No Anglican Covenant: Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity

Home page of No Anglican Covenant.Who we are and the purpose of No Anglican Covenant.Communicate with the people behind No Anglican Covenant.How the Anglican Communion came to be where it is, along with information about the status of the Anglican Covenant.You are viewing the Resources page of No Anglican Covenant.Other materials, including a variety of graphics for our No Anglican Covenant logo.


Much has been written about the Anglican Covenant, and we are confident that much more will be written before its ultimate fate is determined. Good material is hard to find, particularly if posted on blogs, which tend to highlight recent posts and obscure older ones. What we have tried to do below is to collect material that we believe is particularly helpful in understanding the Covenant and appreciating its deficiencies.

We offer three lists of materials: Institutional Documents (the Covenant itself can be found here), Commentary, and Miscellaneous Materials (including news releases from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition). We expect to be adding to and refining theses lists continuously, so we suggest that you check back often.

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Institutional Documents

Title Author Date Comment
The Dallas Statement Anglican Life and Witness Conference 24 September 1997 Conservative bishops from across the world met in Dallas to develop their strategy for the upcoming 1998 Lambeth Conference, at which their major achievement was the passage of Resolution I.10. Although this conference did not advocate adoption of a “covenant,” the Dallas Statement includes assertions such as the following: “We call upon the Lambeth Conference to empower the Primates’ Meeting to become a place of appeal for those Anglican bodies who are oppressed, marginalized, or denied faithful episcopal oversight by their own bishops. In such situations, a way must be found to provide pastoral support, oversight and formal ecclesiastical relationships for faithful people.” (See also “The Anglican Covenant: Where It Came From.”)
Lambeth Resolution I.10 (1998) Lambeth Conference (Anglican Bishops) Summer 1998 This resolution on human sexuality was passed after heated maneuvering and debate. Unlike other Lambeth resolutions, it is often cited as the “teaching of the Anglican Communion.” It provided the excuse for the upset expressed in 2003 after the gay, partnered Gene Robinson was selected as Bishop of New Hampshire by The Episcopal Church.
A Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Lambeth Palace Anglican Primates 16 October 2003 After the Episcopal Church’s General Convention agreed to consecrate Gene Robinson, conservative American bishops asked for an emergency meeting of the Primates. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams quickly granted that request. This statement, issued at the end of the meeting, called for what became the Windsor Report.
The Windsor Report Lambeth Commission October 2004 Source of covenant suggestion. Appendix Two is a draft covenant. The report presupposed Lambeth I.10 as the teaching of the Communion, an innovation that has gone largely unquestioned.
An Anglican Covenant Anglican Communion Various Information related to the development of the Covenant, as well as the various drafts, including the final one. Also included is a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the occasion of the completion of the Covenant.
A Covenant for Communion in Mission Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism Undated (prior to February 2005) A covenant inspired by the Windsor Report but oriented toward mission. A very different document from the Windsor Report.
The Anglican Communion Primates’ Meeting Communiqué Anglican Primates 24 February 2005 The Primates met in Northern Ireland at the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre and considered the Windsor Report, with which the expressed general agreement. They asked that the American and Canadians withdraw their representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council until the 2008 Lambeth conference. The churches were also invited to justify their actions at the next ACC meeting (see next entry).
To Set Our Hope on Christ: A Response to the Invitation of Windsor Report ¶135 The Episcopal Church June 2005 In the Windsor Report, The Episcopal Church was invited to offer a justification for “how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ.” This document is the church’s response to that invitation. The Episcopal News Service story offers additional information about the document. (También disponible en español: Hemos puesto nuestrea esperanza en Cristo: Una respuesta a la invitación del Informe de Windsor ¶135.)
Primates’ Meeting Communiqué Anglican Primates 19 February 2007 The Primates met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The recommendations of the Primates are not easily summarized. Suffice it to say that the Primates injected themselves deeply into conflicts within The Episcopal Church. Among other things, they urged the suspension of lawsuits over property in The Episcopal Church. Neither side in these disputes responded to this suggestion.
Communion Matters: A Study Document for The Episcopal Church. Theology Committee of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church May 2007 An Episcopal Church response to the Dar es Salaam meeting. The American bishops did not see things as did the Primates. (También disponible en español: Asuntos de Comunión: Un documento de estudio para la Iglesia Episcopal.)
The Church of Ireland Response to the Draft Covenant The Church of Ireland November 2007 Includes an alternative covenant without harsh disciplinary measures.
