Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham in England, is a treasure beyond measure for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. In his latest column in Guardian, titled "Sugar and spice, or strychnine", he says:

General Synod is scheduled to vote the covenant through on the nod next Wednesday, but amid low rumbling in the ranks. Every week around 200 readers of the Church Times opine on an issue of the day. Last week almost a thousand did, 83% of them against the covenant. Three years ago, Canon David Bayne from Scotland, where covenants have been salami slicing the kirk for donkey's years, described it (I hope in the rolling Scots associated with the late lamented Dr Finlay) as "95% sugar and 5% strychnine."

Since the Anglican Covenant has four sections, three of which some of us could live with, but the fourth which we view as a poison pill, I'd set the percentages at 75% sugar (although I'd like another metaphor, one not so sweet) and 25% strychnine.

And about that poll, although it's not scientific, I believe it's significant. A normal average of around 200 responses that jumped to nearly 1000 demonstrates a certain interest in the subject of the covenant and, at least amongst the respondents, an overwhelmingly negative view of the adoption of the document.

Such a process (The Anglican Covenant) represents a more developed system than archbishop Geoffrey Fisher knew. In 1951 he said: "We have no doctrine of our own – we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic church enshrined in the Catholic creeds, and those creeds we hold without addition or diminution." Fisher was no woolly liberal. Why is his doctrinal standground no longer adequate? (My emphasis)

Why, indeed?!! Why, why, why?

Just a short time ago, the Anglican Covenant was considered a quick shoe-in at General Synod involving little debate, because the thinking was that the members would not want to embarrass the Archbishop of Canterbury by voting the covenant down. The vote may yet go in favor of the covenant by a large margin, but, at least, there will be discussion at GS - a discussion which will continue if the motion in favor of the covenant passes and goes to the Church of England dioceses to ratify.

Of course, I urge you to read Bishop Alan's entire commentary.

Again, I wish to go on record in favor of No Anglican Covenant. Check out the website, which now includes a blog titled Comprehensive Unity.


  1. If there's that much negative feeling, surely it won't pass? ... :-(

  2. Cathy, people who know believe the covenant will be approved.

    When I was just about to hit publish for this post, I saw that I had typed "poison piss" instead of "poison pill" in the third paragraph. I was tempted to leave the typo in the post.

  3. Heh heh heh!!! Maybe you should have left it in :-)

  4. The obnoxiousness of Section 3's legitimization of the so-called "Four Instruments" should not be overlooked. I'd stick with 95%.

  5. Paul (A.), am I going to have to read the damn text again? Those who support the covenant continue to accuse those of us in opposition of never having read the document. I have, countless times, but I have not paid close attention to what you mention in Section 3. Here I go again!

  6. Paul (A.), perhaps Lionel Deimel addresses your concern in his post If It Looks Like a Duck...


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