Monday
Jan112010

St Andrew's Draft - CDG Report

An Anglican Covenant - St Andrew's Communique

The Covenant Design Group (CDG) held its second meeting at the Anglican Communion Offices, St. Andrew’s House, London, UK, between Monday, 28th January, and Saturday, 2nd February, 2008, under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies.

The main task of the group was to develop a second draft for the Anglican Covenant, as originally proposed in the Windsor Report 2004; an idea adopted by the Primates’ Meeting and the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates in their following meetings.  At their meeting in January 2007, the CDG produced a first draft – the Nassau Draft - for such a covenant, which was received at the meeting of the Primates and the Joint Standing Committee in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in February of that year.  This draft was subsequently sent to the Provinces, Churches and Commissions of the Anglican Communion for consultation, reflection and response.

At this meeting, the CDG reviewed the comments and submissions received and developed the new draft, which is now published.  In addition to thirteen provincial responses, a large number of responses were received from commissions, organisations, dioceses and individuals from across the Communion.  It is intended that these responses will be published in the near future on the Anglican Communion website.  The CDG is grateful to all those who contributed their reflections for this meeting, and trust that they will find their contributions honoured in the revised text prepared.

The current draft – known at the St Andrew’s Draft – will now be offered for reflection in the Communion at large, and in particular by the Lambeth Conference, which has been convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury to meet in his see City of Canterbury, England, between 16th  July and 3rd August of this year.  The CDG hopes that bishops will study the present draft in their preparations for the Conference, consulting in their dioceses and sharing their reflections at the Conference.

The draft is accompanied by a number of supporting documents, including a brief commentary which outlines the thinking of the CDG on some of the issues considered, and which also gives responses to some of the specific suggestions and criticisms made to them. It also includes a tentative draft of a procedural appendix, the status of which is set out in the commentary.

Following the Lambeth Conference, the CDG will meet to review the progress on the development of the Covenant project within the Communion, and will submit a Covenant draft to the Provinces and ecumenical partners of the Communion for formal comment and response.  It is the intention to produce definitive proposals for adoption in the Communion following that further round of consultation.  Proposals for the process of consultation on, and reception of, the Covenant and its ultimate consideration by synodical process will be presented to the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates at their meeting in March 2008.

The CDG is grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who received the CDG at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday, 29th January, and to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey, who welcomed the group to Evensong later that day. The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion hosted a dinner for the group on the Thursday.

Because they have been unable to attend the meetings of the CDG, Ms Nomfundo Walaza of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Ms Sriyangani Fernando of the Church of Ceylon have graciously resigned their membership of the CDG.  The Archbishop of Canterbury has nominated Mrs Rubie Nottage (Church in the Province of the West Indies) to membership of the group.  He further nominated Dr Eileen Scully (Anglican Church of Canada) to be a member of the group for the London meeting, and Professor Norman Doe (Church in Wales) as a consultant for that meeting.

The members present in the meeting in London were:

The Most Revd Drexel Gomez, Primate of the West Indies, Chair
The Revd Dr Victor Atta-Baffoe, Anglican Church of West Africa
The Most Revd Dr John Chew, Primate of South East Asia
The Revd Dr A Katherine Grieb, The Episcopal Church (USA)
The Rt Revd Santosh Marray, Bishop of the Seychelles
The Most Revd Dr John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin
Chancellor Rubie Nottage, Church in the Province of the West Indies
Dr J Eileen Scully, Anglican Church of Canada
The Revd Dr Ephraim Radner, The Episcopal Church (USA)

The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron, Anglican Communion Office, Secretary
Professor Norman Doe, Cardiff University, Consultant
The Revd Canon Andrew Norman, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative

The Covenant Design Group will meet again later this year after the Lambeth Conference.

For further information, please contact:
Canon Gregory K Cameron
St Andrew’s House, London
+44 (0) 207 313 3900



Monday
Jan112010

Nassau Draft - CDG Report

Report of the Covenant Design Group

The Covenant Design Group, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, held its first meeting in Nassau, the Bahamas, between Monday, 15th and Thursday, 18th January, 2007.  The Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, chaired the group.

The meeting discussed four major areas of work related to the development of an Anglican Covenant:  its content, the process by which it would be received into the life of the Communion, the foundations on which a covenant might be built, and its own methods of working.

The JSC paper, Towards an Anglican Covenant, was one of the initial papers tabled at the meeting, together with a wide range of responses to it from both individuals and from churches and other alliances within the Communion.  In addition, a number of correspondents had been invited to submit reflections to the group.  The group noted that there was a wide range of support for the concept of covenant in the life of the Communion, and although in the papers submitted there was a great deal of concern about the nature of any covenant that might be put forward for adoption, very few of the respondents objected to the concept of covenant per se, but rather saw the covenant as a moment of opportunity within the life of the Communion.

In their discussion, all the members of the group spoke of the value and importance of the continued life of the Anglican Communion as an instrument through which the Gospel could be proclaimed and God’s mission carried forward.  There was a real desire to see the interdependent life of the Communion strengthened by a covenant which would articulate our common foundations, and set out principles by which our life of Communion in Christ could be strengthened and nurtured.

It was also recognised, however, that the proposal for a covenant was born out of a specific context in which the Communion’s life was under severe strain.  While the group felt that it was important that the strength of a covenant would be greater if it addressed broad principles, and did not focus on particular issues, the need for its introduction into the life of the Communion in order to restore trust was urgent.

There were therefore two particular factors which would need to be borne in mind:

  1. Content

The text of the Covenant would need to hold together and strengthen the life of the Communion.  To do so, it need not introduce some new development into the life of the Communion but rather be the clarification of a process of discernment which was embodied in the Windsor Report and in the recent reality of the life of the Instruments of Communion, and which was founded in and built upon the elements traditionally articulated in association with Anglicanism and the life of the Anglican Churches.

  1. Urgency

While a definitive text which held all such elements in balance might take time to develop in the life of the Communion, there was also an urgent need to re-establish trust between the churches of the Communion.  The faithfulness of patterns of obedience to Christ were no longer recognised across the Communion, despite Paul’s call to another way of life (Romans 14.15), and its life would suffer irreparably if some measure of mutual and common commitment to the Gospel was not reasserted in a short time frame.  We were mindful also of the words of the Primates at Oporto, “We are conscious that we all stand together at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ, so we know that to turn away from each other would be to turn away from the Cross”.

Bearing this in mind, the CDG recommends a dual track approach.  The definitive text of any proposed Covenant which could command the long term confidence of the Communion would need extensive consultation and refining.  Although several possible texts have already been developed, a text for adoption would need to be debated and accepted in the Provinces through their own appropriate processes before formal synodical processes of adoption, if the Covenant was to be received and have any strength or reality.

At the same time, there needed to be a commitment now to the fundamental shape of the covenant in order to address the concerns of those who feared that the very credibility of the commitment of the Anglican Churches to one another and to the Gospel itself was in doubt.

The CDG therefore proposes that the Primates give consideration to a preliminary draft text for a covenant which has been developed from existing models, that they commend this text to the Provinces for study and response, and that they express an appropriate measure of consent to this text and express the intention to pursue its fine-tuning and adoption through the consultative and constitutional processes of the Provinces.

The Primates are not being asked to commit their churches at this stage, since they are all bound by their own Provincial constitutions to observe due process.  What they are being asked to do is to recognise in the general substance of the preliminary draft set forth by the CDG a concise expression of what may be considered as authentic Anglicanism.  Primates are also asked to request a response from their Provinces on the draft text to the Covenant Design Group in time for there to be the preparation of a revised draft which could receive initial consideration at the Lambeth Conference.

The text offered is meant to be robust enough to express clear commitment in those areas of Anglican faith about which there has been the most underlying concern in recent events, while at the same time being faithful and consistent with the declarations, formularies and commitments of Anglicanism as they have been received by our Churches.  In this way, nothing which is commended in the draft text of the Covenant can be said to be “new”; it is rather an assertion of that understanding of true Christian faith as it has been received in the Anglican Churches.

What is to be offered in the Covenant is not the invention of a new way of being Anglican, but a fresh restatement and assertion of the faith which we as Anglicans have received, and a commitment to inter-dependent life such as always in theory at least been given recognition.



Monday
Jan112010

Nassau Draft Introduction

An Introduction to a Draft Text for an Anglican Covenant

God has called us into communion in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Jn. 1:3).   This call is established in God’s purposes for creation (Eph. 1:10; 3:9ff.), which have been furthered in God’s covenants with Israel and its representatives such as Abraham and most fully in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus.  We humbly recognize that this calling and gift of communion grants us responsibilities for our common life before God.

