Acceding to the covenant is voluntary, explained Mr. Kearon, adding that the membership in the Communion of churches will not cease or be altered if their decision-making bodies decide not to sign on to it.
“The covenant will only be operative for those who agree to sign the covenant. It becomes operative for any church soon as that church signs on to it,” said Mr. Kearon.
“We’re not looking for a substantive majority – the covenant will only ever apply to those churches of the communion which decide (to sign on to it). “
And there is this from Canada lay representative to the ACC Suzanne Lawson:
There are several things that we might have wanted to be different, even to the point that some of us could have said, ‘Why do we really need a covenant?’ But, in fact, it looks like we will have a covenant and the real feeling is that the Covenant Design Group has listened hard to the kinds of input that have been presented to them and have done a pretty good job.” Personally, said Ms. Lawson, “I have some concerns that I’m going to talk to people about and that is that the bulk of the responsibility for dealing with ‘problems,’ and I think the Canadian church is considered ‘a problem’ – although we don’t think so – in the hands of the majority of primates, bishops and clergy of the Joint Standing Committee, which is being given increasing power.…”Today's Press Briefing is on podcast and features Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of The Anglican Communion and Bishop John Paterson of Auckland, New Zealand the chair of ACC-14. They discussed the agenda of the meeting including the mission of the Anglican Communion, the Covenant for the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, the reception of the final report of the Windsor Continuation Process and how the council members will engage in the life and vitality of the local Church. Follow this link above to listen to the 20 minute news conference (or download the podcast here). About two thirds in there is a question about the ongoing absence of Archbishop Orombi, elective representative of Africa, at JSC meetings and at this ACC.