Thinking Anglicans

Initial media responses to Canterbury CNC proposal

Updated yet again Saturday morning (scroll down for details)

For details of the proposal see earlier article.

Charlie Bell has written a blog post: The proposals on Canterbury – and why they are wrong.

His arguments are detailed and clear, and I recommend you read them in full. He concludes:

Unfortunately this is another example of cart before horse – the proposal in general is a good example of why theology and ecclesiology need to be embedded at the heart of decision-making and policy change in the Church of England. This proposal should be – at the very least – paused and reflected on with some seriousness before it goes further. Whilst in paragraph 19 and 20 we are told that we need to be ‘realistic’ about what can be done, and that ‘to begin to address the questions facing the Communion is, in the end, about the conversion of more than structures, but of the hearts of all involved, and of their practice of relationships through the Church to which we all belong.’ This may well be true, but this proposal is putting practical changes before the deep thinking about the nature of the Anglican Communion that needs to be done. It is not fit for purpose and should be rejected until this work is complete – or even started.

Unfortunately, this proposal – with its apparently unrecognised ecclesiological implications – is not new in terms of major change being brought in for what appear to be pragmatic reasons, yet carrying these major repercussions. I have written previously about the changes to consecrations implemented during Covid – which appear to be permanent. The entire direction of travel is concerning, and needs rethinking. We have experts in theology and ecclesiology – it remains mystifying that they are not invited to the table in the name of pragmatism. The O’Donovan review into the CNC must surely be the start (incidentally a review that did not consider the communion implications in detail but did (5.19) refer to the Canterbury CNC) – not the end – of the work required.

The Church Times has published a detailed article: Communion is asked: Do you want to help choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury?
This is also detailed, and worth reading carefully. It includes the following observations:

…The consultation document is not a neutral document but instead a piece of advocacy for the new proposal. It argues that many of the issues that the Archbishop of Canterbury addresses are global concerns that call for a Communion-wide response. It states: “The Communion-wide brief of the Archbishop can help facilitate learning from churches whose life is vibrant and growing.

“This dynamic enhances the role of the worldwide Communion and its significance for the Church of England. These considerations alone suggest that the balance of representatives on the CNC does not reflect the current nature of the role.”

It points out that the structure of the Anglican Communion, and the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is “rooted in England’s colonial history”. It argues, therefore: “The Church of England and the Communion cannot escape asking why a British cleric should always be primus inter pares” [“first among equals”]…

And it notes the following anomaly:

…The document suggests that the five international CNC members would come from each of the five regions in the Communion: the Americas, the Middle East and Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Europe.

The proposal, however, specifically excludes “the four provinces of the British Isles” i.e. the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Church of Ireland, as well as the Church of England. Since the diocese in Europe is part of the C of E, this would leave this region to be represented by one of the Extra-Provincial Churches (Spain, Portugal, Bermuda, or Falkland Islands)…

The Times has a report by Kaya Burgess: Alarm over Anglican plan to give overseas churches more say in choosing future Archbishops of Canterbury. This is behind a paywall, so many people will not be able to access in full,  but it starts out this way:

…English priests and worshippers have expressed surprise and anger at proposals for a five-fold increase in the power that Anglican churches overseas will be given in nominating the Church of England’s most senior bishop.

Concerns have been raised about whether the proposals could set back hopes to see a woman or a backer of same-sex marriage appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury, as many Anglican churches globally still do not allow women to become bishops while most steadfastly oppose the idea of conducting gay marriages in church…

And among comments from some clergy, it also includes this quotation from me:

“There’s no way any other province of the Anglican Communion would tolerate having someone from the Church of England added to their selection process for bishops. I don’t think there’s any valid argument for it.”

My wider point was that, even if none of the concerns existed about gender, sexuality, etc, this would still be a very bad proposal on ecclesiological grounds.

Update Thursday

The Archbishop of York has responded to the Times article with a letter to the editor (scroll down all the way). Copy over here.