Through God’s grace we have been given the Communion of Anglican churches through which to respond to God’s larger calling in Christ (Acts 2:42).  This Communion provides us with a special charism and identity among the many followers and servants of Jesus.  Recognizing the wonder, beauty and challenge of maintaining communion in this family of churches, and the need for mutual commitment and discipline as a witness to God’s promise in a world and time of instability, conflict, and fragmentation, we covenant together as churches of this Anglican Communion to be faithful to God’s promises through the historic faith we confess, the way we live together and the focus of our mission. 

Our faith embodies a coherent testimony to what we have received from God’s Word and the Church’s long-standing witness;  our life together reflects the blessings of God in growing our Communion into a truly global body;  and the mission we pursue aims at serving the great promises of God in Christ that embrace the world and its peoples, carried out in shared responsibility and stewardship of resources, and in interdependence among ourselves and with the wider Church.

Our prayer is that God will redeem our struggles and weakness, and renew and enrich our common life so that the Anglican Communion may be used to witness effectively in all the world to the new life and hope found in Christ.



Sunday
Jan102010

Final Covenant Declaration

Our Declaration

With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partakers in this Anglican Communion Covenant, offering ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth andlove of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

“Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13.20, 21)



Sunday
Jan102010

Ridley Draft Declaration

Our Declaration

With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partakers in this Anglican Communion Covenant, offering ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth andlove of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

"Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13.20, 21)



Sunday
Jan102010

St Andrew's Draft Declaration

Our Declaration

With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partakers in this Anglican Covenant, offering ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth andlove of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

“Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13.20, 21)



Sunday
Jan102010

Nassau Draft Declaration

7 Our Declaration

(Psalms 46, 72.18,19, 150, Acts10.34-44, 2 Corinthians 13.13, Jude 24-25)

With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partners in this Anglican Covenant, releasing ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth andlove of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.



Sunday
Jan102010

Final Covenant Section Four

Section Four: Our Covenanted Life Together

 

4. Each Church affirms the following principles and procedures, and, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself to their implementation.

4.1 Adoption of the Covenant

(4.1.1)  Each Church adopting this Covenant affirms that it enters into the Covenant as a commitment to relationship in submission to God. Each Church freely offers this commitment to other Churches in order to live more fully into the ecclesial communion and interdependence which is foundational to the Churches of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is a fellowship, within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, of national or regional Churches, in which each recognises in the others the bonds of a common loyalty to Christ expressed through a common faith and order, a shared inheritance in worship, life and mission, and a readiness to live in an interdependent life.

(4.1.2)  In adopting the Covenant for itself, each Church recognises in the preceding sections a statement of faith, mission and interdependence of life which is consistent with its own life and with the doctrine and practice of the Christian faith as it has received them. It recognises these elements as foundational for the life of the Anglican Communion and therefore for the relationships among the covenanting Churches.
(4.1.3)  Such mutual commitment does not represent submission to any external ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Nothing in this Covenant of itself shall be deemed to alter any provision of the Constitution and Canons of any Church of the Communion, or to limit its autonomy of governance. The Covenant does not grant to any one Church or any agency of the Communion control or direction over any Church of the Anglican Communion.

(4.1.4)  Every Church of the Anglican Communion, as recognised in accordance with the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, is invited to enter into this Covenant according to its own constitutional procedures.

(4.1.5)  The Instruments of Communion may invite other Churches to adopt the Covenant using the same procedures as set out by the Anglican Consultative Council for the amendment of its schedule of membership. Adoption of this Covenant does not confer any right of recognition by, or membership of, the Instruments of Communion, which shall be decided by those Instruments themselves.

(4.1.6)  This Covenant becomes active for a Church when that Church adopts the Covenant through the procedures of its own Constitution and Canons.

4.2 The Maintenance of the Covenant and Dispute Resolution

(4.2.1)  The Covenant operates to express the common commitments and mutual accountability which hold each Church in the relationship of communion one with another. Recognition of, and fidelity to, this Covenant, enable mutual recognition and communion. Participation in the Covenant implies a recognition by each Church of those elements which must be maintained in its own life and for which it is accountable to the Churches with which it is in Communion in order to sustain the relationship expressed in this Covenant.

(4.2.2)  The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, responsible to the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting, shall monitor the functioning of the Covenant in the life of the Anglican Communion on behalf of the Instruments. In this regard, the Standing Committee shall be supported by such other committees or commissions as may be mandated to assist in carrying out this function and to advise it on questions relating to the Covenant.

(4.2.3)  When questions arise relating to the meaning of the Covenant, or about the compatibility of an action by a covenanting Church with the Covenant, it is the duty of each covenanting Church to seek to live out the commitments of Section 3.2. Such questions may be raised by a Church itself, another covenanting Church or the Instruments of Communion.

(4.2.4)  Where a shared mind has not been reached the matter shall be referred to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee shall make every effort to facilitate agreement, and may take advice from such bodies as it deems appropriate to determine a view on the nature of the matter at question and those relational consequences which may result. Where appropriate, the Standing Committee shall refer the question to both the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting for advice.

(4.2.5)  The Standing Committee may request a Church to defer a controversial action. If a Church declines to defer such action, the Standing Committee may recommend to any Instrument of Communion relational consequences which may specify a provisional limitation of participation in, or suspension from, that Instrument until the completion of the process set out below.

(4.2.6)  On the basis of advice received from the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting, the Standing Committee may make a declaration that an action or decision is or would be “incompatible with the Covenant”.
(4.2.7)  On the basis of the advice received, the Standing Committee shall make recommendations as to relational consequences which flow from an action incompatible with the Covenant. These recommendations may be addressed to the Churches of the Anglican Communion or to the Instruments of the Communion and address the extent to which the decision of any covenanting Church impairs or limits the communion between that Church and the other Churches of the Communion, and the practical consequences of such impairment or limitation. Each Church or each Instrument shall determine whether or not to accept such recommendations.

(4.2.8)  Participation in the decision making of the Standing Committee or of the Instruments of Communion in respect to section 4.2 shall be limited to those members of the Instruments of Communion who are representatives of those churches who have adopted the Covenant, or who are still in the process of adoption.

(4.2.9)  Each Church undertakes to put into place such mechanisms, agencies or institutions, consistent with its own Constitution and Canons, as can undertake to oversee the maintenance of the affirmations and commitments of the Covenant in the life of that Church, and to relate to the Instruments of Communion on matters pertinent to the Covenant.

4.3 Withdrawing from the Covenant

(4.3.1)  Any covenanting Church may decide to withdraw from the Covenant. Although such withdrawal does not imply an automatic withdrawal from the Instruments of Communion or a repudiation of its Anglican character, it may raise a question relating to the meaning of the Covenant, and of compatibility with the principles incorporated within it, and trigger the provisions set out in section 4.2 above.

4.4 The Covenant Text and its amendment

(4.4.1)  The Covenant consists of the text set out in this document in the Preamble, Sections One to Four and the Declaration. The Introduction to the Covenant Text, which shall always be annexed to the Covenant text, is not part of the Covenant, but shall be accorded authority in understanding the purpose of the Covenant.

(4.4.2)  Any covenanting Church or Instrument of Communion may submit a proposal to amend the Covenant to the Instruments of Communion through the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee shall send the proposal to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Meeting, the covenanting Churches and any other body as it may consider appropriate for advice. The Standing Committee shall make a recommendation on the proposal in the light of advice offered, and submit the proposal with any revisions to the covenanting Churches. The amendment is operative when ratified by three quarters of such Churches. The Standing Committee shall adopt a procedure for promulgation of the amendment.



Sunday
Jan102010

Ridley Draft Section Four

Section Four: Our Covenanted Life Together

Each Church affirms the following procedures, and, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself to their implementation.

4.1 Adoption of the Covenant

(4.1.1) Each Church adopting this Covenant affirms that it enters into the Covenant as a commitment to relationship in submission to God. Participation in the covenant expresses a loyalty grounded in mutuality that one Church freely offers to other Churches, in whom it recognises the bonds of a common faith and order, a common inheritance in worship, life and mission, and a readiness to live in an interdependent life, but does not represent submission to any external ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

(4.1.2) In adopting the Covenant for itself, each Church recognises in the preceding sections a statement of faith, mission and interdependence of life which is consistent with its own life and with the doctrine and practice of the Christian faith as it has received them. It recognises these elements as fundamental to the life of the Anglican Communion and to the relationships among the covenanting Churches.

