Bishop John Saxbee of Lincoln said some very sensible things during the debate on the Anglican Covenant in the Church of England's General Synod, and thanks to the Rev. Lesley Fellows, we can share them with you:
In relation to the Anglican Covenant, I’m on record as saying in this synod that I entirely support the process, as long as it never ends. Let me explain what I mean. The Anglican Communion doesn’t need a Covenant because Anglicanism is a covenant. It is a way of Provinces listening, living distinctively apart from each other whilst remaining part of one another. That is a way of doing difference differently from the ways in which groups and individuals usually do difference. It is predicated on grace and goodwill, and if there is grace and goodwill then a covenant will be unnecessary and if there is no grace and goodwill then a covenant will be unavailing....
The Covenant may of itself not be tyrannical, but there are those in the Communion whose treatment of our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers has had at least a touch of the tyrannical about it. And if I ever come to the conclusion that a covenant of this kind would give them comfort then I would be bound to resist it.
Anglicanism has been described as a fellowship of civilised disagreement. Well I leave you to judge whether a two-tier Communion with first and second division members answers to that description of civilised disagreement. It frankly feels like we will be sending sincere and faithful Anglicans to stand in the corner until they have seen the error of their ways and can return to the ranks of the pure and spotless.