Update Friday

The Church Times has this: Leader comment: Wider still and wider . . . Representing the Communion on the CNC for the see of Canterbury.

The Times has a second letter (scroll down) from a diocesan bishop (Worcester) supporting this proposal and a second news article reporting on the two letters from bishops.

Update Saturday

Today the Times has no less than four letters, all opposing the proposal, from Christina Baron, Nigel Seed, Desmond Tillyer, and Anthony Archer.

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Interested Observer
Interested Observer
4 months ago

It points out that the structure of the Anglican Communion, and the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is “rooted in England’s colonial history”. It argues, therefore: “The Church of England and the Communion cannot escape asking why a British cleric should always be primus inter pares” [“first among equals”]… And we can answer that, very simply. An established church is deeply embedded in the polity of a country. It is the advantage, and the price, of establishment. In most other countries churches have no formal role in government. It is an accident of history that the Church of England is… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

I think for starters Anglicans would be very nervous about any idea of turning the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury into an Anglican version of the Papacy where the Archbishop moves from being Primus Inter Pares to Primate of the Anglican Communion for that for Anglicans would spell the end of dispersed authority and the autonomy of Provinces. I remember the late Father Roland Walls when he came back from giving a Retreat to the Curia of the Diocese of York, Archbishop, Suffragan Bishops, and Senior Clergy and was speaking to myself and Brother John in the Monastery at… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

‘on the other hand a bishop who has sworn allegiance to the new head of the Anglican Communion (or whatever), would raise precisely the same issue’ I have no idea whether English bishops take an oath of canonical obedience to the ABC, but I do know that outside the UK, no one swears allegiance to the ABC. Heck, in my country no one even swears allegiance to the Primate, but only to the Metropolitan of their Province. It amazes me that hardly any of the Church of England commenters here seem to be at all troubled by the colonial optics… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Some English bishops take an oath of obedience to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others don’t. Only those in the southern province are subject to Canterbury’s metropolitan jurisdiction. Those in the northern province are subject to that of York.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I don’t see anything wrong in the Archbishop being a British citizen. It is a reminder that he is primarily the bishop of a part of Kent. Similarly I am old-fashioned enough to think that the Bishop of Rome should be an Italian (as had been the case for several hundred years up to 1978), a good reminder that he is the bishop of an Italian city.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
4 months ago

It doesn’t surprise me at all that you don’t see anything wrong with the Anglican Communion always being led by a British citizen. I. on the other hand, live in a former colony, so I may have a slightly different view of the world. But if we have to have the leader of the Anglican Communion always associated with a particular See, I’d be in favour of Jerusalem. We often hear that Christianity is a white religion. Having the Anglican Communion led by a Palestinian might help change that view. And Jerusalem has never been the headquarters of a global… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I think the problem is viewing the ABC as “leader of the Anglican Communion”. I certainly don’t see the position that way. He (or she, hopefully one day) may hold the senior episcopal seat in the Communion, and for that reason chair certain meetings, but he doesn’t “lead” anything except, possibly, the diocese and province of Canterbury.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I didn’t say that I “don’t see anything wrong with the Anglican Communion always being led by a British citizen”. I said I see nothing wrong with the Archbishop [of Canterbury] being a British citizen. Not the same thing at all.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Um, I am indeed troubled by the optics and, further to earlier messages this week on this topic, I do not see why the archbishops of Canterbury should exercise any more ‘leadership’ over the Anglican Communion than any other primate. Nor to I perceive ‘Canterbury’ as being a ‘focus for unity’. Moreover, I don’t even see why the Anglican Communion has to have a ‘leader’ at all. It is not a ‘command-and-control’ agglomeration of churches, and perhaps never was (most certainly since the Colenso/Gray litigation of 1865: http://www.law.mq.edu.au/research/colonial_case_law/colonial_cases/less_developed/cape_of_good_hope/colenso_v_the_bishop_of_cape_town_1865/) *If* the Anglican Communion must have a leader, let it be a… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I suspect more English commentators on Thinking Anglicans are sympathetic to Tim Chesterton than he imagines. To speak for myself, I am with all those who do not want an Anglican ‘pope’, nor an increasingly centralised global Anglican church with a single theological line or policy. If I wanted that, I’d become Roman Catholic! Rather, I think of the Anglican communion as a community of self-governing (autocephalous) churches with some shared history and (some level of) mutual recognition. In this respect it is important that the Archbishop of Canterbury is appointed by those he or she serves in England, just… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
Reply to  Charles Clapham
4 months ago

