According to Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph this morning, headlined Drive to bar liberal from Church’s crisis summit:
…But in a humiliating blow to the Archbishop’s authority, senior conservative leaders privately wrote to him last month warning that he had no right to invite Bishop Schori to the summit without their consent.
In an atmosphere of growing distrust, they have now demanded a change to the agenda so they can decide whether to admit her at all…
…As part of a power struggle with Dr Williams, they also accused him of a “fait accompli” by deciding to include the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, at the primates’ meeting for the first time.
Dr Williams argued that as he had to chair the meeting, Dr Sentamu was needed to represent the Church of England. But the conservative group, led by the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, claimed that Dr Williams was adopting authoritarian powers rather than acting as “first among equals” among his fellow leaders.
They may try to bar Dr Sentamu from the five-day summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The conservatives refuse to attend Holy Communion with liberals at the summit. The group, who make up more than 20 of the 38 primates, will finalise their strategy before the summit starts on February 15. They will present a blueprint for a “parallel” Church to accommodate a range of conservatives in America, but this is unlikely to be acceptable to the American Episcopal Church…
In another development, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has convened a special meeting of its (normally triennal) General Synod which will meet from 6-8 February, see SOKOTO TO HOST GENERAL SYNOD IN FEBRUARY:
“It is going to be a history making event. It is expected that there will be an amendment of the constitution of the Church of Nigeria at this meeting. So it will be on record that this amendment was made in Sokoto.”
See this 2005 press release for background on the amendment.
The Telegraph takes this seriously: it has a leader today, Challenge for the Church which says:
The question now is how much damage the end of the Communion would do to the Church of England. That depends partly on Dr Williams. The Established Church is founded on an English pragmatism that finds space for Catholic and Protestant, liberal and conservative. Alas, that pragmatism cannot be exported.
The Anglican Communion is one of several supra-national bodies (such as the Commonwealth) whose ambitions no longer correspond to reality. Dr Williams should let it fade away, and instead apply his intellect to holding together our national Church.