Nice to see that eight years after Preludium posted "Not a Worldwide Church, but a Fellowship", Anglican Bishops in Dialogue issued a "testimony" concerning their journey toward reconciliation, agreeing.
The Dialogue Testimony included this statement:
"We are family. The Anglican Communion is a family of churches. It is not
a Church itself. There is much we have in common as Anglicans, which is
evidenced in mutuality in mission, but we remain independent and
On March 8, 2006, I wrote,
"Perhaps we have missed the abundance of God’s grace to us… that we are not a worldwide church at all, but rather a fellowship. This is abundance because we are not one thing but many things, held together not because we are one in ourselves, but because we are one in the Lord Jesus Christ."
I wrote that in the context of arguing that of the two notions - that the Anglican Communion is a "world wide church" and that the Anglican Communion is a fellowship (or family) I go for the second.
Here in the small junky office of Preludium I sometimes wonder if anything written here has value, so it is good to see that occasionally the highly placed agree with something I wrote earlier, even if they got the idea elsewhere or simply because they too can read the tea leaves of past history.
Of course the idea that we are not a worldwide church but a family of churches, a fellowship of churches, etc., is not new at all. It is old news, as old as the spirit that gave rise to the first Lambeth Conference. But in the intervening years the gentle lusts for status has made Anglicans want to be worldwide churches "like" the Roman and Orthodox Churches. As I said in 1998 in "The Challenge of Change," we don't need another worldwide patriarchy, this time of Canterbury.
And for the moment, it appears we have been allowed to pass up this cup.