More on the Moderator's Numbers.

The Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, in his letter to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, referenced statistics that in turn brought questions from Thinking Anglicans and my own blog entry two days ago. Now Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has published a more detailed study on the matter of the strength of the Network and Windsor Bishops constituencies. Read it HERE

The numbers end up being important because the raw estimate of 25% is given for Windsor Report support - in turn referencing 25 % of the Bishops. In turn the Moderator uses those numbers in pulling together the statistics he proposes.

The statistics that started this all off carries the url as follows: http://www.acn-us.org/tmp/tanzania/stats.pdf You will notice the reference "tanzania" in the middle of this address. It would appear that these were statistics offered to the Primates in Tanzania. In turn they seemed to have been used by the Archbishop of Canterbury without much further examination.

The report, written by
Lionel Deimel, Joan Gundersen, and Christopher Wilkins is an important and careful corrective to the statistics offered by the Moderator.


  1. The criticism of the numbers makes the same mistake that the proponent makes. The critics assume that all those in "non Windsor) dioceses are content to remain within TEC if given a choice. If a separate province is created, who can reasonably predict how many parishes and parishioners will look to affiliate with the new province if it means remaining part of the Communion.

  2. The URL for the Network chart is interesting for another reason. One of the directories in which the chart resides is tmp, usually a location for files representing work in progress. One has to wonder if the Network chart was something in the process of being put together that was trotted out by the Network moderator before it was completed and ready for prime time because he wanted to make a particular point.

  3. I, for one, would also love to see the list of 30 CANA congregations. CANA is still counting as part of its new structure the "chaplaincies for Nigerians" in the US. One of these used to meet at Intercession, Manhattan, and is now defunct. I wonder how many others of the "ancien regime" are still actually functioning? The only list I could find on the web was an old list of 17 congregations, of which several are actually TEC-sponosored.

    What was that about lying liars and the lies they tell?

  4. Numbers, Numbers and more numbers!

    There are parishes in this diocese (Pittsburgh) were the priest and the vestry have signed on to the Network while the people have no idea what's going on. How many people would be willing to leave TEC is up for debate.

    Duncan is surrounded by people who actually worship him. When everyone around you is saying, "We love you, we're with you," do you really think anyone out there could feel differently? (at least on the diocesan level)
    The only people in Pittsburgh who are opposed to Duncan, at least in his mind are the good folks at Calvary.

    My parish is small (80 souls) but there isn't one person I've talked to that is pro-Duncan. I do believe we are an exception though.


  5. Personally I would be very hesitant about "counting the numbers", on either side. David found out to his great cost that counting the numbers of Israelite warriors brought very severe consequences from God, who was not pleased with this implied massing of human strength.

    If anyone had taken a democratic vote in Elijah's time to ascertain the truth of God, would the result have been reliable? I think not. If a vote had been taken in Jerusalem immediately prior to Pentacost to determine the truth of Jesus Christ, would the result have been reliable? And wasn't God willing to delay the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrrah for the sake of a mere 10 faithful souls?

    God's kingdom is not a democracy, and God's truth is not determined by popular vote, regardless of how emotional the people assembled in a convention feel. Therefore numbers of people voting on your side or the other are really irrelevant in determining where the truth of doctrine and holiness lays. This can only be determined by depending on God's revelation to us of himself in Scripture. It seems to me that God is not concerned with majority opinion, but with truth, which at times may only be discerned by a very small minority of faithful people.

    It is unfortunate perhaps the Bp Duncan felt persuaded that he needed to try to impress the Primates with numbers of people claimed to fall within one coalition or another. It should have been sufficient to say that there were a tiny remnant of faithful people left in ECUSA, however they were organised in human terms.

    Brian F

  6. Within my parish in the Diocese of Delaware- hardly, as Fr. Harris would admit, a font of conservative sympathy- I would estimate that 10-20% of the parish would be much more in favor the Network's goals as opposed to the direction we see TEC moving nationally. And there are many who simply don't think about the issues and thus would probably only support TEC based on inertia.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.