Thinking Anglicans

International Campaign Seeks to Stop Anglican Covenant

No Anglican Covenant Coalition

Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity

noanglicancovenant.org

NEWS RELEASE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO STOP ANGLICAN COVENANT

LONDON – An international coalition of Anglicans has been created to campaign against the proposed Anglican Covenant. Campaigners believe the proposed Covenant constitutes unwarranted interference in the internal life of the member churches of the Anglican Communion, would narrow the acceptable range of belief and practice within Anglicanism, and would prevent further development of Anglican thought. The Coalition’s website (noanglicancovenant.org) will provide resources for Anglicans around the world to learn about the potential risks of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

“We believe that the majority of the clergy and laity in the Anglican Communion would not wish to endorse this document,” according to the Coalition’s Moderator, the Revd. Dr. Lesley Fellows, who is also the Coalition’s Convenor for the Church of England. “Apart from church insiders, very few people are aware of the Covenant. We want to encourage a wider discussion and to highlight the problems the Covenant will cause.”

The idea of an Anglican Covenant was first proposed in 2004 as a means to address divisions among the member churches of the Anglican Communion on matters ranging from human sexuality to the role of women. The current draft of the Covenant, which has been unilaterally designated as the “final” draft, has been referred to the member churches of the Communion. The proposed Covenant establishes mechanisms which would have the effect of forcing member churches to conform to the demands and expectations of other churches or risk exclusion from the Communion.

Critics of the proposed Anglican Covenant, including members of the new Coalition, believe that it will fundamentally alter the nature of historic Anglicanism in several ways, including the narrowing of theological views deemed acceptable, the erosion of the freedom of the member churches to govern themselves, and the concentration of authority in the hands of a small number of bishops. Two English groups, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, ran anti-Covenant advertisements in last week’s Church Times and the Church of England Newspaper aiming to make more members of the Church of England aware of the dangers of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

“If the Anglican Communion has a problem, this is not the solution,” according to former Bishop of Worcester Peter Selby. “Whether those who originated the Covenant intended it or not, it is already, and will become even more, a basis for a litigious Communion from which some will seek to exclude others.”

The launch of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition website coincides with the commemoration of the sixteenth-century theologian Richard Hooker. “Hooker taught us that God’s gifts of scripture, tradition, and reason will guide us to new insights in every age,” according to the Canadian priest and canon law expert, the Revd. Canon Alan Perry. “The proposed Anglican Covenant would freeze Anglican theology and Anglican polity at a particular moment. Anglican polity rejected control by foreign bishops nearly 500 years ago. The proposed Anglican Covenant reinstates it.”

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition began in late October with a series of informal email conversations among several international Anglican bloggers concerned that the Covenant was being rushed through the approval process before most Anglicans had any opportunity to learn how the proposed new structures would affect them.

noanglicancovenant.org

Revd. Dr Lesley Fellows (England) +44 1844 239268
Dr. Lionel Deimel (USA) +1-412-512-9087
Revd. Malcolm French (Canada) +1-306-550-2277
Revd. Lawrence Kimberley (New Zealand) +64 3 981 7384

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Lois Keen
Lois Keen
10 years ago

I endorse this movement as a loyal priest in TEC, loyal to my diocesan as well as to my Lord, Jesus Christ and to the Holy Scriptures.

ettu
ettu
10 years ago

Good for them – it is nice to see some action rather than another deluge of words that sometimes seem to massage the ego of the writer rather than shed light

Pluralist
10 years ago

The website states:

We believe in an Anglicanism based on a shared heritage of worship, not on a set of doctrines to which all must subscribe. Our understanding of Anglicanism leads us to view the covenant as profoundly un-Anglican.

I wholly approve, but it isn’t the case is it? Anglicanism includes doctrines to which all must subscribe.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/11/good-against-covenant-but-er.html

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

Bravo

goodbye
goodbye
10 years ago

Come on, Pluralist, don’t rain on the parade with historical facts. (One might also include the dubious character of calling on Hooker for support, as scripture would not have needed any further comment when it came to the view of christian marriage he and others accepted as self-evident, and for Hooker, ‘to it the first in importance is due.’) Still, thanks for your comments.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

Quite so Pluralist.

Are these people then advocating for something new? A different Church?

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Good News for the Communion! Malcom+ has really started something here that deserves to be acknowledged by all ‘Thinking Anglicans’ who are in support of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada in their prophetic movement forward from the stagnation of homophobic and misogynistic views within the Body of Christ in Anglicanism. Having, hitherto, been merely a blogger on this T.A. site, I have been persuaded to take up the cudgels in support of women and gays on my own web-site under http://kiwianglo.wordpress.com so that there may be at least one more evidence of resistance to the Anglican Covenant. Let’s… Read more »

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

“Anglicanism includes doctrines to which all must subscribe.”

