A Transformed Covenant - a draft

The Archbishop of Canterbury in his second presidential address to the Lambeth Conference challenged people to think of "a new and transformed relation of communion in Christ." My sense of the proposed Anglican Covenant is that it fails the transformation test. It is an attempt to make communion be about union in a formal sense, not about common practice of care and friendship.

I have written a simple alternative Anglican Covenant, obviously a draft. Several friends have thought it worth further consideration. ( An earlier form of this was posted on Preludium and was posted also on Anglican Communion Redux.) It consists of three paragraphs, the first concerning our pledge to common prayer, action and respect, the second to common ministry and sacramental life, the third to working always for the highest level of communion possible.

Here it is:

A Covenant among Autonomous Anglican Churches:

"In as much as God has seen fit to encourage friendship and fellowship among the churches whose understanding of the faith, the scripture, the sacraments and the common life of prayer and church governance was formed from the experience of the Church of England, we the undersigned pledge, in so far as we are able, to constant prayer for one another, to companionship in mission and evangelism, and to hold each other in mutual regard.

We pledge to honor the baptism of persons from every church so pledged, to accept ministers of the Gospel from any of our churches in so far as our own canons permit, and to extend sacramental ministry to members of every church so pledged provided they follow the godly counsel of the church in which they participate as regards preparation for reception of sacramental ministry.

We acknowledge that divisions exist among the various Christian Churches including those who will enter this covenant. We believe that all pledges of full communion are limited by the realities of these divisions and therefore pledge to continually maintain the highest level of communion possible and to work constantly for greater understanding of the work each church is called by God to undertake."

Perhaps it's a start.


  1. A good start, Mark. I could sign onto that without hesitation. That is much more what I understand Anglicanism to be about than the Holy Office of the Inquisition favored by some of the brethen (the sistren, I think not so much).


  2. Deacon Charlie Perrin30/7/08 4:38 PM


    It's a wonderful statement. The only problem I see is that those who would sign on to it are not those who are stirring the pot. The pot-stirrers would like this no more than they like the present situation.

    Some may wonder why those so enamored of enforcing proper doctrine and complete agreement, don't pledge allegiance to the Pope. After all they would then have the Magisterium which explains it all to us.

    But they won't do that since the Vatican wouldn't let them get away with half the stuff that the AC does.

  3. In response to our Bishop Sean's post at lambethjournal I emailed him the link to your "covenant".

  4. This is somewhat similar to my Radically Redacted Anglican Covenant, which is included as an appendix in the formal response I submitted to the Covenant Design Group.

    Might you submit your suggestion to the CDG? Canon Gregory Cameron is the go-to guy on that.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.