Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Episcopal LGBT activist sends email for group seeking to break up the Anglican Communion

The email floated into my inbox from somebody's e-blast. The language is all sweetness, tradition and kitty kats but this is basically a narrow interest faction breaking up a global Christian witness:

I share this mailing with you at the request of friends in the No Anglican
Covenant Coalition. -- Louie Crew


Dear Christian concerned for the vitality of the Anglican Communion:

Included in this letter is a news release from an emerging coalition
of Anglicans opposed to the current form of an Anglican Covenant.

We believe that acceptance and approval of the current proposed
Covenant will:

o Bring historic changes to the nature of Anglicanism.
o Trade a vibrant and colorful Anglicanism for drab uniformity.
o Impede local mission and destroy creative evangelism.
o Trade local oversight for centralized decision making.

Thank you for your consideration of this message.

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition


[The release below also appears at


No Anglican Covenant Coalition
Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity



LONDON - An international coalition of Anglicans has been created to
campaign against the proposed Anglican Covenant. Campaigners believe the
proposed Covenant constitutes unwarranted interference in the internal
life of the member churches of the Anglican Communion, would narrow the
acceptable range of belief and practice within Anglicanism, and would
prevent further development of Anglican thought. The Coalition's website
( will provide resources for Anglicans around the
world to learn about the potential risks of the proposed Anglican

"We believe that the majority of the clergy and laity in the Anglican
Communion would not wish to endorse this document," according to the
Coalition's Moderator, the Revd. Dr. Lesley Fellows, who is also the
Coalition's Convenor for the Church of England. "Apart from church
insiders, very few people are aware of the Covenant. We want to encourage
a wider discussion and to highlight the problems the Covenant will cause."

The idea of an Anglican Covenant was first proposed in 2004 as a means to
address divisions among the member churches of the Anglican Communion on
matters ranging from human sexuality to the role of women. The current
draft of the Covenant, which has been unilaterally designated as the
"final" draft, has been referred to the member churches of the Communion.
The proposed Covenant establishes mechanisms which would have the effect
of forcing member churches to conform to the demands and expectations of
other churches or risk exclusion from the Communion.

Critics of the proposed Anglican Covenant, including members of the new
Coalition, believe that it will fundamentally alter the nature of historic
Anglicanism in several ways, including the narrowing of theological views
deemed acceptable, the erosion of the freedom of the member churches to
govern themselves, and the concentration of authority in the hands of a
small number of bishops. Two English groups, Inclusive Church and Modern
Church, ran anti-Covenant advertisements in last week's Church Times and
the Church of England Newspaper aiming to make more members of the Church
of England aware of the dangers of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

"If the Anglican Communion has a problem, this is not the solution,"
according to former Bishop of Worcester Peter Selby. "Whether those who
originated the Covenant intended it or not, it is already, and will become
even more, a basis for a litigious Communion from which some will seek to
exclude others."

The launch of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition website coincides with
the commemoration of the sixteenth-century theologian Richard Hooker.
"Hooker taught us that God's gifts of scripture, tradition, and reason
will guide us to new insights in every age," according to the Canadian
priest and canon law expert, the Revd. Canon Alan Perry. "The proposed
Anglican Covenant would freeze Anglican theology and Anglican polity at a
particular moment. Anglican polity rejected control by foreign bishops
nearly 500 years ago. The proposed Anglican Covenant reinstates it."

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition began in late October with a series of
informal email conversations among several international Anglican bloggers
concerned that the Covenant was being rushed through the approval process
before most Anglicans had any opportunity to learn how the proposed new
structures would affect them.

Revd. Dr Lesley Fellows (England) +44 1844 239268
Dr. Lionel Deimel (USA) +1-412-512-9087
Revd. Malcolm French (Canada) +1-306-550-2277
Revd. Lawrence Kimberley (New Zealand) +64 3 981 7384


All of which is to say, "We want to do our own rich, White, seniors club thing and don't want to have to sit down to find consensus with a bunch of Africans. We don't care that they are the growing part of the Anglican world and that our churches are in total decline - WE are the "vital" ones because we are better than other people."


The Underground Pewster said...

Like an "open marriage" an Anglican Communion without a covenant allows "members" to play around with any and all temptaions that come up because there are no consequences.

The current covenant is weak on consequences so I think they are upset because if they are at any time in the future deemed to not be part of an Anglican Communion, people who want to support ($$$) a "traditional" church will go elsewhere in greater numbers than is already happening.

Bryan Owen said...

Peter Carrell's brilliant response to this coalition entitled, "Wrongly named international Anglican Coalition favours covenant" should not be missed.

TLF+ said...

Bryan - you are right, good piece! Thanks for that link.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I think I got that same e-mail. I wasn't sure if it was spam, satire, or factually correct. These days, you never can tell.

Alan Crawley said...

The Anglican church has never been a church in which everyone has been expected to believe the same. One reason for the BCP was to hold together those of different theological outlook. This campaign is attempting to hold on to that breadth. If you do not accept that initial premiss then of course you will want something like the covenant to create uniformity, but if you accept the premiss then rejection of the covenant follows.

TLF+ said...

Alan - the Covenant is typically broad. The "uniformity" argument is really empty and meant to frighten/anger folks.

I would agree that Anglicanism makes room for theological breadth - but that breadth is within traditional expressions of Christianity. The old idea of "broad church" took in, via the Prayer Book, Catholic order and Reformation faith. The Prayer Book allowed for Christian breadth but it also set forth language and practice.

So the anti-Covenant coalition/co-op/caucas or whatever, with its "new things of the Spirit" and habit of making changes without changing the Prayer Book or getting any kind of broad consensus in the church, is distinctly un-Anglican.