Laura Sykes (Anglican Laywoman) on ‘The Covenant’

Is Archbishop Rowan fatally dependent on his sat nav?

Everyone has heard silly stories, some surely apocryphal, of drivers being led astray by their sat navs, with varying results from getting stuck in narrow country lanes to driving off piers into the sea. In my own experience, friends staying with us in Hampshire from the Middle Eastneeded to take their son to Leicester to put him into university. I insisted on map-reading for the outward journey, which they thought quaintly stubborn; the journey took one and a half hours. We would return, they announced, via sat nav (or GPS, to our cousins across the pond). As they had programmed ‘using motorways’, the sat nav decided to return via the M1 and the journey took nearly three hours.I am wondering whether ++Rowan (and his advisors) are similarly fatally fixated on their sat nav. One can imagine the archbishop settling down in 2008 to plan the march towards the worldwide adoption of the Covenant. He would have punched all data then available into the massive central processing unit that is undoubtedly his brain, hit the enter button and then produced the route he intended to take to his simplistic panacea for all the ills that beset the Anglican Communion.

He does not appear to have noticed that the parameters have changed. Roadworks have started along the way, there have been diversions, and some roads have been turned into cul-de-sacs or, as the French really say, ‘voies sans issue’. More seriously, some of his original data was also corrupted.

And yet, like Mr Magoo, he carries on regardless. Helpless onlookers do their best to prevent him from falling into the ditch, but he marches forward saying ‘I can do no other’.

Archbishop Rowan, this is a petition.

Please, please stop, look and listen. Remember the law of unintended consequences. Only proceed further with great caution!

We echo the heartfelt words of  Oliver Cromwell  to the 1650 general assembly of the Church of Scotland and “beseech you in the bowels of Christ [to] think it possible you may be mistaken.” –  Laura Sykes

I am grateful to ‘Thinking Anglicans U.K.’ for this Lay-led input into the Archbishop of Canterbury‘s indomitable drive towards the goal of the proposed ‘Anglican Covenant‘.
In view of the fact that there have not been too many opinions from Lay-people (apart from those of professional journalists) on the Blog-Sites of the Anglican Communion – on the impending imposition of The Covenant – it is refreshing to find this articulate and up-to-date understanding of the pitfalls to be met along the way.
There can be little doubt that – faced with the deterioration of relationships within the Communion (and the reality of – and threat of – further schismatic activity from the conservative element of the Communion) that the ABC is having to juggle with the possible side-effects of what the adoption of the Covenant Process could mean; in terms of which of the world-wide Anglican Provinces will elect either to join, or not to join. Big Provinces – like some of those in continental Africa, can wield a lot of influence!
The metaphor of GPS, so cleverly used here by Laura Sykes, is rather apt in the particular circumstances. Many new ‘road-blocks’ and ‘false-trails’ have been erected along the route leading to the universal acceptance of the Covenant. Conservatives on the one hand, are saying it is not proscriptive enough (against LGBT sympathisers within the Communion); while the more liberal Provinces are worried about the prospect of a restrictive ethos of ‘sola Scriptura’ and anti-gay policy contained in the essence of Section 4 of the Covenant.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has an unenviable task. If he pushes the covenant to the point where conservatives were able to affirm its disciplinary powers; then he risks further alienating those in the Communion who are concerned to continue what they see as their mission of inclusivity of ALL in the life and ministry of the Church.
Archbishop Rowan needs our prayers – now more than ever – that he might find the ideal route to his stated objective of this Anglican Concilium, without further schism.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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1 Response to Laura Sykes (Anglican Laywoman) on ‘The Covenant’

  1. So Borlin says:

    Hi there, just ran into this website from stumbleupon. This isn’t not something I would normally read, but I loved your perspective on it. Thanks for making something worth reading!

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