(4.1.3) The Covenant operates to express the common commitments which hold each Church in the relationship of communion one with another. Recognition of, and fidelity to, the text of this Covenant, enables mutual recognition and communion. Nothing in this Covenant of itself shall be deemed to alter any provision of the Constitution and Canons of any Church of the Communion, or to limit its autonomy of governance. Under the terms of this Covenant, no one Church, nor any agency of the Communion, can exercise control or direction over the internal life of any other covenanted Church.

(4.1.4) Every Church of the Anglican Communion, as recognised in accordance with the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, is invited to adopt this Covenant in its life according to its own constitutional procedures. Adoption of the Covenant by a Church does not in itself imply any change to its Constitution and Canons, but implies a recognition of those elements which must be maintained in its own life in order to sustain the relationship of covenanted communion established by this Covenant.

(4.1.5) It shall be open to other Churches to adopt the Covenant. Adoption of this Covenant does not bring any right of recognition by, or membership of, the Instruments of Communion. Such recognition and membership are dependent on the satisfaction of those conditions set out by each of the Instruments. However, adoption of the Covenant by a Church may be accompanied by a formal request to the Instruments for recognition and membership to be acted upon according to each Instrument's procedures.

(4.1.6) This Covenant becomes active for a Church when that Church adopts the Covenant.

4.2 The Maintenance of the Covenant and Dispute Resolution

(4.2.1) The Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Primates' Meeting, or any body that succeeds it, shall have the duty of overseeing the functioning of the Covenant in the life of the Anglican Communion. The Joint Standing Committee may nominate or appoint another committee or commission to assist in carrying out this function and to advise it on questions relating to the Covenant.

(4.2.2) If a question relating to the meaning of the Covenant, or of compatibility to the principles incorporated in it, should arise, the Joint Standing Committee may make a request to any covenanting Church to defer action until the processes set out below have been completed. It shall further take advice from such bodies as its feels appropriate on the nature and relational consequences of the matter and may make a recommendation to be referred for advice to both the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting.

(4.2.3) If a Church refuses to defer a controversial action, the Joint Standing Committee may recommend to any Instrument of Communion relational consequences which specify a provisional limitation of participation in, or suspension from, that Instrument until the completion of the process set out below.

(4.2.4) On the basis of advice received from the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting, the Joint Standing Committee may make a declaration concerning an action or decision of a covenanting Church that such an action or decision is or would be "incompatible with the Covenant". A declaration of incompatibility with the Covenant shall not have any force in the Constitution and Canons of any covenanting Church unless or until it is received by the canonical procedures of the Church in question.

(4.2.5) On the basis of the advice received, the Joint Standing Committee may make recommendations as to relational consequences to the Churches of the Anglican Communion or to the Instruments of the Communion. These recommendations may address the extent to which the decision of any covenanting Church to continue with an action or decision which has been found to be "incompatible with the Covenant" impairs or limits the communion between that Church and the other Churches of the Communion. It may recommend whether such action or decision should have a consequence for participation in the life of the Communion and its Instruments. It shall be for each Church and each Instrument to determine its own response to such recommendations.

(4.2.6) Each Church undertakes to put into place such mechanisms, agencies or institutions, consistent with its own Constitution and Canons, as can undertake to oversee the maintenance of the affirmations and commitments of the Covenant in the life of that Church, and to relate to the Instruments of Communion on matters pertinent to the Covenant.

(4.2.7) Participation in the processes set out in this section .shall be limited to those members of the Instruments of Communion who are representatives of those churches who have adopted the Covenant, or who are still in the process of adoption.

4.3 Withdrawing from the Covenant

(4.3.1) Any covenanting Church may decide to withdraw from the Covenant. Although such withdrawal does not imply an automatic withdrawal from the Instruments or a repudiation of its Anglican character, it raises a question relating to the meaning of the Covenant, and of compatibility with the principles incorporated within it, and it triggers the provisions set out in section 4.2.2 above.

4.4 The Covenant Text and its amendment

(4.4.1) The Covenant consists of the text set out in this document in the Preamble, Sections One to Four and the Declaration. The Introduction to the Covenant Text, which shall always be annexed to the Covenant text, is not part of the Covenant, but shall be accorded authority in understanding the purpose of the Covenant.

(4.4.2) Any covenanting Church or Instrument of Communion may submit a proposal to the Joint Standing Committee for the amendment of the Covenant. The Joint Standing Committee shall send the proposal to the Anglican Consultative Council, to the Primates' Meeting and any other body as it may consider appropriate for advice. The Joint Standing Committee shall make a recommendation on the proposal in the light of advice offered, and submit the proposal with any revisions to the constitutional bodies of the covenanting Churches. The amendment is operative when ratified by three quarters of such bodies. The Joint Standing Committee shall adopt a procedure for promulgation of the amendment.



Sunday
Jan102010

St Andrew's Draft Section Four

An Anglican Covenant - Draft Appendix

 

Framework Procedures for the Resolution of Covenant Disagreements

 

1. General Principles

1.1. All processes for the resolution of covenant disagreements which threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission shall be characterised by the Christian virtues of charity, humility, patience and gentleness and the canonical principles of fairness, transparency, and reasoned decision-making.

1.2. No process shall affect the autonomy of any Church of the Communion.  The term “Church” and all terms in this Appendix take their meaning from the Covenant itself.

1.3. No process shall exceed five years as from the date upon which a Church consults under Paragraph 3 of this Appendix.

1.4. Any matter involving relinquishment by a Church of the force and meaning of the Covenant purposes must be decided solely by that Church or by the Anglican Consultative Council in accordance with Paragraph 8 of this Appendix.

1.5. Each Communion body or instrument involved in the following procedures shall make its own rules, in consultation with the other Instruments of Communion, for the transaction of its business in accordance with the Covenant, the Framework Procedures and the Christian virtues and canonical principles set out in Paragraph 1.1 of this Appendix.

2. The Principle of Informal Conversation

2.1. If a Church (X) proposes to act or acts in any way that another Church (Y) or an Instrument of Communion (Z) claims to threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission, then X Church, Y Church and Z instrument shall engage in informal conversation, as an act of communion, to try to resolve the matter.

2.2. The Anglican Consultative Council shall be disqualified from making a claim under 2.1, on the basis that it may later make a decision as to the relinquishment on the force and meaning of the Covenant purpose under paragraph 8, but it shall not be disqualified from entering into informal conversation under 2.1.. 

 [ie 2.2 is about natural justice and keeps ACC in reserve for Paragraph 8]

3. The Principle of Consultation

3.1. If informal conversation fails in the view of X, Y or Z, or if X Church itself considers that an action or proposed action might threaten Communion unity and mission, then X Church must consult the Archbishop of Canterbury on the matter.

3.2. Within one month of being consulted, the Archbishop of Canterbury must either (a) seek to resolve the matter personally through pastoral guidance or (b) refer the matter to three Assessors, appointed as appropriate by the Archbishop.

3.3. If after one month of its issue, the pastoral guidance of the Archbishop is unsuccessful as determined by the Archbishop, the Archbishop shall as soon as practically possible refer the matter to the Assessors who shall act in accordance with Paragraph 3.4.

3.4. Having considered whether the matter involves a threat to the unity and mission of the Communion according to Article 3.2.5 of the Covenant, the Assessors shall recommend to the Archbishop, within one month of receiving the referral, one of the following routes:

 (a) if it is clear in the opinion of the Assessors that the matter involves a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion and that time may be of the essence, a request from the Archbishop of Canterbury;

 (b) if it is unclear in the opinion of the Assessors whether the matter involves a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion and time is of the essence, referral to another Instrument of Communion;

 (c) if it is unclear in the opinion of the Assessors whether the matter involves a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion, if time is not of the essence, and if the case would benefit from rigorous theological study, referral to a Commission for evaluation; or:

 (d) if it is clear that the matter does not involve a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion, mediation.

3.5. The Archbishop of Canterbury, having considered the Assessors` recommendation, and within one month if its receipt, shall either: (a) as an Instrument of Communion, issue a request to any Church involved; (b) refer the matter to another Instrument of Communion; (c) refer the matter to a Commission of the Communion for evaluation; or (d) send the matter for mediation.

4. Route 1: A Request of the Archbishop of Canterbury

4.1. When the Archbishop of Canterbury makes a request to a Church, that Church must within six months of receiving it (a) accept the request or (b) reject the request.  The absence of a response will be considered as a rejection.

