ANGLICAN COVENANT SUPPORTERS EXPRESS ‘DEEEP (sic) REGRET’
Supporters of the Anglican Communion Covenant have expressed their deep regret at the decision by the majority of Church of England Dioceses not to support the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant. Although in total more people in Diocesan Synods voted for the Covenant than against it, the rules required a majority of both clergy and laity in favour in each Diocese in order for it to go through. The decisions means that the Covenant has now been officially rejected by the Church of England, and will not be going forward for ratification by the General Synod later in the year.
Prudence Dailey, a member of General Synod and co-founder of the ‘Yes to the Covenant’ campaign, said: ‘I deeply regret what I believe to be a profoundly mistaken decision, especially when the General Synod had previously given the Covenant such overwhelming support. Many in the worldwide Anglican Communion were pinning their hopes on the Covenant as the only way forward, and I cannot help wondering what they—and especially those Provinces that have already ratified the Covenant—will make of us in the Church of England’.
She indicated that she hoped those dioceses yet to vote would still take the voting seriously to enable the mind of the whole Church of England to be reflected, and that many of them would vote in favour. Although this would not affect the outcome, it would be symbolically significant, she explained.
‘At the same time’, she said, ‘it is now necessary to look forwards rather than back. Many Provinces have already ratified the Covenant, and others may well do so; and its provisions will remain in force for those who have signed up to it. The new Archbishop of Canterbury has now potentially been left with an even more difficult and challenging task than his predecessor, but I hope and pray that a way can still be found to keep Anglicans together in a meaningful and coherent sense’. It remained to be seen whether or not it would still be possible for the Church of England to remain in any sense at the heart of the Anglican Communion, she added
” It remained to be seen whether or not it would still be possible for the Church of England to remain in any sense at the heart of the Anglican Communion, she added.”
Methinks the Lady doth protest too much~ sad and tear-jerking as it may be for Prudence Daily, and her ‘Yes to the Covenant’ fellow campaigners; I hardly think the Anglican Communion will either sink or swim on her Province’s resounding rejection of the Covenant. In fact, the result of the diocesan voting may help the Church of England to enter the reality of what is happening elsewhere in the Communion, and what needs to be done to halt the rise and rise of anti-Gay and anti-Women sentiment in all Provinces of the Communion.
Perhaps when the 200 or so afficionadoes of the oddly-named ‘Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’, in cahoots with GAFCON, meet up together for their advertised gathering of ‘Orthodox Anglicans’ in England later next month, most members of the Church of England may suddenly become aware of Gafcon’s ‘cuckoo-in-the-nest’ – AMIE (Anglican mission in England), whose clergy were ordained recently by the Archbishop of Kenya, The Most Revd. Eliud Wabakula.
Archbishop Eliud will actually be Chairing the Meeting, assisted by one other notable Archbishop – formerly General Secretary of Gafcon, but now Secretary of FCA – Peter Jensen – of Sydney (Lay-presidency at the Eucharist) provenance. Despite this, Peter Jensen proclaims himself to be a fellow ‘orthodox Anglican’ – as opposed to us non-Gafconites, who are, apparently, heretical !
Also, a Key Speaker at the meeting will be a former Bishop of Rochester, The Rt. Revd. Michael Nazir-Ali, who is now an outspoken supporter of Gafcon and the schismatic church of ACNA in North America. No doubt Bishop Michael will be telling his former colleagues in the C.of E. House of Bishops where both the Covenant and the current strategy of the C.of E. and the Communion are not meeting with his approval.
However, while all of this flurry of activity has been, and will be, going in Europe and the ‘Global South’ Provinces, the rest of us in the Communion, who just want to get on with the work of the Gospel in situ, have been quietly carrying on with our appointed task of observing the Lenten Season, and looking forward to the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Festival of Easter. Whatever happens at the coming Gafcon meeting will not deflect us from doing what we feel we have been called to do – serving Christ in one another to the best of our ability; and opening up the Church to other poor sinners like ourselves.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand