The 16-member commission formed last October by the Archbishop of Canterbury to report on “the nature, extent and consequences of impaired communion” in the Anglican Communion, meets for the first time this month to map out plans for achieving its mandate.
“People have so many ideas about what our tasks are,” said Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the only Canadian member of the commission, who is also the Anglican Church of Canada’s faith, worship and ministry director. “We call it the ?commission to fix everything.'”
Ms. Barnett-Cowan said members are studying materials about last November’s ordination of New Hampshire bishop Gene Robinson and the 2002 decision by the diocese of New Westminster to sanction same-sex blessings to prepare for the initial meeting, which takes place Feb. 9 at Windsor Castle. Archbishop Robin Eames of Ireland heads the commission.
“It’s scary,” said Ms. Barnett-Cowan. “There’s so much to do and there’s so much pressure because the whole Christian world is looking at this.”
The commission has no plans to hold public sessions, but there will be discussions on how information can be shared through the media. Evidence considered by the commission will be published on the Anglican Communion Web site, as will interim reports following each plenary session. Groups and individuals will be invited to submit their opinions in written form as well as in interviews. Unsolicited submissions may also be forwarded for the consideration of the commission. More information can be found at www.anglicancommunion.org. The commission will meet again in June before completing its initial report to be submitted to Archbishop Rowan Williams by the end of September.