To add to which: it is often said that when British Prime Ministers feel they are failing at home, they try to reinvent themselves on the international stage as global leaders. Once can’t help wondering whether there is something similar going on here. The current Archbishop of Canterbury is not exactly flavour of the month with many in the Church of England or indeed the wider English public. So a role as ‘leader of the Anglican Communion’ may well appeal to him. As things stand, he seems more concerned with the view of Anglicans in (say) Ghana, than he is… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Charles Clapham
4 months ago

That’s my view too, Charles.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

“I don’t see disestablishment as necessarily a bad thing, and I think the role of the Lords Spiritual is probably 400 years out of date” Having swung from being viscerally in favour of establishment and the House of Lords, I am now strongly in favour of abolishing both. The reference to 400 years is about right. The bishops were excluded under the terms of the Clergy Act 1640, effective in 1642. Their restoration in 1662, some time after the actual restoration of the crown in 1660, was not a given. Charles II had made promises at Breda to respect the… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Not many of the 5.37 million people who are members of the National Trust attend a trust property every week, so the Church’s 800,000 regulars are not comparable. Most members join the NT primarily because membership allows discounted entry to attractions. Their “support” is no more than a bulk purchase contract. But there are also many voluntary workers at NT properties. These are perhaps more comparable with regular churchgoers. The NTs recent campaign apparently conflating colonialism with slavery was, I suspect, not supported by most of its members. On the other hand, when the NT speaks out about matters of… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

Many thanks. I agree: these are fair comments, but although the ratio of ‘active’ members to ‘passengers’ within the Church will be somewhat different to the ratio within the NT, I suspect that not much more than 100,000-120,000 of the regular attendees are really ‘active’. The NT was intended by Hill, Rawnsley, Hunter and the Potters as being as much a lobby as a conservator/landowner. Merlin Waterson notes that for G. M. Trevelyan (who was probably its most active second generation trustee) ‘the National Trust was, then as now, the pursuit of politics by other means’ (‘The National Trust: the… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Thanks. I think I did not say that the church is by near consensus the go-to body etc. Rather, I said that her influence depended on the extent that she was such. I concluded, as you do, that there is no obvious cause for optimism in this.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  T Pott
3 months ago

Many thanks for that, and apologies for having got the wrong end of the stick, rather stupidly! It seems to me that, from the perspective of a large section of the ‘political’ community, insofar as the bishops in parliament have any influence it is now more usually to be an impediment to a number those social reforms in which the Church takes an interest, and they appear to have started voting more coherently as a bloc since they began to have a ‘lead bishop’ or ‘convenor’ However, for a somewhat less unsympathetic attitude than mine, a recent monograph has remarked:… Read more »

Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

IO asserts that “members of the House of Lords have to be British citizens”. That is not correct. Who can stand as an MP? – UK Parliament states “People wishing to stand as an MP must be over 18 years of age, be a British citizen or citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland”. That’s about 2.5 billion people who are eligible (including Tim Chesterton…) The same is true to sit in the House of Lords (see Wikipedia, though the reference there is obscure). Members of both Houses have to swear (or affirm) an oath of allegiance… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
4 months ago

Many thanks, Sir Bernard. The relevant reference is in Erskine May (per the previous thread): https://erskinemay.parliament.uk/section/5389/aliens/ and https://erskinemay.parliament.uk/section/5419/aliens/ (and https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61/enacted).

