The Primate of Scotland, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, has written a very sensible reflection on what took place at the Primates Meeting last week, that concludes as follows:
As the statements make clear, the Meeting spent much time clarifying the role of the Primates’ Meeting as one of the Instruments of Communion. It should not be a place where decisions are made for the Communion or for Provinces. It was clear that most of us come – as I do – from Provinces where decision-making is collegial and consultative within our autonomous provincial structure.
So when our College of Bishops meets next week, my colleagues will not expect me to bring back a series of decisions for implementation. But they will want me to share with them the best account I can give of how other Provinces are dealing with the same problems as we face. That won’t just be an account of how far-off places are doing – because through the Instruments of Communion we expect to respond to the feelings and the difficulties of other Provinces. As they respond to us. That’s what it means to be a Communion.
The statement the Primates released on the "scope and purpose" of the Primates Meeting is being received with cautious optimism by those who share Bishop Chillingworth's sense of how the Communion should govern itself (which is to say, barely) and with the usual apocalyptic disdain by those who think that the Communion needs a hammer so that they can be set among the nails.