Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Anti-Covenant trend in the CofE???

Excellent news from the English Diocese of Wakefield. The Diocesan Synod has rejected the Anglican Covenant in two of the three houses:

In order for the matter to return to the Church of England General Synod for a final vote, the enabling legislation must be passed by a majority (23) of the 44 dioceses, voting in their respective diocesan synods.

To date, so far as I am aware, two Church of England dioceses have voted on the proposed Anglican Covenant:

  • In the Diocese of Oxford, the synod apparently rejected the advice of their bishop and declined to vote on the Covenant, choosing instead to refer the matter to deanery synods for further discussion.
  • In the Diocese of Wakefield (in a debate which was reportedly free of the usual subtle bullying and emotional blackmail that has marked so much of the Covenant debate), the synod rejected the Covenant outright.
Now, mayhap some other dioceses have voted in accordance with the directions of Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office. If so, it has gotten no coverage on the blogosphere. Given how badly the sycophants around Dr. Williams need to create the illusion of momentum, I find it less than credible that a diocese could have so voted without Lambeth Palace trumpeting it from the mousetops.

To date, it seems, the Covenant has been dealt two setbacks in the CofE (one small and one large). Whatever momentum the Lambeth and Church House establishment may have had coming out of the last session of General Synod appears to have evaporated.

It's early days yet, of course. The momentum may shift again. And again and again and again.

But at the very least, it means that the proposed Anglican Covenant will not receive the bland and undebated rubber stamp that those around Rowan had hoped.

Deo gratias.


Alan Crawley said...

Malcolm, that isn't what happened in Oxford, to the best of my knowledge. I know that it was thought that it would only be voted on by diocesan synod but has now been referred to deanery synods.

Malcolm+ said...

Alan, I'm not sure how that's particularly different from what I said. My understanding is that the bishop wanted a "yes to the Covenant" vote and got instead a "let's refer it on to the deanery synod'" motion.

If that's correct, then the vote in Oxford, while not an outright defeat, is a setback for the Covenanters.

Now, perhaps the bishop always intended the matter to go on to the deanery synods. The lack of clarity or even information that Lesley complained about on her blog is a real issue here.