4.2. If a Church rejects the request, that Church may within three months of rejecting the request appeal against it to the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates.  The Church may appeal when it considers that there has been no threat to the unity or mission of the Communion.

4.3. On appeal, and within three months, the Joint Standing Committee must decide whether there has been a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion.

4.4. If the appeal is successful, the Joint Standing Committee shall certify immediately that the matter is closed subject to Articles 3.2.1, 3.2.4 and 3.2.5b of the Covenant.

4.5. If the appeal is lost, the Archbishop shall submit the request, rejection and appeal decision to the Anglican Consultative Council which shall deal with the matter in accordance with Paragraph 8.

5. Route 2: A Referral to another Instrument of Communion

5.1. When the Archbishop of Canterbury refers the matter to another Instrument of Communion, that Instrument must within one year of receiving the referral decide whether there has been a threat to the unity or mission of the Communion.  Having considered the matter, the Instrument shall make a request to any Church involved.

5.2. A Church shall within six months of receiving the request either (a) accept the request or (b) reject the request. The absence of a response will be considered as a rejection.

5.3. If a Church accepts the request, the Instrument of Communion to which referral is made shall as soon as is convenient certify that the matter is closed subject to Articles 3.2.1, 3.2.4 and 3.2.5b of the Covenant.

5.4. If a Church rejects the request, the Instrument of Communion to which the referral is made shall at its next meeting submit the request and rejection to the Anglican Consultative Council which shall deal with the matter in accordance with Paragraph 8.

6. Route 3: An Evaluation by a Commission

6.1. When the Archbishop of Canterbury decides to refer the matter to a Commission in the Communion, he shall choose which Commission in consultation with the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

[NOTE: This is without prejudice to the entitlement of any other Instrument of Communion requesting the Archbishop to set up Commissions or to any other Instrument of Communion likewise setting up such Commissions.]

6.2. The Commission shall engage in study of the issues involved in the matter, bringing in expertise as needed, and shall evaluate the acceptability of the act or proposed act of any Church involved.

6.3. Within eighteen months of the referral, the Commission shall submit its evaluation to an Instrument of Communion other than the Anglican Consultative Council as determined by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Having considered the evaluation, the Instrument shall issue a request to any Church involved.

6.4. If a Church accepts the request, the Instrument of Communion to which the evaluation is submitted shall certify as soon as is convenient that the matter is closed subject to Articles 3.2.1, 3.2.4 and 3.2.5b of the Covenant.

6.5. If a Church rejects the request, the Instrument of Communion to which the evaluation is submitted shall send the request and rejection to the Anglican Consultative Council which shall process the matter in accordance with Paragraph 8.

7. Route 4: Mediation

7.1. When the Archbishop of Canterbury decides on mediation, the Assessors shall work with the parties to set up a mediation process.

7.2. The parties shall appoint an independent third party who shall assist the parties involved to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution of the points of disagreement.
7.3. The mediator shall participate actively in the mediation, offering suggestions for resolution, trying to reconcile opposing assertions, and appeasing feelings of resentment between the parties.

7.4. The mediator has no decision-making authority and cannot compel the parties to accept a settlement.

7.5. On each anniversary of the establishment of the mediation, the Assessors shall report on the process to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Within three years of the establishment of the mediation, the Archbishop of Canterbury together with the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and Primates` Meeting shall certify the conclusion of the mediation process.

7.6. If a party refuses to enter mediation, it will be presumed to have threatened the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission, under Article 3.2.5 of the Covenant, and the matter shall be dealt with at the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in accordance with Paragraph 8.

8. Rejection of a Request from an Instrument of Communion

8.1. If a Church rejects a request of an Instrument of Communion, that Instrument shall send the request and rejection to the Anglican Consultative Council.

8.2. At its next meeting, the Council shall decide whether the rejection of the request is compatible with the Covenant.

8.3. If the Council decides that the rejection of the request is compatible with the Covenant, the matter is closed subject to Articles 3.2.1, 3.2.4 and 3.2.5b of the Covenant.

8.4. If the Council decides that the rejection is incompatible with the Covenant, then during the course of that meeting of the Council either (a) the Church involved may declare voluntarily that it relinquishes the force and meaning of the purposes of the Covenant, or (b) the Council shall resolve whether the Church involved may be understood to have relinquished the force and meaning of the purposes of the Covenant.

8.5. If a declaration or resolution of relinquishment is issued, the Anglican Consultative Council must as soon as is practicable initiate a process of restoration with the Church involved in consultation with all the Churches of the Communion and the other Instruments of Communion.



Sunday
Jan102010

Final Covenant Section Three

Section Three:  Our Unity and Common Life

3.1 Each Church affirms:

(3.1.1)  that by our participation in Baptism and Eucharist, we are incorporated into the one body of the Church of Jesus Christ, and called by Christ to pursue all things that make for peace and build up our common life.

(3.1.2)  its resolve to live in a Communion of Churches.  Each Church, with its bishops in synod, orders and regulates its own affairs and its local responsibility for mission through its own system of government and law and is therefore described as living “in communion with autonomy and accountability”[15].  Trusting in the Holy Spirit, who calls and enables us to dwell in a shared life of common worship and prayer for one another, in mutual affection, commitment and service, we seek to affirm our common life through those Instruments of Communion by which our Churches are enabled to be conformed together to the mind of Christ.  Churches of the Anglican Communion are bound together “not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference”[16] and of the other instruments of Communion.

(3.1.3)  the central role of bishops as guardians and teachers of faith, as leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity, representing the universal Church to the local, and the local Church to the universal and the local Churches to one another.  This ministry is exercised personally, collegially and within and for the eucharistic community.  We receive and maintain the historic threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, ordained for service in the Church of God, as they call all the baptised into the mission of Christ.

(3.1.4)  the importance of instruments in the Anglican Communion to assist in the discernment, articulation and exercise of our shared faith and common life and mission.  The life of communion includes an ongoing engagement with the diverse expressions of apostolic authority, from synods and episcopal councils to local witness, in a way which continually interprets and articulates the common faith of the Church’s members (consensus fidelium).  In addition to the many and varied links which sustain our life together, we acknowledge four particular Instruments at the level of the Anglican Communion which express this co-operative service in the life of communion.

  1. We accord the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the bishop of the See of Canterbury with which Anglicans have historically been in communion, a primacy of honour and respect among the college of bishops in the Anglican Communion as first among equals (primus inter pares).  As a focus and means of unity, the Archbishop gathers and works with the Lambeth Conference and Primates’ Meeting, and presides in the Anglican Consultative Council.
  2. The Lambeth Conference expresses episcopal collegiality worldwide, and brings together the bishops for common worship, counsel, consultation and encouragement in their ministry of guarding the faith and unity of the Communion and equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4.12) and mission.
  3. The Anglican Consultative Council is comprised of lay, clerical and episcopal representatives from our Churches[17].  It facilitates the co-operative work of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, co-ordinates aspects of international Anglican ecumenical and mission work, calls the Churches into mutual responsibility and interdependence, and advises on developing provincial structures[18].
  4. The Primates’ Meeting is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury for mutual support, prayer and counsel.  The authority that primates bring to the meeting arises from their own positions as the senior bishops of their Provinces, and the fact that they are in conversation with their own Houses of Bishops and located within their own synodical structures[19].  In the Primates’ Meeting, the Primates and Moderators are called to work as representatives of their Provinces in collaboration with one another in mission and in doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have Communion-wide implications.

It is the responsibility of each Instrument to consult with, respond to, and support each other Instrument and the Churches of the Communion[20].  Each Instrument may initiate and commend a process of discernment and a direction for the Communion and its Churches.

3.2 Acknowledging our interdependent life, each Church, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself:

(3.2.1)  to have regard for the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, to support the work of the Instruments of Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it, and to receive their work with a readiness to undertake reflection upon their counsels, and to endeavour to accommodate their recommendations.

(3.2.2)  to respect the constitutional autonomy of all of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, while upholding our mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ[21], and the responsibility of each to the Communion as a whole[22].

(3.2.3)  to spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and reflection, to listen, pray and study with one another in order to discern the will of God.  Such prayer, study and debate is an essential feature of the life of the Church as it seeks to be led by the Spirit into all truth and to proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation.  Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God’s revelation to us; others may prove to be distractions or even obstacles to the faith.  All such matters therefore need to be tested by shared discernment in the life of the Church.

