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The Anglican Covenant “following motion”

The Anglican Covenant “following motion”

While the Church of England dioceses are voting on the question of the Anglican Covenant, there’s a second resolution being in considered in just less than a quarter of the 44 dioceses. It’s related to the Covenant question, but it doesn’t reference the Covenant directly. It thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his leadership and calls on the English House of Bishops to take much more seriously their responsibility for promoting the community of the Communion.

Thinking Anglicans has published the text of the “following motion”.

A following motion to the Article 8 reference of the Anglican Covenant

Version five:

‘This Diocesan Synod, following the reference from the General Synod of the draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant, requests the General Synod to debate the following motion:

“That this Synod:

(a) rejoice in the fellowship of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which is rooted in our shared worship and held together by bonds of affection and our common appeal to Scripture, tradition and reason;

(b) thank the Archbishop of Canterbury for his tireless efforts throughout the Communion to sustain and strengthen unity in difficult times; and

(c) call on the House of Bishops:

(i)to find ways to maintain and reinforce strong links across the world-wide Anglican Communion and to deepen the Church of England’s involvement with the existing Communion ministries and networks (especially the continuing Indaba process);

(ii) to publicise and promote this work within the dioceses of the Church of England in order to broaden understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the Anglican Communion; and

(iii) to encourage a wide understanding of, and support for, the next Lambeth Conference.” ’”

Four dioceses so far: Chelmsford, Bath & Wells, Worcester and Southward, have adopted the resolution. No diocese that has considered it has defeated it.

Apparently this following motion is giving people in the Synods a way to support the Archbishop and his ministry in the Communion and separate that question out from the main issue of the Covenant. Or at least that how this appears to this American reading the thing.

Any other readings occur to you?


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Jesse Zink

Indeed, a tangled (but fascinating) comment thread.

I initially raised the ACO in the context of the post on the so-called “following motion.” My point is simply that words are well and good but they need to be backed up with dollars and commitment. The proposed budget further cuts our commitment to one significant part of the Anglican Communion.

Parishes grumble about paying assessments to the diocese. Dioceses grumble about paying assessments to the churchwide office. It is no surprise that there would also be grumbling about paying assessments to the ACO. And the ACO has done – and will do – things we disagree with, just as I believe my diocese and my churchwide office have done – and will continue to do so. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think those organizations should exist or I can pick and choose what my money supports. On some level, we need all these organizations – just as we need to be actively involved in their oversight and management.

And, of course, in a time of financial scarcity, everything needs to be weighed and measured. We’ve cut our funding for the ACO quite a bit in recent years. Maybe we need to cut it more. But if we’re going to keep making positive noises like these “following motions,” (and I know this resolution is from the C of E, but we’ve passed similar motions in the past), I’d like for us to keep finding the money for them as well.


tobias haller

Sharon, if you check back I think you will see it was Jim who raised the issue of Christian Formation; and it was to that I was responding.

You put your finger on the issue, though. It is ultimately about “what we are saying about” any particular item when it comes to funding at a national level. Everyone thinks that their own area needs a “desk” at 815, and support for their own network via that mechanism. With only so much in the way of resources to go around, decisions have to be made about priorities. A national office for Christian Formation is not one of those priorities in the eyes of those who crafted the budget. I do not think they intended this as a reflection on Christian Formation, but in the extent to which that work requires national coordination.

Lyle SmithGraybeal

Any organization that has both a domestic and an international reach must fund both domestic and international activities proportionally. That is why in the executive branch of the US govt we have, for instance, a secretary of education AND a secretary of defense AND a secretary of state. For TEC to heavily fund work in the larger Communion in lieu of work in its own province, formation or otherwise, is short-sighted. If it does not invest in itself then eventually TEC will not be around to do the Communion work nor the provincial.



I think you strayed the original conversation when you stated, “Jim, frankly, I think there is no reason for a national “Christian Formation” budget line. Christian Formation is not a national or international “thing.”

Christian educators (clergy & lay, volunteer & paid) who minister with children, youth, young adult and adults are very concerned at how the proposed budget has decimated support for Christian formation. There are a number of resources and network connections that the church-level provides that helps those on the local level. By removing funding from this area of the church’s mission, we are saying we do not value Christian formation. It’s not just about EYE – it’s about supporting the future generations of our church. If we don’t support ministry to our children and youth, there won’t be any adults to be of part The Episcopal Church to even understand what the Anglican Communion is.

Sharon Ely Pearson

Diocese of Connecticut

Standing Commission on Christian Formation and Education

tobias haller

Well, it seems to me this comment thread has wandered far from the original post, which has nothing to do with the GC budget process. It only goes to show how hard it is to craft a national budget, since everyone (and I include myself) seems to think that their program or interest should be a priority. This is, in part, what makes me so very distrustful of central governments, and the hub and spoke model with which the church has engaged since the late 50s. Our PB is trying to lead us into thinking more along networked lines, but it is going to be hard to change old habits and suppositions.

Meanwhile, to get back to the actual topic — I see a number of the dioceses that voted against the Covenant have supported this following motion. I do not think there is anything ulterior in it, but a way to say Yes to the Communion while saying No to the proposed Covenant.

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