Jerusalem Declaration Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) 29 June 2008 A declaration seen by some traditionalists as an alternative to the Anglican Covenant. It offers a more conservative statement of belief than that contained in the first three sections of the Covenant.
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop, House of Deputies President, Executive Council member call for Anglican Covenant study The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs 3 September 2010 Press release asking for comments on the Covenant by 24 April 2011 and offering a study guide (see below). A news story written from this press release can be found here.
Study Guide to the proposed Anglican Covenant Executive Council D020 Task Force (TEC) June 2010 A guide to studying the Covenant offered by The Episcopal Church. It includes references to selective commentary on the covenant, many of which include hyperlinks. The study guide is quite neutral in tone. The introductory section setting out the history of the covenant is quite helpful.
The Anglican Covenant: a briefing paper (GS Misc 966) The Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England 1 November 2010 Briefing paper prepared for November 2010 General Synod. This was also distributed to diocesan synods after General Synod voted to continue consideration of the Covenant 24 November 2010.
Draft Act of Synod Adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant (GS 1809) The Church of England General Synod 1 November 2010

Draft text of the motion by which it is proposed that the General Synod should express its acceptance of the Anglican Covenant. An Act of Synod does not have legislative force in the same way as a Measure or a Canon, and therefore does not also require Parliamentary approval. It is the method that has been used in the past to express Church of England approval of ecumenical agreements with other churches, or groups of churches, e.g., with the Porvoo Communion. GS 1809 was approved by the General Synod 24 November 2010, but it is being sent to the dioceses and will be subject to a final General Synod vote.

Oxford Statement GAFCON Primates’ Council 24 November 2010 On the same day the Church of England General Synod moved the Covenant closer to acceptance, the GAFCON Primates declared the Covenant unacceptable.
Legislative Business: Draft Act of Synod Adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant (GS 1809) Church of England General Synod 24 November 2010 This is a complete transcript of everything that was said during the General Synod debate on the morning of Wednesday, 24 November 2010. There was one following motion, dealing with the issue of requiring a 2/3 majority at final approval, which was not reached because time ran out, and this is now scheduled for debate on the afternoon of Monday, 7 February 2011.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: REFERENCEof the Draft Act of Synod to the Diocesan Synods (GS Misc 971) Business Committee, Church of England General Synod 23 December 2010 This contains the formal instructions to dioceses about how, and by when, they are to respond to the reference from General Synod. The procedural details are standard for all such referrals under the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Synod. The deadline for responses has been set as Monday 30 April 2012. The document contains only very brief details of the “alternative perspectives” on the Covenant that emerged in the debate but does invite dioceses to seek further resource material, if they wish, from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs at Lambeth Palace.
Facilitator’s Guide for the Diocese of California Discussion of the Proposed Anglican Covenant from the General Convention 2012 Deputation Episcopal Diocese of California 8 February 2011 This is a guide for facilitators leading 75–90 minute discussions of the Covenant in Diocese of California deaneries. This two-page guide indicates that certain questions not addressed in the Executive Council’s Study Guide should be considered.
Untitled memorandum Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church 15 February 2011 This report is intended to advise the Executive Council regarding polity changes needed if the Covenant is adopted. It was not released until 24 June 2011. The report asserts that extensive changes in the constitution and canons of the church would be required if the Covenant is adopted by The Episcopal Church. It is notable for saying that the Introduction to the Anglican Covenant has a significant influence on interpretation of the Covenant.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: A Study Guide Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order 17 February 2011 This document and the next are described in a release from Anglican Communion News Service. Do not look here for any suggestion that the Covenant is other than an unmixed blessing.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: Questions and Answers Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order 17 February 2011 This document and the previous one were released together. It is also available as a standard Web page. Both documents advocate for adoption of the Covenant.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: A Briefing Paper The Church in Wales Doctrinal Commission 28 March 2011 This 12-page briefing paper describes and ultimately endorses adoption of the Anglican Covenant.
A Covenant for the Anglican Communion: A study and consultation guide Anglican Communion Working Group of the Anglican Church of Canada 9 June 2011 This 54-page guide is designed “to help people in parishes and dioceses dig more deeply into the wording, and the meaning behind the words ofThe Anglican Communion Covenant, and to discuss together what the implications of adoption might be,” according to an introductory story from the Canadian church.
Legal and Constitutional Issues Presented to the Canadian Church by the Proposed Anglican Covenant Governance Working Group of the Anglican Church of Canada 17 June 2011 This report was written “to provide advice on the legal and constitutional implications and consequences of a decision to adopt or not to adopt the proposed Covenant” by the Anglican Church of Canada. Although some of the report is specific to Canada, the report identifies many serious general problems with the Covenant text. An Executive Summary is also available.
