As the Anglican world still turns

Ruth Gledhill interviewed Bishop Gregory Cameron about the Anglican Covenant. He reiterates that the Covenant is for Anglican Consultative Council members only. In a separate story, we learn that some English evangelicals would love for the Church of England recognize ACNA separately from the Instruments of Unity.

She writes:

(Cameron says:) “There were two concerns in Jamaica. The first was about the meaning of the word, church. There is always a worry about what Anglicans mean when they say, church. Is there an Anglican Church at a universal level? Archbishop Rowan does use the term ‘the Anglican Church’ as a universal reality. But I would say there is not such a single entity. I think there is a family of churchettes which are provinces.” It had to be clarified because of concerns that anyone — the Recife diocese, ACNA — could claim to be an Anglican church and then sign up to the Covenant, in effect opting themselves into the Communion. Bishop Gregory said: “We have made it absolutely clear that the Anglican Communion is a family of national and regional Churches, so the Covenant is not talking about dioceses, but provinces.” Provinces and national Churches will be invited to join by one of the instruments of communion, so the only way ACNA could sign up would be to be invited, and for that to happen, ACNA will have to apply for membership of the Anglican Consultative Council.

But some evangelicals in the Church of England would like to pressure the Church of England into recognizing ACNA by way of a “private members resolution” to be present at the next General Synod meeting. Gledhill writes in the Times:

The General Synod will debate a private member’s motion next month calling for the Church of England to declare itself “in communion” with the Anglican Church in North America, formed in opposition to the pro-gay liberals in the official Anglican body in North America.

The synod, dominated by evangelicals, could pass the motion by a 50 per cent majority, adding to the pressure on the primates and bishops to recognise the new church.

Scott Gunn over at Seven Whole Days says ‘not so fast.’

Should the PMM get to the floor of Synod, I see little chance of its passage. At some level, people in the C of E are finally beginning to understand that if they encourage secessionists outside England, their own turf is likely to be invaded. While many in the C of E are in denial, there is no doubt that many of the the Akinolites would love to set up shop with their own cathedral in the shadow of St. Paul’s.

It is also hard to imagine that the same Synod that approved women bishops and directed the Bishops not to water down their authority will also vote to be in communion with ACNA. And if they should state their preference to be in communion (the resolution itself would not make it happen), it would not bring ACNA any closer to being a part of the Anglican Communion.

Gledhill notes:

Giles Fraser, founder of the pro-gay Inclusive Church and Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s, said: “I’m happy to be in communion with them. The question is, are they happy to be in communion with me?”

For the latest on the Anglican soup, er soap opera, read the rest of Scott Gunn’s post here.

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Category : The Lead

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  1. John B. Chilton

    The primary reason not to take this seriously is that the C of E Synod is in no mood to pass such a motion.

    The secondary reason is it’s not clear Gledhill knows what she’s talking about when she writes the synod “is to consider” and “will debate”. As Gunn alludes to there’s a procedure by which private members motions get selected for debate. Has the list for debate been determined already?

    See the procedures here:

    Note also that the motion has been around since July.

    So taken all together my take is that Gledhill’s business model is to sell “news” to people with short memories.

  2. I am nominating this for the second most overhyped religion story of the last six months. Right behind Benedict XVI’s outreach to Anglicans. The response to that outreach has been almost universally negative, and anybody who was paying attention knew that was likely to be the case. Yet the coverage was enormous. On some days it seems the function of the media is to make people anxious for no good reason.

  3. Bede

    “On some days it seems the function of the media is to make people anxious for no good reason.”

    No good reason? The reason is that’s the BEST way to make MONEY.

  4. “Akinolites.” I like that neologism, whether it’s original with Gunn or not.

    Now, how would we define the term? Well, coming from health care, it seems to me the definition would be something like, “trace elements in the Anglican body that in proper proportion contribute to the life of the body, but when out of balance can lead to systemic toxicity and disruption of interaction among organs.”

    Marshall Scott

  5. John B. Chilton

    Update – I revise my comment above with to respect to the “secondary” reason. The agenda for February General Synod is out, and the private members motion on ACNA is listed. An html version of the agenda is here,

  6. I did not invent “Akinolites”. I can’t remember from whence it came.

    Interestingly enough, though the ACNA PMM made it onto the agenda, the PMM with the most signatures — on Fresh Expressions resources — did not make it. I don’t know what to make of that, but I’m working to avoid a cynical conclusion that the church would rather probe contested issues than embrace missional opportunities.

    In any case, I would be floored if the ACNA PMM passed Synod.

    I’ve written to some friends in the C of E as I seek to understand the agenda. Perhaps someone in the know will blog this.



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