(3.2.4)  to seek a shared mind with other Churches, through the Communion’s councils, about matters of common concern, in a way consistent with the Scriptures, the common standards of faith, and the canon laws of our churches. Each Church will undertake wide consultation with the other Churches of the Anglican Communion and with the Instruments and Commissions of the Communion.

(3.2.5)  to act with diligence, care and caution in respect of any action which may provoke controversy, which by its intensity, substance or extent could threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.

(3.2.6)  in situations of conflict, to participate in mediated conversations, which involve face to face meetings, agreed parameters and a willingness to see such processes through.

(3.2.7) to have in mind that our bonds of affection and the love of Christ compel us always to uphold the highest degree of communion possible.



Footnotes:

15. A Letter from Alexandria, the Primates, March 2009

16. Lambeth Conference 1930

17. Constitution of the ACC, Article 3 and Schedule

18. cf. the Objects of the ACC are set out in Article 2 of its Constitution.

19. Report of the Windsor Continuation Group, 69.

20. cf IATDC, Communion, Conflict and Hope, paragraph 113.

21. Toronto Congress 1963, and the Ten Principles of Partnership.

22. cf.  the Schedule to the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting, February 2007

Sunday
Jan102010

Ridley Draft Section Three

Section Three: Our Unity and Common Life

3.1 Each Church affirms:

(3.1.1) that by our participation in Baptism and Eucharist, we are incorporated into the one body of the Church of Jesus Christ, and called by Christ to pursue all things that make for peace and build up our common life.

(3.1.2) its resolve to live in a Communion of Churches. Each Church, with its bishops in synod, orders and regulates its own affairs and its local responsibility for mission through its own system of government and law and is therefore described as living "in communion with autonomy and accountability"[15]. Trusting in the Holy Spirit, who calls and enables us to dwell in a shared life of common worship and prayer for one another, in mutual affection, commitment and service, we seek to affirm our common life through those Instruments of Communion by which our Churches are enabled to be conformed together to the mind of Christ. Churches of the Anglican Communion are bound together "not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference"[16] and of the other instruments of Communion.

(3.1.3) the central role of bishops as guardians and teachers of faith, as leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity, representing the universal Church to the local, and the local Church to the universal and the local Churches to one another. This ministry is exercised personally, collegially and within and for the eucharistic community. We receive and maintain the historic threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, ordained for service in the Church of God, as they call all the baptised into the mission of Christ.

(3.1.4) the importance of instruments in the Anglican Communion to assist in the discernment, articulation and exercise of our shared faith and common life and mission. The life of communion includes an ongoing engagement with the diverse expressions of apostolic authority, from synods and episcopal councils to local witness, in a way which continually interprets and articulates the common faith of the Church's members (consensus fidelium). In addition to the many and varied links which sustain our life together, we acknowledge four particular Instruments at the level of the Anglican Communion which express this co-operative service in the life of communion.

I. We accord the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the bishop of the See of Canterbury with which Anglicans have historically been in communion, a primacy of honour and respect among the college of bishops in the Anglican Communion as first among equals (primus inter pares). As a focus and means of unity, the Archbishop gathers and works with the Lambeth Conference and Primates' Meeting, and presides in the Anglican Consultative Council.

II. The Lambeth Conference expresses episcopal collegiality worldwide, and brings together the bishops for common worship, counsel, consultation and encouragement in their ministry of guarding the faith and unity of the Communion and equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4.12) and mission.

III. The Anglican Consultative Council is comprised of lay, clerical and episcopal representatives from our Churches[17]. It facilitates the co-operative work of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, co-ordinates aspects of international Anglican ecumenical and mission work, calls the Churches into mutual responsibility and interdependence, and advises on developing provincial structures[18].

IV. The Primates' Meeting is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury for mutual support, prayer and counsel. The authority that primates bring to the meeting arises from their own positions as the senior bishops of their Provinces, and the fact that they are in conversation with their own Houses of Bishops and located within their own synodical structures[19]. In the Primates' Meeting, the Primates and Moderators are called to work as representatives of their Provinces in collaboration with one another in mission and in doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have Communion-wide implications.

It is the responsibility of each Instrument to consult with, respond to, and support each other Instrument and the Churches of the Communion[20]. Each Instrument may initiate and commend a process of discernment and a direction for the Communion and its Churches.

3.2 Acknowledging our interdependent life, each Church, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself:

(3.2.1) to have regard for the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, to support the work of the Instruments of Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it, and to receive their work with a readiness to undertake reflection upon their counsels, and to endeavour to accommodate their recommendations.

(3.2.2) to respect the constitutional autonomy of all of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, while upholding our mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ[21], and the responsibility of each to the Communion as a whole[22].

(3.2.3) to spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and reflection, to listen, pray and study with one another in order to discern the will of God. Such prayer, study and debate is an essential feature of the life of the Church as its seeks to be led by the Spirit into all truth and to proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation. Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God's revelation to us; others may prove to be distractions or even obstacles to the faith. All such matters therefore need to be tested by shared discernment in the life of the Church.

(3.2.4) to seek a shared mind with other Churches, through the Communion's councils, about matters of common concern, in a way consistent with the Scriptures, the common standards of faith, and the canon laws of our churches. Each Church will undertake wide consultation with the other Churches of the Anglican Communion and with the Instruments and Commissions of the Communion.

(3.2.5) to act with diligence, care and caution in respect of any action which may provoke controversy, which by its intensity, substance or extent could threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.

(3.2.6) in situations of conflict, to participate in mediated conversations, which involve face to face meetings, agreed parameters and a willingness to see such processes through.

(3.2.7) to have in mind that our bonds of affection and the love of Christ compel us always to uphold the highest degree of communion possible.



Notes

15. A Letter from Alexandria, the Primates, March 2009

16. Lambeth Conference 1930

17 Constitution of the ACC, Article 3 and Schedule

18. cf. the Objects of the ACC are set out in Article 2 of its Constitution.

19. Report of the Windsor Continuation Group, 69.

20. cf IATDC, Communion, Conflict and Hope, paragraph 113.

21. Toronto Congress 1963, and the Ten Principles of Partnership.

22. cf. the Schedule to the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of the Primates' Meeting, February 2007

Sunday
Jan102010

St Andrew's Draft Section Three

Section Three:  Our Unity and Common Life

3.1       Each Church of the Communion affirms:

(3.1.1)  that by our participation in Baptism and Eucharist, we are incorporated into the one body of the Church of Jesus Christ, and called by Christ to pursue all things that make for peace and build up our common life;

(3.1.2)  its resolve to live in a Communion of Churches.  Each Church, episcopally led and synodically governed, orders and regulates its own affairs and its local responsibility for mission through its own system of government and law and is therefore described as autonomous-in-communion[9].  Churches of the Anglican Communion are not bound together by a central legislative, executive or judicial authority.  Trusting in the Holy Spirit, who calls and enables us to live in mutual affection, commitment and service, we seek to affirm our common life through those Instruments of Communion by which our Churches are enabled to develop a common mind;

(3.1.3)  the central role of bishops as guardians and teachers of faith, leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity, representing the universal Church to the local, and the local Church to the universal.  This ministry is exercised personally, collegially and within and for the eucharistic community.  We receive and maintain the historic threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, ordained for service in the Church of God, as they call all the baptised into the mission of Christ;

(3.1.4)  the importance of instruments in the Anglican Communion to assist in the discernment, articulation and exercise of our shared faith and common life and mission.  In addition to the many and varied links which sustain our life together, we acknowledge four particular Instruments which co-operate in the service of Communion: 

  1. The Archbishop of Canterbury, with whose See Anglicans have historically been in communion, is accorded a primacy of honour and respect as first amongst equals (primus inter pares). As a focus and means of unity, he gathers the Lambeth Conference and Primates’ Meeting, and presides in the Anglican Consultative Council;
  2. The Lambeth Conference, expressing episcopal collegiality worldwide, gathers the bishops for common counsel, consultation and encouragement and serves as an instrument in guarding the faith and unity of the Communion and equipping the saints for the work of ministry and mission[10];
  3. The Anglican Consultative Council is comprised of laity, clergy and bishops representative of our Provincial synods.  It facilitates the co-operative work of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, co-ordinates aspects of international Anglican ecumenical and mission work, calls the Churches into mutual responsibility and interdependence, and advises on developing provincial structures[11];
  4. The Primates’ Meeting is called by the Archbishop of Canterbury for mutual support, prayer and counsel. The Primates and Moderators are called to work as representative of their Provinces in collaboration with one another in mission and in doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have communion-wide implications.