An Introduction to the Anglican Covenant Debate Diocese of Oxford 18 June 2011 Two-page summary of Covenant by Canon John Rees, with five references. It is intended to provide background for upcoming debate in the Diocesan Synod. It is a biased and inadequate document.
Report of the D020 Task Force D020 Task Force 23 August 2011 This is a report prepared for the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church advising on a response to the Covenant. The report recommends a resolution stating that The Episcopal Church “is unable to adopt the Anglican Covenant in its present form.”
Statement on the Anglican Covenant Diocese of California 22 October 2011 The diocese passed a resolution opposing adoption of the Covenant by The Episcopal Church. The explanation is brief, clear, and compelling. The resolution was published by The Lead.
Resolution A120 Anglican Church of Canada 17 May 2013 This General Synod 2013 resolution proposes to postpone a decision on the Covenant until at least 2016.
 

Commentary

Title Author Date Comment
A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality Mr. Stephen Bates October 2005 Bates investigates the uproar in the Anglican Communion brought to a head by the election of Gene Robinson in 2003. This book was written in 2004 and updated in 2005. Much of the book now seems like ancient history, but it is relevant history.
The proposed Anglican covenant: some questions The Revd. Alan T. Perry 1 January 2007 Perry, in this Anglican Journal essay, expresses prescient concerns about what an Anglican covenant might be like.
Interpreting the Proposed Anglican Covenant through the Communique The Revd. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb 19 March 2007 Grieb, who is on the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary and served on the Covenant Design Group, made this report to the bishops of The Episcopal Church. This report provides insight into the purpose of the Covenant and the intent of the primates.
The Covenant We Do Need Dr. Lionel Deimel 1 April 2007 Deimel suggests administrative agreements within the Communion are needed rather than theological ones.
Reflecting on Responding to the Study Guide Dr. Lionel Deimel 22 May 2007 A member of The Episcopal Church publishes his responses to a church study guide of an early Covenant draft.
A Response to the Draft Anglican Covenant Mr. Paul Bagshaw, the Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy & the Rt. Revd. John Saxbee 11 June 2007 Submission to Anglican Communion office on behalf of Modern Churchpeople’s Union (now Modern Church), also distributed to English General Synod members prior to debate.
Rewriting History: Scapegoating the Episcopal Church Ms. Savitri Hensman July 2007 An 82-page, well documented history of recent events in the Anglican Communion. Helpful background for understanding the present circumstances of the Communion.
The Irish Draft The Revd. Malcolm French 29 November 2007 An analysis of the draft alternative offered by the Irish church.
Rowan Overreaches The Revd. Malcolm French 17 December 2007 Commentary on the archbishop’s recent political actions.
The Triumph of Law Over Grace The Revd. Malcolm French 8 February 2008 Commentary on legalism in the Covenant.
The End of Anglicanism The Revd. Malcolm French 20 April 2008 Commentary on the impact of the covenant.
Perhaps I should declare myself a Brazilian The Revd. Malcolm French 28 April 2008 A response to the Brazilian church’s reaction to the Covenant.
Who Steers the Ship? The Poverty of the Draft Anglican Covenant Mr. Paul Bagshaw 22 June 2008 Critique of the St. Andrew's Draft by Paul Bagshaw on behalf of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union (now Modern Church).
Extracts from Liberal Faith in a Divided Church The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 27 June 2008 Clatworthy offers relevant passages from his book on (1) liberals and conservatives; (2) scripture, reason, and tradition; (3) biblical interpretation; and (4) should the Church split?
Unfit for Purpose The Rev. Canon Professor Marilyn McCord Adams 10 July 2008 Adams argues against the St Andrew’s Draft, at a Conference of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union (now Modern Church).
Cash and Covenants The Revd. Malcolm French 23 October 2008 Among other things, French analyzes the views of bishops who attended Lambeth 2008
Scripture for the Ridley Cambridge Draft Dr. Lionel Deimel 11 April 2009 Describes and links to a document giving all the scripture cited in the Covenant draft.
The RC Anglican Covenant Draft: Review of the Whole The Revd. Canon Mark Harris 25 April 2009 Harris does a very thorough job of evaluating the draft covenant, section-by-section, “for those few who want a full review.”
Still No Reason for a Covenant The Revd. Jim Stockton 16 May 2009 A plea to reject the Covenant.