One of the problems I have with the proposals is that they effectively discriminate against those Anglicans who are not part of the Commonwealth. This would include not insignificant Anglican churches in Zimbabwe, Japan, the US, etc. A somewhat unlevel playing field.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
4 months ago

If the powers that be of the CofE want a global leader (they could call him or her a “pope”), I think it would be simpler to undo what King Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer created, and what Queen Elizabeth I defended — and simply have the CofE rejoin the Roman Catholic Church. They already have a tested and experienced structure in place. I’d think the British Parliament might want to have a say in non-UK provinces participating in the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury, considering that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s jurisdiction is Canterbury, which, lasted I checked, is… Read more »

David
David
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
3 months ago

Considering that the CofE is overwhelmingly evangelical (bishops, clergy, larger churches), I don’t see returning to the Roman fold likely in a month of Sundays.

Susannah Clark
4 months ago

Primates of the English provinces should be chosen in England, and by the English church representatives, to fulfil their pastoral responsibilities for the English churches and the service of the English communities up and down the land. If the Anglican Communion wants to appoint someone to head the worldwide communion (which is not a Church, but a voluntary Communion of autonomous self-governing bodies) then it should go ahead and decide who they believe God is calling to carry out that role. But the two roles should be distinct. It is an historical and colonial anomaly that heretofore the Communion leader… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Susannah Clark
Kate
Kate
4 months ago

So the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales are both essentially excluded from representation. Both bless same sex marriages. Is that a coincidence?
 
And why should an English Archbishop crown the monarch of the United Kingdom when the present office holder seems more interested in listening to countries like Ghana than home nations?

Doug Chaplin
4 months ago

I wonder if the Queen has a view on how members of her Privy Council are chosen?

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Doug Chaplin
4 months ago

She may have a view, but she has no authority to select. As in most political arrangements, she does what we tell her to do.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Toby Forward
4 months ago

Great point.
According to a TV series on Queen Victoria, she couldn’t even choose members of her household staff without setting off complaints from Parliament that the staff wasn’t of the right political party.
My take on British history of the past 200 – 300 years or so is, whenever a monarch tried to exercise some authority, Parliament restricted it.
The monarch has theoretical power, so long as s/he doesn’t exercise it.

T Pott
T Pott
4 months ago

It is, perhaps, not very widely recognised that even the Bishop of Rome is elected only by the clergy of Rome. How so? Every cardinal is appointed as a priest or deacon to a church in the diocese of Rome. It is in this capacity that the cardinals elect a pope.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

That’s a pious geographical fiction.

Father Ron Smith
4 months ago

Charlie Bell hits the nail on the head with this paragraph: “The current situation is one in which the Archbishop of Canterbury cannot speak on behalf of the Church of England, yet is expected to be the figurehead of the Church of England. This is a totally absurd situation, and one which needs to be quickly and definitively resolved. It is clear that on a number of key issues – from LGBTQI, to women clergy and bishops – the communion cannot and will not speak with one voice, and at present the Church of England is unable to find its… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
4 months ago

The problem with the papal-style of Church Government (in the Anglican world) is that – in the light of the alternative jurisdiction of GAFCON (which currently is headed by a former TEC clergy-person in the schismatic ACNA territory in North America) – there has already sprung up a RIVAL pseudo–Anglican Church, which claims to be the solely authentic ‘Orthodox Anglican’ Church. The oddity of GAFCON is that its African Bishops still claim to be a part of the official Anglican Communion – despite having their own Bishops Conference to rival Lambeth. In this ridiculous situation, one wonders whether a GAFCON… Read more »

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
4 months ago

I just dont get all the antagonism towards this proposal. I think that the principles behind it are entirely logical. I fear there is a rather a lot of inherited sense of colonialism. Surely, if ++Cantuar spends .25 of his time on the Anglican Communion – not just as a titular head, or a focus of unity, but as much more of a focal point/CEO – that the world wide (and growing Anglican church ) should have more of a say . The Anglican Church is a Global phenomenon – not the C of E plus a few others. Surely… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
4 months ago

Exactly. And while we’re at it, let’s not call the role the “president” or “leader” of the Anglican Communion. Let’s call it what it is — the chair of the primates’ meeting.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
4 months ago

I take your points, but it makes me realise that there is a bigger question at stake here which is something of an identity crisis within the Anglican Communion about what it is and what its purpose is and therefore, how it is led and presided over.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
4 months ago

Except Homeless Anglican there is no such thing as a global Anglican CHURCH.

