Covenant to help churches agree to disagree

Published June 1, 2011


With its usual faithful response to requests from the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Church of Canada is preparing materials for next year’s discussions of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

The covenant goes back to the Windsor Report, which came out of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, established in 2003. “It was a time when there was a huge amount of tension over issues of sexuality and unity,” said Archbishop Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. “Many were uncomfortable with the direction some churches were taking, and the covenant was seen as a way to help member churches stay in communion and regular consultation on controversial issues.”

The fourth section of the covenant sets out what happens when churches within the Communion disagree.

Archbishop Hiltz added, “Some experience it as an uncomfortable shift from relational language to juridical language. Others think it’s a nice idea but say we have other opportunities in the Communion for learning how to deal with conflicts.”

So far, the secretary general of the London-based Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, has asked only for a progress report to be presented at next year’s meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand. Ω


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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