Why direct diocesan sign on to the Covenant now is a bad idea The Revd. Canon Mark Harris 30 July 2009 Harris makes a compelling case for the whole church considering the proposed Anglican Covenant as we move together toward General Convention 2012.
Would I make my children sign a contract? The Revd. Malcolm French 8 August 2009 Comparing the Covenant to the love and care of a parent.
Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future: MCU’s reply to Drs Williams and Wright The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 17 August 2009 Response to papers by Archbishop Rowan Williams and Bishop Tom Wright in the wake of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention.
The Anglican Covenant The Revd. Canon Mark Harris 6 September 2009 Harris explores Section 3 of the proposed Anglican Covenant and finds it “a tempting but wormy apple.”
Why No Anglican Covenant: Part 1 Dr. Lionel Deimel 9 September 2009 Deimel argues that the Covenant is incoherent and dishonest.
Why No Anglican Covenant: Part 2 Dr. Lionel Deimel 25 September 2009 Deimel discusses what is not in the Covenant, namely any prohibition of episcopal boundary crossing.
Pierre Whalon on Rowan Williams’s Daft Idea The Revd. Malcolm French 28 September 2009 An introduction on Bishop Whalon’s comments on the Covenant. Whalon is the bishop for the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, a part of The Episcopal Church.
Brazil on the Anglican Covenant, particularly part 4. The Revd. Mark Harris 24 November 2009 Concerns about the covenant from Brazil, with commentary.
Changes to Section 4 of the Covenant Draft Dr. Lionel Deimel 18 December 2009 Analysis of the final changes to Section 4 of the Covenant.
The Anglican Covenant and Democratic Centralism The Revd. Malcolm French 19 December 2009 Comment on how centralism and Anglican experience contrast.
Anglican Covenant - partly used Rev. Bosco Peters 22 December 2009 On handing over sovereignty and other matters.
Covenant fatalism (almost) The Revd. Dr. Giles Fraser 29 December 2009 Fraser, in a Church Times column, likens the Covenant to “that thoroughly distasteful feature of modern life, the pre-nuptial agreement.”
Bad Fruit from Bad Seed The Revd. Jim Stockton 2 January 2010 Stockton comments on the revised Section 4 of the Covenant and finds its purpose punitive.
Rowan and the real revisionists The Revd. Malcolm French 5 January 2010 Who really is trying to impose a new and radical thing on the Anglican world?
What would they make of it? The Revd. Malcolm French 10 January 2010 French is disappointed in the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Considering the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Malcolm French 13 January 2010 French argues that Canada should consider the Covenant carefully and transparently, then reject it. It has not, he argues, been produced in a transparent process.
Section 4 Decoded Dr. Lionel Deimel 14 January 2010 Analysis (including diagram) of the complexity of Section 4 of the Covenant.
Response to Neal Michell The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 18 January 2010 Response to an article by Neal Michell titled “Is the Anglican Covenant Non-Anglican?” an essay supportive of the covenant
Orthodoxy, Heresy, and the Proposed Anglican Covenant The Rev. John Kettlewell 7 February 2010 The idea of the Covenant has a distinctly “heretical” character according to Kettlewell. (This is a reprinted essay with an anonymous introduction.)
Two Tiers Dr. Lionel Deimel 30 March 2010 Deimel argues that the strange adoption process for the Covenant virtually guarantees a two-tiered Communion.
The Anglican Covenant has become a political tool The Revd. Mark Harris 8 May 2010 Harris unpacks the political maneuverings behind the push for the Anglican Covenant and concludes: “Many hoped that the Anglican Covenant would be in itself a ‘tool’ for unity. It has become, however, an instrument of division.”
The end of authentic Anglicanism The Revd. Malcolm French 8 June 8 2010 French argues that the covenant will destroy the authentic Anglican experience
General Synod The Rt. Rev. David Chillingworth 16 June 2010 A Response to the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The blog post links to a thoughtful commentary by the church’s Primus.
Barbed wire and the Anglican Covenant Ms. Katie Sherrod 24 June 2010 Sherrod argues that the covenant “seeks to wrap rings of bureaucratic barbed wire around the Holy Spirit, imprisoning the Spirit in processes of discipline designed to enforce unanimity of theology, of interpretation of Scripture, and who knows what else.”
A very un-Anglican Covenant Modern Church 7 July 2010 Modern Church (formerly the Modern Churchpeople’s Union) posted a series of essays arguing against the Anglican Covenant. This is the introduction to the series. Individual essays are described below.
Freedom of Thought or a Confessional Church? The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 Clatworthy argues that the Covenant will make Anglicanism a “confessional denomination.”