 

3.2      Acknowledging our interdependent life, each Church of the Communion commits itself:

(3.2.1)  to have regard to the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, and to support the work of the Instruments of Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it;

(3.2.2)  to respect the constitutional autonomy of all of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, while upholding the interdependent life and mutual responsibility of the Churches, and the responsibility of each to the Communion as a whole[12];

(3.2.3)  to spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and reflection to listen, pray and study with one another in order to discern the will of God.  Such prayer, study and debate is an essential feature of the life of the Church as its seeks to be led by the Spirit into all truth and to proclaim the Gospel afresh in each generation.  Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God’s revelation to us; others may prove to be distractions or even obstacles to the faith:  all therefore need to be tested by shared discernment in the life of the Church.

(3.2.4)  to seek with other Churches, through the Communion’s shared councils, a common mind about matters understood to be of essential concern, consistent with the Scriptures, common standards of faith, and the canon law of our churches.

(3.2.5)  to act with diligence, care and caution in respect to actions, either proposed or enacted, at a provincial or local level, which, in its own view or the expressed view of any Province or in the view of any one of the Instruments of Communion, are deemed to threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission, and to consent to the following principles and procedural elements:

(3.2.5.a)         to undertake wide consultation with the other churches of the Anglican Communion and with the Instruments and Commissions of the Communion;

(3.2.5.b)         to accept the legitimacy of processes for communion-wide evaluation which any of the Instruments of Communion may commission, according to such procedures as are appended to this covenant;

(3.2.5.c)         to be ready to participate in mediated conversation between parties, which may be in conflict, according to such procedures as are appended to this covenant;

(3.2.5.d)         to be willing to receive from the Instruments of Communion a request to adopt a particular course of action in respect of the matter under dispute.  While the Instruments of Communion have no legislative, executive or judicial authority in our Provinces, except where provided in their own laws, we recognise them as those bodies by which our common life in Christ is articulated and sustained, and which therefore carry a moral authority which commands our respect.

(3.2.5.e)         Any such request would not be binding on a Church unless recognised as such by that Church.  However, commitment to this covenant entails an acknowledgement that in the most extreme circumstances, where a Church chooses not to adopt the request of the Instruments of Communion, that decision may be understood by the Church itself, or by the resolution of the Instruments of Communion, as a relinquishment by that Church of the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose, until they re-establish their covenant relationship with other member Churches.

(3.2.6) to have in mind that our bonds of affection and the love of Christ compel us always to seek the highest possible degree of communion.



Notes:

9. The Windsor Report, paragraph 76

10. Ephesians 4.12

11. cf. the Objects of the ACC are set out in Article 2 of its Constitution.

12. cf.  the Schedule to the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting, February 2007

Sunday
Jan102010

Nassau Draft Section Three

5 Our Unity and Common Life

(Numbers 11.16-20, Luke 22.14-27, Acts 2.43-47, 4.32-35, 1 Corinthians 11.23-26, 1 Peter 4:7-11, 5:1-11)

(1)  We affirm the historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church[8] and the central role of bishopsas custodians of faith, leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity. 

(2)  We affirm the place of four Instruments of Communion which serve to discern our common mind in communion issues, and to foster our interdependence and mutual accountability in Christ. While each member Church orders and regulates its own affairs through its own system of government and law and is therefore described as autonomous, each church recognises that the member churches of the Anglican Communion are bound together, not juridically by a central legislative or executive authority, but by the Holy Spirit who calls and enables us to live in mutual loyalty and service.

  1. Of these four Instruments of Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, with whose See Anglicans have historically been in communion, is accorded a primacy of honour and respect as first amongst equals (primus inter pares). He calls the Lambeth Conference, and Primates’ Meeting, and is President of the Anglican Consultative Council.
  2. The Lambeth Conference, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressing episcopal collegiality worldwide, gathers the bishops for common counsel, consultation and encouragement and serves as an instrument in guarding the faith and unity of the Communion.
  3. The Primates’ Meeting, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assembles for mutual support and counsel, monitors global developments and works in full collaboration in doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have Communion-wide implications.

  4. The Anglican Consultative Council is a body representative of bishops, clergy and laity of the churches, which co-ordinates aspects of international Anglican ecumenical and mission work.

6 Unity of the Communion

(Nehemiah 2.17,18, Mt. 18.15-18, 1 Corinthians 12, 2 Corinthians 4.1-18, 13: 5-10, Galatians 6.1-10)

Each Church commits itself

  1. in essential matters of common concern, to have regard to the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, and to support the work of the Instruments of Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it.

  2. to spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and discernment to listen and to study with one another in order to comprehend the will of God.  Such study and debate is an essential feature of the life of the Church as its seeks to be led by the Spirit into all truth and to proclaim the Gospel afresh in each generation.  Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God’s revelation to us; others may prove to be distractions or even obstacles to the faith:  all therefore need to be tested by shared discernment in the life of the Church.

  3. to seek with other members, through the Church’s shared councils, a common mind about matters of essential concern, consistent with the Scriptures, common standards of faith, and the canon law of our churches.

  4. to heed the counsel of our Instruments of Communion in matters which threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness of our mission.  While the Instruments of Communion have no juridical or executive authority in our Provinces, we recognise them as those bodies by which our common life in Christ is articulated and sustained, and which therefore carry a moral authority which commands our respect.
  5. to seek the guidance of the Instruments of Communion, where there are matters in serious dispute among churches that cannot be resolved by mutual admonition and counsel:

    1. by submitting the matter to the Primates Meeting

    2. if the Primates believe that the matter is not one for which a common mind has been articulated, they will seek it with the other instruments and their councils

    3. finally, on this basis, the Primates will offer guidance and direction.

  6. We acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfil the substance of the covenant as understood by the Councils of the Instruments of Communion, we will consider that such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose, and a process of restoration and renewal will be required to re-establish their covenant relationship with other member churches.

Notes:

8. Cf. The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral 1886/1888

Sunday
Jan102010

Final Covenant Section Two

Section Two:  The Life We Share with Others:  Our Anglican Vocation

2.1 Each Church affirms:

(2.1.1) communion as a gift of God given so that God’s people from east and west, north and south, may together declare the glory of the Lord and be both a sign of God’s reign in the Holy Spirit and the first fruits in the world of God’s redemption in Christ.

(2.1.2) its gratitude for God’s gracious providence extended to us down through the ages:  our origins in the Church of the apostles; the ancient common traditions; the rich history of the Church in Britain and Ireland reshaped by the Reformation, and our growth into a global communion through the expanding missionary work of the Church; our ongoing refashioning by the Holy Spirit through the gifts and sacrificial witness of Anglicans from around the world; and our summons into a more fully developed communion life.

(2.1.3) in humility our call to constant repentance:  for our failures in exercising patience and charity and in recognizing Christ in one another; our misuse of God’s gracious gifts; our failure to heed God’s call to serve; and our exploitation one of another.

(2.1.4) the imperative of God’s mission into which the Communion is called, a vocation and blessing in which each Church is joined with others in Christ in the work of establishing God’s reign.  As the Communion continues to develop into a worldwide family of interdependent churches, we embrace challenges and opportunities for mission at local, regional, and international levels. In this, we cherish our mission heritage as offering Anglicans distinctive opportunities for mission collaboration.

(2.1.5)  that our common mission is a mission shared with other Churches and traditions beyond this Covenant.  We embrace opportunities for the discovery of the life of the whole gospel, and for reconciliation and shared mission with the Church throughout the world.  We affirm the ecumenical vocation of Anglicanism to the full visible unity of the Church in accordance with Christ’s prayer that “all may be one”.  It is with all the saints in every place and time that we will comprehend the fuller dimensions of Christ’s redemptive and immeasurable love.

2.2 In recognition of these affirmations, each Church, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself:

(2.2.1)  to answer God’s call to undertake evangelisation and to share in the healing and reconciling mission “for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world”[8], and, with mutual accountability, to share our God-given spiritual and material resources in this task.

(2.2.2)  to undertake in this mission, which is the mission of God in Christ[9]:

(2.2.2.a)            “to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God” and to bring all to repentance and faith;
(2.2.2.b)            “to teach, baptize and nurture new believers”, making disciples of all nations (Mt 28.19) through the quickening power of the Holy Spirit[10] and drawing them into the one Body of Christ whose faith, calling and hope are one in the Lord (Eph 4.4-6);
(2.2.2.c)            “to respond to human need by loving service”, disclosing God’s reign through humble ministry to those most needy (Mk 10.42-45; Mt 18.4; 25.31-45);
(2.2.2.d)            “to seek to transform unjust structures of society” as the Church stands vigilantly with Christ proclaiming both judgment and salvation to the nations of the world[11], and manifesting through our actions on behalf of God’s righteousness the Spirit’s transfiguring power[12];
(2.2.2.e)            “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth” as essential aspects of our mission in communion[13].