Froghole
Froghole
4 months ago

As to Archbishop Cottrell’s missive: “It has long been acknowledged that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s critical role as first among equals of the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion” Acknowledged by whom? I am reminded of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Hunting of the Snark’: ‘Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:    That alone should encourage the crew. Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:    What I tell you three times is true’ Merely because some self-serving mantra is repeated ad nauseam does not make it necessary, right or useful (or true). There is nothing… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
4 months ago

Perish the thought, but perhaps he sees himself as the potential inheritor of this role!

John Wallace
John Wallace
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
4 months ago

What does ‘The Anglican Communion’ mean to most of those who worship in our churches? The concept of ‘The Deanery’ is pretty alien and as for ‘The Diocese’ that only comes into play when the Bishop (or Suffragan) appear for confirmations, licensings or othe special occasions or when complaints are made about the Parish Share. In my experience, there is now no difference in attendance whether the Bishop is present and preaching, or when I, as an authorised layperson, preach. For most people, the days of deference are over

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  John Wallace
4 months ago

I don’t disagree! But I had an interesting and amusing experience at the time of the Lambeth Conference in 1988 (or possibly 1998, I’m not now sure) when as a country part-time organist I turned up expecting to play for a ‘routine’ (as I thought) service of Evensong in a remote rural church. Our enterprising vicar had provided hospitality to two overseas bishops attending the Conference and they came to the service – this was quite a considerable distance from Canterbury – but the surprise was that they were from Burma, the first time that bishops from that country had… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

++ York’s letter conveniently ignores the fact that many Bishops invited to the last Lambeth Conference did not attend. Presumably they do not regard ++ Canterbury’s role as primus inter pares as being particularly crucial. Some may dispute he has such a role at all.

I take the point that he may still be invited to visit other Churches, and this may be important to the smaller ones. However many churches may welcome him as a visitor ( in the same way they would welcome any other Primate) without considering him in any meaningful sense their leader.

John Scrivener
John Scrivener
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Quite so, Froghole – it may have ‘long been acknowledged’ by some, but equally it has been long thought by others that the roles should be separated. Here is C.H.Sisson writing in the Spectator in 1982: “Hasn’t it all got rather out of hand? A disintegrated church at home is not healed by fixing its gaze on distant shores and the residual politics of post-imperial times […] The truth is that this confusion between local and international affairs has become part and parcel of the office of Archbishop of Canterbury, as at present conceived […] This natural preoccupation with the… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Scrivener
4 months ago

Many thanks indeed for that. I am so glad that you have mentioned Sisson. There was Sisson pre-1971 (who kept much of his political powder dry, and confined himself to belles-lettres) and there was Sisson post-1971, and post-Sevenoaks, who used his retirement at Langport to the utmost. The pre-1971 Sisson had written extensively, yet tactfully, about the civil service (as in ‘The Spirit of British Administration’ (1959)), but by the late 1960s his faith in the ability of high minded officials to effect beneficial change had been wrecked. As you may well know, he wrote several incendiary articles for The… Read more »

John Scrivener
John Scrivener
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Thanks for this – it’s good to come across someone else who has read and admired Sisson. I remember the articles you mention which I read in the book you link to (The Avoidance of Literature 1978) shortly after it came out. I became so absorbed in this collection that I went on to read everything else and the new books as they came out. It would be interesting to know more of his civil service career – he was evidently very able and ,in spite of his detachment, ambitious. I seem to have read somewhere that his final appointment… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Scrivener
4 months ago