How is the Covenant Designed to Work? Mr. Paul Bagshaw 7 July 2010 Bagshaw argues that the covenant makes provincial autonomy a “legal fiction.”
Squaring the Circle: Making the Voluntary Compulsory Mr. Paul Bagshaw 7 July 2010 A summary of the contents of the various draft Anglican Covenants.
That 1998 Lambeth Conference The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 First hand reports by two bishops who attended the 1998 Lambeth Conference concerning the vote describing “homosexuality as incompatible with Scripture.” They do not paint a pretty picture.
The Anglican Communion and its beliefs The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 Introduction to the different theological traditions in Anglicanism and the way they have recently produced controversy.
The Anglican Covenant would increase interference from outside The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 Why the Anglican Covenant would be a recipe for conflict.
The Anglican Covenant would make churches more backward-looking The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 Why the Anglican Covenant would make change in the Anglican Communion more difficult.
The Anglican Covenant would restrict options in parishes The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 How Modern Church believes the Anglican Covenant would affect parishes.
The Covenant Debate: The Windsor Report The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 A brief but powerful critique of the Windsor Report. Part of Modern Church’s case against the Anglican Covenant
The Covenant Debate: Who will pay? How will it be accounted? Mr. Paul Bagshaw 7 July 2010 The financial implications of the Anglican Covenant are discussed in this essay, a topic not much remarked upon.
The Power of the Standing Committee Mr. Paul Bagshaw 7 July 2010 The Standing Committee’s role in the Anglican Covenant.
What happens to provinces which do not sign the Anglican Covenant? The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 How the Anglican Covenant puts pressure on provinces to sign up.
What if we already had the Anglican Covenant? The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 7 July 2010 Description of how different Anglicanism would have been if the Anglican Covenant had been in force in the past.
Why the Covenant Won’t Work Mr. Paul Bagshaw 7 July 2010 Brief description of the problems with the Anglican Covenant’s workings.
Rule and Ultimate Standard of Faith Dr. Lionel Deimel 3 August 2010 Even some of the “innocuous” provisions of the covenant are problematic.
Saying no to the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Malcolm French 4 September 2010 A plea for education and organization to oppose the authoritarian centralization implicit in the Covenant. The essay includes links to both powerful and amusing essays.
The Guide to the Anglican Covenant for Dummies The Revd. Dr. Lesley Fellows 4 October 2010 What the Covenant can and cannot do.
What will the Anglican Covenant do to the Church? The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 12 October 2010 Text of leaflet sent to Church of England General Synod members arguing against the Covenant. (An HTML, rather than a PDF version of the leaflet is available here.)
The Anglican Covenant and the smoking gun of fundamentalism The Revd. Mark Harris 19 October 2010 Harris argues that the covenant will become dangerous in the hands of fundamentalists.
Anglican Covenant a Tool For…? The Rt. Revd. Dr. Alan Wilson 23 October 2010 Commentary on the Covenant’s utility.
Who runs the Church? The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 29 October 2010 Advertisement that appeared in Church Times (UK) and The Church of England Newspaper.
Covenant The Revd. Lauren Gough 30 October 2010 Commentary on the difference between covenant and contracts, inspired by a Lambeth talk by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sachs.
The architect’s manifesto Mr. Paul Bagshaw 31 October 2010 Covenant proponents would have us believe that the Windsor Report and Anglican Covenant were informed by an objective view of the Communion. Bagshaw demonstrates that they are instead the product of a conservative agenda predating the election of Gene Robinson and, at least implicitly, endorsed by Rowan Williams.
Encouraging What Engagement? How? The Rt. Rev. Dr. Alan Wilson 1 November 2010 Commentary on the issue of enforced counseling and the model of Section 4 of the Covenant.
Anglican Covenant ignores the problem of evil Ms. Savitri Hensman 3 November 2010 Hensman argues that unity in the church is not the highest good. Sometimes, even the church has to be resisted.
Sermon Thing Mr. Neal Terry 6 November 2010 This is a sermon in opposition to the Covenant by a lay preacher in Newcastle upon Tyne. It suggests how the case against the Covenant might be presented to an audience unfamiliar with the issues. Terry describes the Covenant as a “fetter” and a “manacle.”
Reply to Defenders of the Proposed Anglican Covenant The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 10 November 2010 Response to critics of the advertisement in the church press of 29 October 2010, and the Briefing Paper sent to English General Synod members.
In the Still of the Night: delight in the untidy Anglican Communion The Revd. Canon Mark Harris 13 November 2010 Harris reposts his 2004 essay about the Anglican way of being Church.