(2.2.3) to engage in this mission with humility and an openness to our own ongoing conversion in the face of our unfaithfulness and failures in witness.

(2.2.4) to revive and renew structures for mission which will awaken and challenge the whole people of God to work, pray and give for the spread of the gospel.

(2.2.5) to order its mission in the joyful and reverent worship of God, thankful that in our eucharistic communion “Christ is the source and goal of the unity of the Church and of the renewal of human community” [14].



Footnotes:

8. IASCOME Report, ACC-13

9. The five Marks of Mission are set out in the MISSIO Report of 1999, building on work at ACC-6 and ACC-8.

10. Church as Communion n26

11. WCC 1954 Evanston, Christ the Hope of the World

12. Moscow Statement, 43

13. IARCCUM, Growing Together in Unity and Mission,118

14. Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, WCC,

Sunday
Jan102010

St Andrew's Draft Section Two

Section Two:  The Life We Share with Others:  Our Anglican Vocation

2.1       Each Church of the Communion affirms:

(2.1.1)  that communion is a gift of God: that His people from east and west, north and south, may together declare his glory and be a sign of God’s Reign.  We gratefully acknowledge God’s gracious providence extended to us down the ages, our origins in the Church of the Apostles, the ancient common traditions, the rich history of the Church in Britain and Ireland shaped by the Reformation, and our growth into a global communion through the expanding missionary work of the Church.

(2.1.2)  the ongoing mission work of the Communion.  As the Communion continues to develop into a worldwide family of interdependent churches, we embrace challenges and opportunities for mission at local, regional, and international levels. In this, we cherish our faith and mission heritage as offering Anglicans distinctive opportunities for mission collaboration. 

(2.1.3)  that our common mission is a mission shared with other churches and traditions beyond this covenant.  We embrace opportunities for the discovery of the life of the whole gospel and for reconciliation and shared mission with the Church throughout the world.  It is with all the saints that we will comprehend the fuller dimensions of Christ’s redemptive and immeasurable love.

 

2.2      In recognition of these affirmations,each Church of the Communion commits itself:

(2.2.1)  to answer God’s call to evangelisation and to share in his healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world, and, with mutual accountability, to share our God-given spiritual and material resources in this task. 

(2.2.2)  In this mission, which is the Mission of Christ[8], each Church undertakes:

(2.2.2.a) to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God;

(2.2.2.b) to teach, baptize and nurture new believers;

(2.2.2.c) to respond to human need by loving service;

(2.2.2.d) to seek to transform unjust structures of society; and

(2.2.2.e) to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Notes:

8. Cf. The five Marks of Mission as set out in the MISSIO Report of 1999, building on work at ACC-6 and ACC-8.



Sunday
Jan102010

Ridley Draft Section Two

Section Two: The Life We Share with Others: Our Anglican Vocation

2.1 Each Church affirms:

(2.1.1) communion as a gift of God given so that God's people from east and west, north and south, may together declare the glory of the Lord and be both a sign of God's reign in the Holy Spirit and the first fruits in the world of God's redemption in Christ.

(2.1.2) its gratitude for God's gracious providence extended to us down through the ages: our origins in the Church of the apostles; the ancient common traditions; the rich history of the Church in Britain and Ireland reshaped by the Reformation, and our growth into a global communion through the expanding missionary work of the Church; our ongoing refashioning by the Holy Spirit through the gifts and sacrificial witness of Anglicans from around the world; and our summons into a more fully developed communion life.

(2.1.3) in humility our call to constant repentance: for our failures in exercising patience and charity and in recognizing Christ in one another; our misuse of God's gracious gifts; our failure to heed God's call to serve; and our exploitation one of another.

(2.1.4) the imperative of God's mission into which the Communion is called, a vocation and blessing in which each Church is joined with others in Christ in the work of establishing God's reign. As the Communion continues to develop into a worldwide family of interdependent churches, we embrace challenges and opportunities for mission at local, regional, and international levels. In this, we cherish our mission heritage as offering Anglicans distinctive opportunities for mission collaboration.

(2.1.5) that our common mission is a mission shared with other Churches and traditions beyond this Covenant. We embrace opportunities for the discovery of the life of the whole gospel, and for reconciliation and shared mission with the Church throughout the world. We affirm the ecumenical vocation of Anglicanism to the full visible unity of the Church in accordance with Christ's prayer that "all may be one". It is with all the saints in every place and time that we will comprehend the fuller dimensions of Christ's redemptive and immeasurable love.

2.2 In recognition of these affirmations, each Church, reliant on the Holy Spirit, commits itself:

(2.2.1) to answer God's call to undertake evangelisation and to share in the healing and reconciling mission "for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world"[8], and, with mutual accountability, to share our God-given spiritual and material resources in this task.

(2.2.2) to undertake in this mission, which is the mission of God in Christ[9]:

(2.2.2.a) "to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God" and to bring all to repentance and faith;
(2.2.2.b) "to teach, baptize and nurture new believers", making disciples of all nations (Mt 28.19) through the quickening power of the Holy Spirit[10] and drawing them into the one Body of Christ whose faith, calling and hope are one in the Lord (Eph 4.4-6);
(2.2.2.c) "to respond to human need by loving service", disclosing God's reign through humble ministry to those most needy (Mk 10.42-45; Mt 18.4; 25.31-45);
(2.2.2.d) "to seek to transform unjust structures of society" as the Church stands vigilantly with Christ proclaiming both judgment and salvation to the nations of the world[11], and manifesting through our actions on behalf of God's righteousness the Spirit's transfiguring power[12];
(2.2.2.e) "to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth" as essential aspects of our mission in communion[13].

(2.2.3) to engage in this mission with humility and an openness to our own ongoing conversion in the face of our unfaithfulness and failures in witness.

(2.2.4) to revive and renew structures for mission which will awaken and challenge the whole people of God to work, pray and give for the spread of the gospel.

(2.2.5) to order its mission in the joyful and reverent worship of God, thankful that in our eucharistic communion "Christ is the source and goal of the unity of the Church and of the renewal of human community" [14].

Notes

8. IASCOME Report, ACC-13

9. The five Marks of Mission are set out in the MISSIO Report of 1999, building on work at ACC-6 and ACC-8.

10. Church as Communion n26

11. WCC 1954 Evanston, Christ the Hope of the World

12. Moscow Statement, 43

13. IARCCUM, Growing Together in Unity and Mission,118

14. Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, WCC,



Sunday
Jan102010

Nassau Draft Section Two

4 The Life We Share with Others:
Our Anglican Vocation

(Jeremiah 31.31-34, Ezekiel. 36.22-28, Matthew 28.16-20, John 17.20-24, 2 Corinthians 8-9, Ephesians 2:11-3:21, James 1.22-27)

(1)  We affirm that Communion is a gift of God: that His people from east and west, north and south, may together declare his glory and be a sign of God’s Kingdom.  We gratefully acknowledge God’s gracious providence extended to us down the ages, our origins in the undivided Church, the rich history of the Church in Britain and Ireland shaped particularly by the Reformation, and our growth into a global communion through the various mission initiatives.

(2)  As the Communion continues to develop into a worldwide family of interdependent churches, we also face challenges and opportunities for mission at local, regional, and international levels. We cherish our faith and mission heritage as offering us unique opportunities for mission collaboration, for discovery ofthe life ofthe wholegospel and for reconciliation and shared mission with the Church throughout the world.

(3)  The member Churches acknowledge that their common mission is a mission shared with other churches and traditions not party to this covenant.  It is with all the saints that we will comprehend the fuller dimensions of Christ’s redemptive and immeasurablelove.

(4)  We commit ourselves to answering God’s call to share in his healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken and hurting world, and, with mutual accountability, to share our God-given spiritual and material resources in this task. 

(5)  In this mission, which is the Mission of Christ[7], we commit ourselves

  1. to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God
  2. to teach, baptize and nurture new believers;
  3. to respond to human need by loving service;
  4. to seek to transform unjust structures of society; and
  5. to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Notes:

7. Cf. The five Marks of Mission as set out in the MISSIO Report of 1999, building on work at ACC-6 and ACC-8.

Sunday
Jan102010

Final Covenant Introduction

Introduction to the Covenant Text

 “This life is revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us – we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have communion with us; and truly our communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.  These things we write so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1.2-4).