Only if one considers the Creeds (interpreted subjectively by the individual OF COURSE) to be “doctrine” (Personally, I think doctrine—or *dogma*—consists of whatever goes BEYOND the Creeds, or attempts to DEFINE an interpretation of the Creeds). Just my 2c.

Blessings upon this effort. I would state it *positively* (also) however: No “Anglican Covenant”. Save the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral!

pete
pete
10 years ago

The only Anglican doctrine is contained in the Prayer Book, and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral: “The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith. The Apostles’ Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself–Baptism and the Supper of the Lord–ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

I’ve signed up and sent it on to others. Somewhere C.S. Lewis writes about the schoolyard categories of “nice people” and “nasty people,” and that sometimes moral choices areno more complicated than choosing who you want to be with.

Notwithstanding whether my memory is faulty, and nowithstanding that, alas, more often than not in my experience, moral choices are not so clear cut, this is an easy one.

Count me in with the nice people, please.

Pluralist
10 years ago

From the moment it came out, in whatever form, I opposed the notion of a Covenant. Others gave it a run and have turned against it. Now that has gathered steam. Even if it is passed, it will add to contradictions and not solve them. But if the case is overstated, the result is to add legitimacy to it. If, for example, the argument is made against “a shared heritage of worship, not on a set of doctrines to which all must subscribe” – something I’d welcome – then it means that Open Evangelicals and the like have their case… Read more »

Pluralist
10 years ago

I should have written: If, for example, the argument is made against ON THE BASIS OF “a shared heritage of worship, not on a set of doctrines to which all must subscribe” – something I’d welcome – then it means that Open Evangelicals and the like have their case strengthened given that they are for doctrines and biblical supremacy, not just a unity through worship.

Tim Chesterton
10 years ago

‘”Anglicanism includes doctrines to which all must subscribe.”

Only if one considers the Creeds (interpreted subjectively by the individual OF COURSE) to be “doctrine”‘. (JCF)

Actually we require people to believe more than the Creeds. Witness the number of Anglicans getting all bent out of shape about lay presidency at the Eucharist, which is not mentioned in the Creeds, and on which Jesus was just as silent as he was about homosexuality.

carl
carl
10 years ago

Father Ron:

Best Wishes on your new web site. The Anglican
Communion will become a better place with your
help, understanding and writing.

Carl

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

Pluralist, I’m not sure what you’re saying.

I don’t believe in every jot and tittle of the Creeds.

Does that mean I can’t be an Anglican?

No, it doesn’t.

Aren’t the Elizabethan Settlement and the Book of Common Prayer all about uniformity of worship sufficing, instead of uniformity of belief? About not making windows into men’s souls?

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
10 years ago

All best wishes and prayers of support for Fr. Ron Smith as well as other’s efforts to stop the proposed Covenant. May your new website receive the love, prayers and support to stand strong against the Covenant and Fundamentalism within the Anglican Communion. Thinking Anglicans should be commended for the fine work they are doing by encouraging the open discussion of issues that are of vital importance to many human beings within Anglicanism and, including those who may come from many Religious traditions. Thank you for your efforts.

Malcolm+
10 years ago

@Fr Ron Smith:

Thanks for the Kudo, but I make no claim to being the ringleader of this resistance. Lionel Deimel of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh initiated the email conversation that led to the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, and from that point forward, we have seen a very diffuse leadership model.

I’m very proud to be part of such a team.

Pluralist
10 years ago

Someone might not meet in their own belief every jot and tittle of the creeds, but it doesn’t mean you can preach against them in their detail does it? They are normative, carry a weight of expectation. The Bible as containing all things for salvation is normative, even if you disagree. And this is before you get to evangelical or traditional Catholic understandings. Anglicanism isn’t like, say, the Liberal Catholic Church International, where the requirement for clergy only is belief in the Trinity and that’s it, the rest being intellectual freedom, even with creeds, and then sharing forms of worship… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

Pluralist — Agreed that clergy are in a different position from laity when it comes to doctrine. That’s why I am not, and have no wish to be, ordained. But Anglicanism is catholic enough to accept, even to celebrate, the presence in its midst of seekers and questioners. Some people find this outrageous, and long for greater certainty. Let them lay down “a set of doctrines to which all must subscribe.” Not I. I’m happy to be in a church that recognizes that doubt is healthy, normal, and very human. The Bible, after all, disagrees with itself. Compare Genesis 1… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
10 years ago

Well done. A game worth playing.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Carl, and Malcolm+. One of the things I personally appreciate about this T.A. site, is the sense of being among friends – the essence of the gospel. We each, in out own small corner, need to do what we can to encourage everyone whose heart and soul is hopeful of the realisation of the promises of Christ. Whether what we do on this (or any other site) is seen to be useful in the furtherance of our (?) cause, I guess it’s still God’s Church, and we need to do our little bit to ensure that it stays that way.… Read more »

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