If it looks like a duck… Dr. Lionel Deimel 17 November 2010 Deimel addresses the contention that the Covenant is no threat to provincial autonomy, which is what the much-cited Paragraph 4.1.3 claims.
Relational consequences The Revd. Malcolm French 17 November 2010 French responds to a plea by Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity Faith and Order, to give the Covenant a fair hearing. He says her suggestion that opponents have not read the Covenant is insulting, and he complains of the disingenuousness of the euphemism “relational consequences.”
Actually, Director, we have read the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Canon Mark Harris 17 November 2010 Harris’s response to the Barnett-Cowan plea.
Covet a covenant? The Rt Revd Pierre W. Whalon, D.D.
 
18 November 2010 Whalon is Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, part of The Episcopal Church. This essay for Anglicans Online, raises the question of whether we are better off by ostracizing those churches in disagreement with the rest of the Communion.
Reply to Andrew Goddard The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 21 November 2010 Clatworthy responds to yet more criticism (Andrew Goddard’s long essay) of the 29 October 2010 advertisement.
What will the ‘orthodox’ do? Dr. Lionel Deimel 21 November 2010 Will the most “orthodox” Anglican churches adopt the covenant? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Deimel explores what the leaders of such churches really want.
Some comments about The Anglican Communion Covenant Mr. Ronald C. Stevenson 21 November 2010 Stevenson, who recently retired as Chancellor of the Anglican Church of Canada, raises questions about the clarity of the text and the procedures described in Section 4.
The Anglican Covenant: a tool for the strong to oppress the weak Mr. Jim Naughton 22 November 2010 Like the Stevenson essay (above), Naughton looks at the Covenant as a legal document. He finds it completely lacking in checks and balances, calling the structure it would create “governance by hurt feelings.”
“Relational Consequences” Revealed The Revd. Terry Martin 23 November 2010 If anyone believes that the “relational consequences” referred to in the Covenant really means gentle slaps on the wrist, Martin will dispel that idea. The Covenant means to be punative.
Background: Values of the Anglican Covenant challenged Ms. Savitri Hensman 24 November 2010 This essay reviews arguments made for and against the Covenant just before the Church of England General Synod was to vote on it. Virtually all the material mentioned in this Ekklesia essay is listed above or referred to in the works cited here.
The Anglican Covenant: Where Did It Come From? The Revd. Dr. Caroline Hall 24 November 2010 This essay is essential reading for understanding the origin of the covenant idea. It is the first part of what has become a five-part series of essays on the Covenant. The second installment is here.
Liberal Anglicans will mourn the death of Colin Slee Mr. Stephen Bates 25 November 2010 This column, by the author of A Church at War is ostensibly an obituary of Dean Colin Slee. Written the day after the Church of England General Synod chose to move the Anglican Covenant toward adoption, it is largely a commentary on the state of affairs the day after the vote.
The Anglican Covenant: What’s in it? The Revd. Dr. Caroline Hall 29 November 2010 The is Part 2 of Hall’s series of essays on the Covenant. (The first part is here and the third part here.) The second essay is a good, concise description of the contents of the Covenant with little additional commentary.
Observations on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Presidential Address and the Anglican Covenant Debate in the Church of England General Synod, November 2010 No Anglican Covenant Coalition 30 November 2010 The No Anglican Covenant Coalition analyzes what happened in the General Synod, which sent the Anglican Covenant to Church of England dioceses for consideration. The document strongly criticizes the role played by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Failure of ‘Covenant’ progress The Revd. James V. Stockton 30 November 2010 Stockton, addressing primarily an Episcopal Church audience, attacks myths behind the Covenant and asks some difficult questions.
Musings on Communion Agreements Dr. Lionel Deimel 14 December 2010 Deimel compares the Covenant to the communion agreement between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and finds it wanting.
Ten Reasons Why the Proposed Anglican Covenant is a Bad Idea No Anglican Covenant Coalition 15 December 2010 One-page list of 10 major reasons to oppose the Anglican Covenant, this document is particularly helpful to those unfamiliar with the Covenant or those who are preparing arguments against it. The document is formatted for A4 stationery. A letter-size version of the file can be found here.
Natural Justice and the Anglican Covenant - Part 1 The Revd. Canon Alan T. Perry 18 December 2010 In this essay, presented in two parts, Perry asks “are the procedures for dispute settling in section 4 demonstrably fair?” Ultimately, he concludes that they are not.
Natural Justice and the Anglican Covenant - Part 2 The Revd. Canon Alan T. Perry 21 December 2010 Perry completes his argument begun in Part 1.
