Alan Perry has done us the service of gathering the results of the voting on the proposed Anglican Covenant in the Church of England. It is too early to predict the covenant’s defeat, but perhaps not too early to begin wondering what will become of the document if, in fact, it is defeated in the Church of England.
Will that stop the adoption process in the wider Communion in its tracks, or will the Church of England have to endure the “second tier” status once predicted for the Episcopal Church? And if so, how can the Archbishop of Canterbury continue to function as the leader of the communion while leading a church that might conceivably be excluded from certain gatherings of governing bodies?
Here are the numbers:
Twenty one of the Church of England’s 44 dioceses have voted. Thirteen opposed the covenant. Eight favor it. Supporters need 23 affirmative votes to have the matter referred to the church’s General Synod, where its prospects may be somewhat better than they have been thus far in the dioceses.
Alan Perry’s breakdown reveals that it is clergy and lay people who are closely divided on the merits of the covenant while bishops are strongly supportive.
Bishops: 84.2% for, 10.5% against, 5.3% abstentions
Clergy: 45.8% for, 48.9% against, 5.4% abstentions
Laity: 50.3% for, 43.9% against, 5.8% abstentions
Overall: 49.1% for, 45.3% against, 5.6% abstentions