Editor’s note: The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council will submit a resolution to General Convention next year that would have it state that the church is “unable to adopt the Anglican Covenant in its present form.” Earlier ENS article here.
[No Anglican Covenant Coalition] After slightly more than a year, the No Anglican Covenant Coalition can point to several successes, according to Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley.
Four dioceses of the Church of England have rejected the Covenant (Birmingham; St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Wakefield). Where synod members were provided with balanced background material (i.e., material that presented both the case for and the case against the Covenant), the synods have voted it down. Four dioceses, where little or no material was presented other than officially sanctioned pro-Covenant material, have approved the Covenant (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol). A total of 23 diocesan synods must approve the Covenant for the matter to return to the General Synod.
The Tikanga Maori defeated the Covenant at their biennial runanganui, virtually ensuring the defeat of the Covenant in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
The Philippine House of Bishops has indicated they will not support the Anglican Covenant, likely ensuring the defeat of the Covenant in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.
Individual dioceses in the Anglican Church of Australia (Newcastle; Sydney) and The Episcopal Church (California; Eastern Oregon; Michigan; East Carolina; and others) have indicated their opposition to adoption of the Covenant.
“In November 2010, we launched the Coalition to ensure that the case against the proposed Anglican Covenant would be given a fair hearing,” said Dr. Crawley. “Today we are seeing our efforts bear fruit. When fair debate has been allowed, the results have been gratifying.”
Critical to the success of the campaign, especially in the Church of England, has been the support of the Coalition’s Episcopal Patrons, Bishops John Saxbee and Peter Selby, who have encouraged diocesan bishops to allow for a full and open debate. In the coming months, 37 more English dioceses will vote on the Anglican Covenant. Only 18 additional no votes are needed for the Church of England to reject the Covenant.
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition continues to provide assistance to those researching the proposed Covenant. The Resources section of the Coalition website (noanglicancovenant.org) is regularly updated with new material and analysis.
In the coming year:
The Episcopal Church will consider the Covenant at its General Convention in July in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Executive Council of the church has circulated a draft resolution to reject the Anglican Covenant.
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia will consider the Covenant in July at its General Synod/Te HinotaWhanui in Fiji. Given the rejection of the Anglican Covenant by Tikanga Maori, rejection of the Covenant by that church seems assured.
The General Synod of the Church of England is scheduled to consider the Covenant at its July session. However, unless 19 more diocesan synods have approved the Anglican Covenant by that date, the matter will not return to General Synod.
“Anglican Communion Office officials have repeatedly responded to criticism of the Anglican Covenant by suggesting that critics have not read the document,” said the Coalition’s Canadian Convenor, the Revd Malcolm French. “Ironically, we find that the more familiar people are with the document, the more likely they are to reject it. The Coalition is committed to ensuring a proper and balanced debate in churches throughout the Anglican Communion.”
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition is an international group of Anglicans dedicated to protecting the Anglican Communion from the dramatic changes that would be effected by the Anglican Covenant.
The Revd Dr Lesley Crawley (England) +44 1252 820537
Dr Lionel Deimel (USA) +1-412-512-9087
The Revd Malcolm French (Canada) +1-306-550-2277
The Ven Lawrence Kimberley (New Zealand) +64 3 981 7384
The Revd Canon Hugh Magee (Scotland) +44 1334 470446