Federation, Communion or Church The Revd. Malcolm French 31 December 2010 French deals with the argument that failure to adopt the Anglican Covenant would represent a change in the nature of the Communion, which many would say has the relationship quite backwards. He concludes with a helpful description of the Communion from Canada’s former Primate.
The Anglican Covenant Mr. David Phillips 18 January 2011 This essay, by the general secretary of Church Society, appeared in the group’s Winter 2011 issue of Cross†Way. Phillips, who has a very conservative outlook, calls the Covenant “a waste of time.” He finds the doctrinal statements of the Covenant too weak, but he agrees with liberals that the centralization of authority created by the Covenant would be a bad thing.
Some History of Resistance to Centralizing Authority in the Anglican Communion Mr. Ronald C. Stevenson 19 January 2011 Stevenson, who wrote “Some comments about The Anglican Communion Covenant” listed above, here argues that centralization has been strenuously resisted within the Anglican Communion until now.
The Anglican Covenant: Who Wants it? The Revd. Dr. Caroline Hall 19 January 2011 This is the third part of Hall’s series of essays on the Covenant. (Part 2 can be found here and Part 4 here.) Hall sets out to answer, dispassionately, who wants the Covenant.
Defining the Faith The Revd. Canon Alan T. Perry 24 January 2011 In this blog post, Perry focuses on Section 1 of the draft Covenant, which has largely escaped criticism. Perry argues that what appears in Section 1 is defective in its obliviousness to context.
The Anglican Covenant: Who’s Against It? The Revd. Dr. Caroline Hall 17 February 2011 This is the fourth essay in Hall’s five-part series on the Covenant. (Part 3 can be found here.) Hall discusses reasons to oppose the covenant. Her final essay did not appear until 18 April and took no firm position on the Covenant.
A Statement from the Diocesan Council (Convention) of West Texas, February, 2011: The Anglican Covenant Convention of the Diocese of West Texas 17 February 2011 The annual convention of the Diocese of West Texas adopted this statement concerning the Covenant. Although it urges the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church to adopt the Covenant, the statement expresses reservations about the Covenant’s effectiveness. A description of the deliberation on the statement can be found here.
Untitled essay Anglicans Online 20 February 2011 Anglicans Online, which is not known for its political stands, declared itself against the Covenant in this front-page essay. The essay asserts that “the looseness of the Anglican Communion” allows it to be nimble in the modern world.
Church of England resources Modern Church 24 February 2011 Modern Church created this page of resources specifically to be used in discussions of the Covenant within the Church of England. Most of the original documents are of interest to a wider audience and are described separately below. (Dates are not clearly indicated on this page and its documents, so we have chosen a nominal date and assigned it to all the Modern Church documents on this page.)
The case against the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 24 February 2011 This helpful document is rather substantial. Not only does it review the history of the Covenant, but it also places the Covenant within the context of competing philosophical schools. As such, it is helpful in illuminating the deeper issues behind the push for a covenant. (Also available in PDF and Microsoft Word versions.)
What is the Anglican Covenant for? Modern Church, No Anglican Covenant Coalition & Inclusive Church 24 February 2011 This is clearly intended as a brief publicity piece for use in the Church of England, but it could be modified for use elsewhere. After a bit of history, it concludes with 10 reasons why the English church should not adopt the Covenant. (Also available in a two-page Microsoft Word version, as well as a PDF and Microsoft Word version for A5 paper.)
Should the CofE approve the Anglican Covenant? Modern Church, No Anglican Covenant Coalition & Inclusive Church 24 February 2011 This is a leaflet for A5 paper. It makes a very brief case against Covenant adoption. The document would have to be greatly modified to use outside the Church of England, but a Microsoft Word version is available that can be freely adapted.
The Case Against the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Nathan A. Rugh 13 March 2011 This is the slightly edited version of a talk given in Pittsburgh in a debate on the Anglican Covenant. Rugh, though a liberal Episcopal priest, makes what he calls a conservative case for defeating the Anglican Covenant.
The Anglican Covenant: A Church Times Guide Various 18 March 2011 This 12-page PDF includes essays both favoring and opposing Covenant adoption, as well as a helpfully annotated version of the Covenant itself. Mark Harris offers a useful guide to the Guide.
Why the Anglican Covenant Should be Rejected Dr. Lionel Deimel 21 March 2011 This is another talk against the Covenant from Pittsburgh (Deimel summarizes his arguments and provides some context for his talk on his blog.) This document emphasizes technical peculiarities of the Covenant and its potential harm to Anglicanism. Deimel then speculates on how The Episcopal Church might deal with the Covenant.
