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covenant confusion


I recently received the above from Bishop Alan Wilson (Bishop of Buckingham UK). The clipping is a laugh. Bishop Alan’s comment with it pointedly said, “This has entirely made my day. It’s good to see the same logic as makes the Anglican Covenant* the answer to the problems of the Anglican Communion can sometimes be found outside the Church, too…” [I received his permission to put this on my blog]. This fits with my suggestion that the proposed “Covenant” does not pass the New Zealand Consumer Guarantees Act as it is not “fit for the purpose” and will not “do what it is meant to do.” [* For those of you who don’t know what the Anglican “Covenant” is about, enjoy the clipping (copied below if you struggle to read it) and, after that, you are welcome to check out some other posts, or go outside and enjoy the Spring – sorry Northern Hemisphere readers, but you regularly do that to us down here 😉 ]

Since I received the clipping, Bishop Alan has posted a blog post about this. So you can place your comments in response to him directly there if you wish.

The Church Times has been running an online Question of the Week: “Should the Church of England reject the Anglican Covenant?” The result is a measly 16% in favour of the “covenant” – that’s more than 5:1 against it. [For those of you who don’t understand online voting and think there is some sort of rigging with someone repeatedly voting to slant the vote – you can only vote once from any computer; it recognises your IP address]

For those of you who struggled to read the clipping:

Dear John,
I hope you can help me. The other day I set off for work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled, and then it broke down about a mile down the road, and I had to walk back to get my husband’s help. When I got home, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbour’s daughter!
I am 32, my husband is 34 and our neighbour’s daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won’t go to counselling, and I’m afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help?
Sincerely. Sheila.

Dear Sheila,
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking there is no debris in the fuel line. If it clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the inlet manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors. I hope this helps.

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11 thoughts on “covenant confusion”

  1. Hi Bosco,
    Surely the NZ Consumer Act applies to actual products available for use, not to designs of products not yet manufactured?

    The letter and response Bishop Alan publishes is very witty but it has no actual relevance to the Covenant and its promoters, unless the purpose is to make fun of those promoters. That would be an odd thing for a bishop to do to his archbishop, would it not?

    The Anglican Communion is breaking up, and is full of rents and tears in its fabric. Proposing the Covenant is at least a means to confront member churches with the true state of affairs and to ask carefully and pointedly, do we renew our fellowship together around the things we share in common and with a common commitment to walk in step in the future, or not. With Bishop Alan, yourself, and many others, we may find that the answer is ‘or not.’ At that point we will reject the Covenant. I would be most surprised if we found that we had a Communion which remained intact and kept talking about how we can walk together.

    1. Thanks, Peter, for your points.

      My understanding is that the Anglican Covenant is past its “design” phase, and the final product is available for signing and that the Anglican Church of Mexico has signed up.

      Yes, it appears that a number of bishops and many clergy in the CofE and elsewhere will not speak or vote against the Covenant (with or without humour) because they wish to avoid embarrassing the Archbishop of Canterbury.

      The Anglican Communion has long been an impaired Communion. Our own bishop is not recognised as a bishop, cannot even preside at a Eucharist, or even preach in many churches of our neighbouring diocese because she is a woman. I do not see anything in the Covenant that confronts member churches with this true state of affairs or does anything to fix this. I may very well be wrong, but my opinion currently is that signing the Covenant will make no significant difference to walking together and may very well lead to more walking apart.

  2. Hi Bosco,
    To clarify one point: yes the Covenant is now fully designed, but despite not being implemented a number of predictions are being made about what it will or will not do, which are interesting judgements with an air of pre-judgement which is also known as prejudice!

    An irony of the state of affairs in Sydney is that, in fact, our bishop could preside at the eucharist there … but not as a bishop or priest!

  3. I’m not sure what your point is here, Peter. Some people think the Covenant will do this, some think it won’t – everyone who thinks about it, following your sentence, are prejudiced. That being the case no one should vote either for or against it, and we should pass on to the next business 🙂 In fact we should forget about discussing anything planning for the future as all such discussions are prejudiced. This type of logic in the pro-Covenanters appears to fit closely to the points Bishop Alan makes in his blog post (linked above).

  4. David |Dah•veed|

    An irony of the state of affairs in Sydney is that, in fact, our bishop could preside at the eucharist there … but not as a bishop or priest!

    I think that you are mistaken Peter. If she could it would have to be at an all female gathering. She must submit to the headship of men.

    Sorry, I cannot see +Victoria doing that in a million years.

  5. As a non-Anglican – can someone please fill me in on what the issue is with the ordination of women anyway? I thought we’d been doing that for decades.

  6. Hi Bosco,
    The Covenant is a principled document and I think the synods of the churches of the Communion need to focus on the principles and not on the predictions. Do we agree with the principles? Do we think they are important and worth formal agreement? Then we can find out if the implementation does anything currently being predicted.

    Hi David,
    I may be wrong, but I understand that presiding at the eucharist is not a ‘headship’ or ‘authority’ issue in the Sydney way of thinking, so that mixed gender congregations can have female deacons presiding. On a different aspect of the matter, many people in Christchurch at a conference a few years ago heard Archbishop Jensen say that he would have no problems taking communion at a eucharist presided over by a woman. The ‘big issues’ in this way of thinking are (a) senior leadership of a parish (reserved to rectors who must be priests, so by definition are not women) and (b) teaching men or mixed gender congregations. But on (b) I understand that not every parish in Sydney is averse to a woman teaching men.

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