Many thanks. As you will know, he was at the ministry of labour/department of employment for 36 years, absent the wartime break in India. He made under-secretary and stayed there for a decade, as director of establishments. Something seems to have gone badly wrong in about 1968. It appears that he had been promised promotion, and was passed over. He was made director of occupational safety & health in 1972, where it was assumed he could do little damage. Now I have a theory about this. I have supposed that Sisson loathed his permanent secretary, Denis Barnes. They were both… Read more »

John Scrivener
John Scrivener
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

This is all fascinating – thank you so much. On the Look-Out unfortunately doesn’t really shed much light, as, though published much later, it was actually written in 1964 and the opening section (you will remember that the narrative is reversed) still reflects to some extent a man happy in his work with whatever sceptical reservations – there is still a touch of the euphoria he had felt at getting his then job (‘elated incredulity’). What happened later doesn’t cast its shadow. What you say certainly makes good sense, and presumably lies behind some of the more veiled remarks about… Read more »

John Scrivener
John Scrivener
Reply to  John Scrivener
4 months ago

I should add that I was mistaken about the autobiography – I’d forgotten that there is an afterword in which Sisson says that the ‘relative exhilaration’ of the opening was ‘without precedent and . . .without suite’, and describes how he was ‘swept away’ from his post to ‘one where I could do less harm’. This left him with ‘considerably more leisure than before’. ‘The devil finds work for idle hands to do and I set the seal on my disgrace by publishing in the Spectator three knowledgeable articles about the management of the Civil Service , which was then… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Scrivener
4 months ago

Many thanks for your very generous remarks. 1968 was not only the year in which he was passed over, it was also the year of the Fulton Report, which was the basis of his controversial articles. Armstrong represented the apotheosis of Fultonism. Barnes and Armstrong were peas in a pod: Armstrong remarked, famously, that the civil service was engaged in the ‘orderly management of decline’, a doctrine to which Barnes would have subscribed wholeheartedly (although Barnes chafed at it, for he was thick with the Chatham House crowd only a few metres’ away from his department, and so was wont… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  John Scrivener
4 months ago

Indeed. If Froghole ever finds time to write a book based on his attendance at so many different church services I will certainly read it. It will certainly be erudite and entertaining in equal measure.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Bravery
3 months ago

That is most kind, Mr Bravery. I suspect I would have to approach a vanity publisher! What I am undertaking is also an historical and topographical tour. It was stimulated several ways: (i) when asked to give an overview for my then parish of the history of the Rochester diocese from 604 to 2004 (this led me to go around the diocese); (ii) having lived on the Kent/Surrey border all my life and being reproached by a fellow beekeeper for not having heard of a parish (Horton Kirby, an intriguingly, and ostensibly, Scandinavian place name for west Kent) that was… Read more »

John Scrivener
John Scrivener
Reply to  Froghole
3 months ago

Ah well! If it is not to be . . . at least you know you would have had at least two readers in Mr Bravery and myself..

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Froghole
3 months ago

I do think you should establish an archive Froghole and donate it to an academic institution. It will be invaluable to a future historian.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

Just because the present incumbent of a particular role can’t understand or handle the complexities of the role doesn’t mean that the role and everything that creates or sustains it needs to be overhauled. There are other options. The implications of the proposals seem disproportionate to the presenting problem.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
4 months ago

Reflecting on the Anglican Communion and Anglican Identity, I remember during my Roslin years hearing Father Roland Walls saying that the definition of an Anglican as a Christian in Communion with the See of Canterbury, is of very recent definition, if this is so it would seem to some that is like treating Canterbury as an alternative Rome, and not all Anglicans would consider it necessary to be in Communion with the See of Canterbury to describe themselves as Anglicans, in Scotland I get the impression from the past, that they sit lightly to the Anglican Communion and they prefer… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
4 months ago

Have written to The Times today, following ++Ebor’s letter, but it’s all too nerdy a subject for most. If they don’t publish (likely), I will post on TA.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Anthony Archer
4 months ago

