Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Covenant rejected by Church of England

MARCH 24, 2012

LONDON – No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, has issued the following statement on the defeat of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant in the Church of England.

“With today’s results from the dioceses of Oxford and Lincoln, the proposed Anglican Covenant is now dead in the water in the Church of England. This also poses serious problems for the Covenant in other Provinces as it seems nonsensical to have the Archbishop of Canterbury in the second tier of the Anglican Communion and excluded from the central committees.

“When we launched the No Anglican Covenant Coalition 18 months ago, we were assured that the Anglican Covenant was an unstoppable juggernaut. We started as simply a band of bloggers, but we would like to thank the hundreds of supporters and our patrons for their dedication to promoting debate. The Covenant needed the approval of 23 diocesan synods, as of today, that result is no longer possible.

“Especially we would like to congratulate people in Diocesan Synods across the Church of England who, despite attempts in many dioceses to silence or marginalize dissenting voices, endeavoured to promote debate, ensuring that the Anglican Covenant was subjected to significant and meaningful scrutiny. We found, as the debate went on, that the more people read and studied the Covenant, the less they liked it.

“Under Church of England procedures , this proposal to centralize Communion-wide authority in the hands of a small, self-selecting group cannot return to the agenda of General Synod for at least three years.

“We are seeing the momentum turning internationally as well. The Episcopal Church of the Philippines has officially rejected the Covenant, the opposition of the Tikanga Maori virtually assures that the Covenant will be rejected in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and we are seeing increasing opposition in other Provinces of the Communion.

“While today’s diocesan synod results are exciting and gratifying, we are well aware that there is still work to do. However, if the proposed Anglican Covenant does not stand up to scrutiny in the Church of England, we are confident that it will not stand up to scrutiny elsewhere.

“We hope that the Church of England will now look to bring reconciliation within the Anglican Communion by means of strengthening relationships rather than punitive legislation.”

Note: A PDF version of the news release can be found here.

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Blogger Nancy Wallace said...

Tomorrow's Old Testament reading from Jeremiah about a covenant written on the heart seems especially timely. Now perhaps in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion we can concentrate on building communion through relationship with God and one another rather than bureaucracy. Well done Lesley and others for your part in encouraging serious debate on the Covenant.

March 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger June Butler said...

There's joy in south Louisiana!

March 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Eric Funston said...

I am gratified that the Church of England has come to this conclusion through its legislative process. It is time for the Instruments of Communion to acknowledge that the Covenant was a bad idea from the start and to abandon this approach to control of the Communion. It is through working relationships, companion diocese partnerships, and simple friendships that our Communion stays together, not through punitive legislation.

March 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Well done to all of you in the No Covenant coalition for informing people about the problems with the Covenant. Let's hope that other provinces follow where the C of E leads, and we return to the inclusive tolerance which is what we value in Anglicanism.

March 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger JimB said...


That is what we hope and pray for, and what we will now work to achieve. The Covenant does not on its face require the Church of England, so there remains a threat. We have won a major victory, but not the end of the conflict.


March 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM  

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