The Rev. Lesley Fellows, who serves as Moderator of No Anglican Covenant Coalition and our Convener in the Church of England, and the Bishop of St. Asaph Gregory Cameron, who was on the committee that drew up the Covenant, were interviewed by Edward Stourton, November 7, on his weekly BBC “Sunday” program.
Stourton sought to discover why a Covenant was needed at this time, asking Cameron, “But, to be clear, it is about controlling what different bits of the church believe really, isn’t it, particularly in the light of the fact that it comes from the row over the ordination of a gay Bishop in the United States?
Cameron responded, “It depends what you mean by the word ‘control’.”
Fellows followed up by emphasizing that the Covenant as proposed is not Anglican at all, “I think it’s about whether we think we’re a church where we can have different opinions and live together and worship together, or whether we think we’re a church where we all have to believe the same thing. Traditional Anglicanism is a very broad church.”
Cameron tried to defend his earlier slam against those who opposed the Covenant, where he called them “Little Englanders” and “just like the BNP” (xenophobic groups in England) by saying he was shocked that anyone would oppose the document that in intended to hold the Communion together.
Fellows said, “I think actually the Bishop’s got a very difficult argument [that says] ‘We can’t have control without discipline, and then they say, ‘Oh well, it’s not about discipline.’ But the Covenant does say there are relational consequences for controversial actions; that sounds to me punitive.”
Cameron seemed unable to clarify his stance that it was not punitive and how it would work to bring people closer together through separation.
Here is Mr. CatOLick's impression of the interview, he wonders if Mr. Cameron, when making his “little Englanders” and “BNP” comments about those who oppose the Covenant, was only a bit shocked then what would Mr. Cameron say if he were really shocked?