Herewith the text of my letter to The Times, which picks up many of the relevant points on this thread. John Inge’s letter was published this morning, backing the party line of course! I strongly recommend all to respond to the consultation. I doubt General Synod will embrace these changes, and said so some time ago when this idea was first floated. Sir, The task of the Crown Nominations Commission to consider a vacancy in the see of Canterbury is to discern the best person for the role (“Anglican plan may boost traditionalists”, Jan 18, Letter, Jan 19). That role… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
4 months ago

Thank you, Simon (Sarmiento) for your view of the situation. I, too, believe that, rather than asking other Provinces of the A.C. to share in the election of the next Archbishop of Canterbury (whose primary loyalty, as ABC and a bishop of the Church of England is to his own diocese and provincial Church, and whose election should stay in the C. of E.; there could be brought into play another, more equable solution for the Communion: The current Primus-inter-pares, the ABC could preside over the free election of the next P. I.P. of the Anglican Communion from (and through)… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
4 months ago

It’s perhaps not totally unreasonable for the see of Canterbury to continue to have some sort of primacy of honour among the bishops of the Communion. But that primacy of honour does not need to also be accompanied by the “executive” authority that it currently seems to. The primacy of the see of Canterbury could be re-envisaged as a more “constitutional” role, with a chair of the primates meeting elected separately by the primates as frequently as they wished. It could be a rotating 6-month role (like, the presidency of the EU council of ministers), it could be a one… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
4 months ago

I agree with you, Simon (Kershaw) on most points you have raised. However, this still does not address the current ‘elephant in the room’ – the ambitions of the GAFCON Primates to replace the Anglican Communion Leadership with their own ‘Sola Scriptura’ ethos; which contradicts the traditional Anglican ‘Unity in Diversity’ ethic with that of their own self-declared “Orthodox Anglican-ism”. The new proposal – with suitable caveats which still allow the Church of England the sole right to choose its own Primus – could provide a currently heaven-sent opportunity for the Communion to stand up against the separatism of the… Read more »

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
4 months ago

OK – I am going to stick my neck out here and respectfully disagree with so much of what is so hostile to this proposal. We know that the Anglican Communion is a challenging family to try and hold together. Many of the views of other parts of the family are repellent to us, as ours are to them. Most of these are around sexuality and relationships – but not all. All Archbishops in recent history have spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to keep the family together, supporting each other and learning from each other and enriching each… Read more »

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
4 months ago

The Anglican Communion is the product of colonialism and imperialism. Much of the attitudes that continue within it reflect that. The use and abuse of power within it and who should be at the head need a more thorough scrutiny in my view. This does not enable a shift of power over people within the communion It is a male dominated, exclusive, power grabbing bonny band of brothers. A few sisters are tolerated by some. They don’t even agree amongst themselves so what this does to address that I’ve no clue. As for the ABC being a unity focus and… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
3 months ago

I would have thought the role of the ABC and the future structuring of the Anglican Communion should be high on the agenda of the Lambeth Conference. Is it?

Daniel Lamont
Daniel Lamont
3 months ago

Writing from Scotland, I strongly object to the formulation of this proposal. While the ABC has no jurisdiction in Scotland, the holder of that office is, de jure, a member of the House of Lords and therefore takes part in passing legislation which affects all parts of the UK, including Scotland. Yet specifically the SEC is to be excluded from having a say in the appointment of someone who has legislative power over it. What is the rationale for excluding those provinces of the Communion from having a say in the appointment of the ABC? It has a fine Imperialist… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Daniel Lamont
3 months ago

You come clean with Number 4! Actually I suspect you would be hard put to find any speeches by the Archbishop and other Lords Spiritual (do they vote?) which have had the slightest – or any – adverse impact on the SEC or other Scottish interests. Scotland has members of the HL, but it seems you would disenfranchise them there! I have known of Scottish members of the English judiciary (that’s England and Wales) including the current President of the Supreme Court, and at least one Scottish Dean of a C of E cathedral, the late Alex Wedderspoon, a most… Read more »

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