New Zealand rejects Sydney overlap proposal


Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have replied, on behalf of the ACANZP General Synod Standing Committee, to the proposal made by the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, in August.

See GSSC responds to Sydney.

Like it or not, to be Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand means facing into 200 years of a unique, shared and difficult history between Maori and Pakeha – and acknowledging the pillars of that shared history.

These pou include Anglicans bringing the gospel to these shores in 1814; the foundational and church-brokered Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 – and, after 150 years of struggle by Maori Anglicans, the adoption of Te Pouhere, the Three Tikanga Constitution of The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

So, a proposal advanced by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, that there should be two Anglican Churches in New Zealand, both linked by heritage – but the new one not recognising “the laws, promises, and solemn commitments” that bind The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and which grew out of that painful shared history, does not work.

That is the view of the General Synod Standing Committee – and that view has been expressed in an open letter signed by its co-chairs, Archbishops Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson, and sent to Archbishop Davies today.

The letter concludes: “We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history.”

Anglican Communion News Service reports: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction.

Archbishop Davies’ proposal was contained in this document. The proposal was described in Sydney as: Archbishop presents proposal for NZ Anglican future. We reported it in August as Archbishop of Sydney proposes ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ for ACANZP.

The New Zealand reply to it is contained in this document. It’s worth reading this in full.

The Anglican Church League in Sydney reports it as Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal.


Thanks to Simon Sarmiento of ‘Thinking Anglicans’ for this extensive coverage of the recent response by the New Zealand Maori and Pakeha Archbishops to the Visit of the Diocese of Sydney’s Archbishop Glenn Davies and his proposal; that ACANZP might follow the institutional relationship of the Anglican partners in mission in the Diocese of Europe.

However, what Archbishop Davies did not mention, was the fact that the partners in the Anglican Diocese of Europe are actually  ‘In Communion” – Eucharistic Fellowship – with one another. This is a very different situation from the intentionally schismatic ethos of the ACNA, GAFCON, AMIE, FOCA and other quasi-Anglican groups that have willfully separated themselves out from ‘Eucharist Fellowship’ with the worldwide Anglican Communion Provinces whose bishops will be attending the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England in 2020.

It must be realised that the Archbishop of Sydney is, himself,  a full member of the rival Anglican GAFCON/FOCA Alliance which has set itself apart from the wider Anglican Communion by setting up its own rival Jerusalem Mission Statement  fostering rival Anglican Churches in other Provinces – like Canada, the USA, South America and The U.K. Far from any prospect of Anglican Communion’s ethos of ‘Unity in diversity’; the GAFCON/FOCA Movement is intent on setting up its very own quasi-Anglican Communion based, not on filial inclusive Gospel tenets but, rather, on a degree of separatism from Anglican koinonia-fellowship that would outlaw any movement towards the radical inclusion of LGBT+ people on the grounds of puritanical exclusion.

One does wonder about the cohesion of the Anglican Church in Australia when it has to deal with the Diocese of Sydney and its close association with Moore Theological College that produces the brand of radical conservative that has caused chaos in the life of the Anglican Communion around the world by its militant Puritan theological separatism.

Thank God our New Zealand Archbishops have reacted in a good way to ensure that our Church is open to all and sundry in its approach to the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Gospel; whose death on behalf of sinners was a complete turnaround from Pharisaical legalistic piety that was stifling the message of God’s Mercy and Love to ALL Creation.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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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