  1. God has called us into communion in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1.9).  This communion has been “revealed to us” by the Son as being the very divine life of God the Trinity.  What is the life revealed to us?  St John makes it clear that the communion of life in the Church participates in the communion which is the divine life itself, the life of the Trinity.  This life is not a reality remote from us, but one that has been “seen” and “testified to” by the apostles and their followers:  “for in the communion of the Church we share in the divine life”[1].  This life of the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, shapes and displays itself through the very existence and ordering of the Church.
  2. Our divine calling into communion is established in God’s purposes for the whole of creation (Eph 1:10; 3:9ff.).  It is extended to all humankind, so that, in our sharing of God’s life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God might restore in us the divine image.  Through time, according to the Scriptures, God has furthered this calling through covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David.  The prophet Jeremiah looked forward to a new covenant not written on tablets of stone but upon the heart (Jer 31.31-34).  In God’s Son, Christ Jesus, a new covenant is given us, established in his “blood … poured out for the many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mt 26:28), secured through his resurrection from the dead (Eph 1:19-23), and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5).  Into this covenant of death to sin and of new life in Christ we are baptized, and empowered to share God’s communion in Christ with all people, to the ends of the earth and of creation.
  3. We humbly recognize that this calling and gift of communion entails responsibilities for our common life before God as we seek, through grace, to be faithful in our service of God’s purposes for the world.  Joined in one universal Church, which is Christ’s Body, spread throughout the earth, we serve his gospel even as we are enabled to be made one across the dividing walls of human sin and estrangement (Eph 2.12-22).  The forms of this life in the Church, caught up in the mystery of divine communion, reveal to the hostile and divisive power of the world the “manifold wisdom of God” (Eph 3:9-10).  Faithfulness, honesty, gentleness, humility, patience, forgiveness, and love itself, lived out in mutual deference and service (Mk 10.44-45) among the Church’s people and through its ministries, contribute to building up the body of Christ as it grows to maturity (Eph 4.1-16; Col 3.8-17).
  4. In the providence of God, which holds sway even over our divisions caused by sin, various families of churches have grown up within the universal Church in the course of history.  Among these families is the Anglican Communion, which provides a particular charism and identity among the many followers and servants of Jesus.  We recognise the wonder, beauty and challenge of maintaining communion in this family of churches, and the need for mutual commitment and discipline as a witness to God’s promise in a world and time of instability, conflict, and fragmentation.  Therefore, we covenant together as churches of this Anglican Communion to be faithful to God’s promises through the historic faith we confess, our common worship, our participation in God’s mission, and the way we live together.
  5. To covenant together is not intended to change the character of this Anglican expression of Christian faith.  Rather, we recognise the importance of renewing in a solemn way our commitment to one another, and to the common understanding of faith and order we have received, so that the bonds of affection which hold us together may be re-affirmed and intensified.  We do this in order to reflect, in our relations with one another, God’s own faithfulness and promises towards us in Christ (2 Cor 1.20-22).
  6. We are a people who live, learn, and pray by and with the Scriptures as God’s Word.  We seek to adore God in thanks and praise and to make intercession for the needs of people everywhere through common prayer, united across many cultures and languages.  We are privileged to share in the mission of the apostles to bring the gospel of Christ to all nations and peoples, not only in words but also in deeds of compassion and justice that witness to God’s character and the triumph of Christ over sin and death.  We give ourselves as servants of a greater unity among the divided Christians of the world.  May the Lord help us to “preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4.5).
  7. Our faith embodies a coherent testimony to what we have received from God’s Word and the Church’s long-standing witness.  Our life together reflects the blessings of God (even as it exposes our failures in faith, hope and love) in growing our Communion into a truly global family.  The mission we pursue aims at serving the great promises of God in Christ that embrace the peoples and the world God so loves.  This mission is carried out in shared responsibility and stewardship of resources, and in interdependence among ourselves and with the wider Church.
  8. Our prayer is that God will redeem our struggles and weakness, renew and enrich our common life and use the Anglican Communion to witness effectively in all the world, working with all people of good will, to the new life and hope found in Christ Jesus.

Footnotes:

1. The Church of the Triune God, The Cyprus Statement of the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue, 2007, paragraph 1,2.

Sunday
Jan102010

Ridley Draft Introduction

Introduction to the Covenant Text

"This life is revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us - we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have communion with us; and truly our communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. These things we write so that our joy may be complete." (1 John 1.2-4).

  1. God has called us into communion in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1.9). This communion has been "revealed to us" by the Son as being the very divine life of God the Trinity. What is the life revealed to us? St John makes it clear that the communion of life in the Church participates in the communion which is the divine life itself, the life of the Trinity. This life is not a reality remote from us, but one that has been "seen" and "testified to" by the apostles and their followers: "for in the communion of the Church we share in the divine life"[1]. This life of the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, shapes and displays itself through the very existence and ordering of the Church.
  2. Our divine calling into communion is established in God's purposes for the whole of creation (Eph 1:10; 3:9ff.). It is extended to all humankind, so that, in our sharing of God's life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God might restore in us the divine image. Through time, according to the Scriptures, God has furthered this calling through covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David. The prophet Jeremiah looked forward to a new covenant not written on tablets of stone but upon the heart (Jer 31.31-34). In God's Son, Christ Jesus, a new covenant is given us, established in his "blood … poured out for the many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:28), secured through his resurrection from the dead (Eph 1:19-23), and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5). Into this covenant of death to sin and of new life in Christ we are baptized, and empowered to share God's communion in Christ with all people, to the ends of the earth and of creation.
  3. We humbly recognize that this calling and gift of communion entails responsibilities for our common life before God as we seek, through grace, to be faithful in our service of God's purposes for the world. Joined in one universal Church, which is Christ's Body, spread throughout the earth, we serve his gospel even as we are enabled to be made one across the dividing walls of human sin and estrangement (Eph 2.12-22). The forms of this life in the Church, caught up in the mystery of divine communion, reveal to the hostile and divisive power of the world the "manifold wisdom of God" (Eph 3:9-10). Faithfulness, honesty, gentleness, humility, patience, forgiveness, and love itself, lived out in mutual deference and service (Mk 10.44-45) among the Church's people and through its ministries, contribute to building up the body of Christ as it grows to maturity (Eph 4.1-16; Col 3.8-17).
  4. In the providence of God, which holds sway even over our divisions caused by sin, various families of churches have grown up within the universal Church in the course of history. Among these families is the Anglican Communion, which provides a particular charism and identity among the many followers and servants of Jesus. We recognise the wonder, beauty and challenge of maintaining communion in this family of churches, and the need for mutual commitment and discipline as a witness to God's promise in a world and time of instability, conflict, and fragmentation. Therefore, we covenant together as churches of this Anglican Communion to be faithful to God's promises through the historic faith we confess, our common worship, our participation in God's mission, and the way we live together.
  5. To covenant together is not intended to change the character of this Anglican expression of Christian faith. Rather, we recognise the importance of renewing in a solemn way our commitment to one another, and to the common understanding of faith and order we have received, so that the bonds of affection which hold us together may be re-affirmed and intensified. We do this in order to reflect, in our relations with one another, God's own faithfulness and promises towards us in Christ (2 Cor 1.20-22).
  6. We are a people who live, learn, and pray by and with the Scriptures as God's Word. We seek to adore God in thanks and praise and to make intercession for the needs of people everywhere through common prayer, united across many cultures and languages. We are privileged to share in the mission of the apostles to bring the gospel of Christ to all nations and peoples, not only in words but also in deeds of compassion and justice that witness to God's character and the triumph of Christ over sin and death. We give ourselves as servants of a greater unity among the divided Christians of the world. May the Lord help us to "preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Cor. 4.5).
  7. Our faith embodies a coherent testimony to what we have received from God's Word and the Church's long-standing witness. Our life together reflects the blessings of God (even as it exposes our failures in faith, hope and love) in growing our Communion into a truly global family. The mission we pursue aims at serving the great promises of God in Christ that embrace the peoples and the world God so loves. This mission is carried out in shared responsibility and stewardship of resources, and in interdependence among ourselves and with the wider Church.
  8. Our prayer is that God will redeem our struggles and weakness, renew and enrich our common life and use the Anglican Communion to witness effectively in all the world, working with all people of good will, to the new life and hope found in Christ Jesus.

 

1. The Church of the Triune God, The Cyprus Statement of the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue, 2007, paragraph 1,2.