbury it goes, as the principal Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion, but this time with a renewed emphasis on appealing also to the Primates of the Communion as a whole and not to Canterbury alone. The Primates Meeting is a second, very important Instrument of Unity in the life of worldwide Anglicanism. We ask for their intervention and assistance when they meet in February.

Some have balked at the terminology of our appeal requesting Alternative Primatial Oversight, pointing out that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church does not really have canonical oversight of any of our dioceses in the first place. While I can see their point, nonetheless the official job description for the PB is “Chief Pastor and Primate,” and it is this role that we seek to have exercised on our behalf by an orthodox Primate of the Communion, and not just someone other than the Presiding Bishop-elect of ECUSA. We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Anglican Communion. Only in this way will we have an unclouded primatial relationship with the rest of the Communion.

Thank you all who prayed so fervently for us in our deliberations in New York City this past week. I am sincerely grateful for your encouragement and support. Your prayers were indeed answered – and are being answered still, in ways that are yet to be revealed.

Please note that a very important gathering of “Windsor Bishops” will be held at Camp Allen in Houston next week, from September 19-22, and that I will be present for those discussions. This is a much larger consultation that includes all Bishops who fully support the recommendations of the Windsor Report and believe that General Convention made an inadequate response to what the Report requested of ECUSA. The Archbishop of Canterbury is fully aware of the purpose of this meeting, and two Church of England Bishops will be present to share in our deliberations and then report back to the Archbishop on what took place. Please do pray daily for us as we consider next steps to be taken in pursuit of the unity and mission of the church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
Holy Cross Day


Nigeria and the Network

Matt Thompson at Political Spaghetti has a long article headed Nigeria: Why doesn’t the Anglican Communion Network come clean and speak out?


comment on the NY and Texas meetings

Updated Thursday morning and again Thursday afternoon

Mark Harris has Well the Skunk is on the Table: ACN claims to be the Episcopal Church. (Revised)

Greg Jones has New York Meeting a Bust and also And Now to the Texas Meeting of Bishops — Take Two
Update He has added further comment at Anglican Centrist Defends Himself

Susan Russell has ACNS Reports on NYC “September Summit”

Matt Kennedy What Happened in New York: In 9 Easy Steps

Mary Ailes Aftermath of New York Summit – Griswold and Schori reject the Canterbury Compromise – Attention turns to Camp Allen “Windsor Meeting”

Dan Martins Anglicanism: Time for a Quantum Leap?

Tom Woodward A Simple Solution to an Intractable Problem

Bryan Taylor Reconciliation Doublespeak: Factionalism Unites

Tony Clavier Huh? and also On The Other Hand

Fr Jake AlPO: The Choice of the TDAD