The Genius of Anglicanism: Prospectives on the Proposed Anglican Covenant Mr. Jim Naughton, Editor 6 April 2011 This is a collection of essays by prominent Episcopalians sponsored by the Chicago Consultation, which supports the full inclusion of LGBT persons in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. The document describes itself as “Essays and Study Questions.” The essays deal with issues seldom discussed in the context of the proposed Covenant. In a sense, it is the best Covenant study guide produced to date—certainly for Episcopalians, at any rate. It does not suggest that the Covenant should be rejected, but that message can be read between the lines.
Diocese of Los Angeles declines to endorse Anglican Covenant Diocese of Los Angleles 2012 General Convention deputies and bishops 13 April 2011 Members of the Diocese of Los Angeles attending the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church announced that they cannot endorse the Covenant. (An alternate URL is cited here, as the original page is no longer unavailable.)
DioCal Deputation summarizes covenant conversation Diocese of California 2012 General Convention deputies 17 April 2011 (?) The lay and clerical deputies to the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church summarize the conversations in the diocese about the Covenant in this letter. The indaba process is praised; the Covenant is not.
Letter to Executive Council Diocese of Colorado 2012 General Convention deputies 20 April 2011 The lay and clerical deputies to the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church wrote this letter to the Executive Council indicating their opposition to adoption of the Covenant.
Anglican Covenant Responses Diocese of Quincy 2012 General Convention deputies 24 April 2011 The deputation of the Diocese of Quincy created this particularly clear argument against the Covenant and declared an intention to vote against adoption.
Response to the Anglican Covenant Diocese of Michigan 2012 General Convention deputies 28 April 2011 This is the reaction of the Diocese of Michigan 2012 General Convention deputation to the Anglican Covenant. The letter concludes by declaring that the deputies “recommend against adoption of the Anglican Covenant by the Episcopal Church.”
A Critique of Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the Anglican Covenant - Part 1 Dr. Lionel Deimel 31 May 2011 This is the first of a two-part analysis asserting problems in the first three sections of the Anglican Covenant. This post on Deimel’s blog provides an introduction and covers Section 1.
A Critique of Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the Anglican Covenant - Part 2 Dr. Lionel Deimel 1 June 2011 This is the second and final part of Deimel’s analysis of the first three sections of the Anglican Covenant. This post covers Sections 2 and 3 and offers concluding remarks. Deimel’s complete analysis is also available as a single PDF file here.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: The Episcopal Church Should Not Adopt It Canon Tom O’Brien 9 June 2011 O’Brien, who is a deputy to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention from the Diocese of Southeast Florida, gave this PowerPoint presentation—rendered here as a PDF file—to a Province IV Synod. Because there are no presentation notes, one has to read between the lines a bit, but the author makes a strong case for why The Episcopal Church (and perhaps other churches) should not adopt the Covenant.
The Anglican Covenant and the “dominant melody” The Revd. George Clifford 10 June 2011 Clifford, writing for Daily Episcopalian, accuses the covenant of being un-American. The Covenant, he asserts, is incompatible with American skittishness with respect to episcopal authority.
Provincial Autonomy The Revd. Canon Alan T. Perry 12 July 2011 A spirited defense of provincial autonomy, that concept to which the Covenant gives lip service while it takes it away from Communion churches.
A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 19 July 2011 This is a one-page handout on the Covenant designed as a complete introduction to the issues involved. It is a PDF file formatted for A4 paper. The same text formatted for letter-size paper is available here. (Click here for news release about the handout.)
A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant (2-pg. version) No Anglican Covenant Coalition 19 July 2011 After the one-page version of “A Short Introduction” (see above) was released, this easier-to-read two-page version was released for A4 paper. A two-page version for letter-size paper is available here.
Essays Favoring the Anglican Covenant from The Living Church The Living Church Various Lionel Deimel has posted links to pro-Covenant essays from The Living Church. We don’t endorse these essays, but we are committed to serious debate about the Anglican Covenant.
Anglican Communion Covenant The Revd. Canon Perran Gay 18 November 18 2011 This talk in opposition to the Covenant was presented at the Synod of the Diocese of Truro. Gay makes a strong case against the Covenant, though some of his arguments are specific to the Church of England.
Instead of the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy December 2011 The Covenant is often promoted as “the only way forward.” Clatworthy, writing for Modern Church and the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, argues otherwise.
Americanism and the Anglican Covenant The Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy 26 January 2012 Clatworthy responds to a pro-Covenant essay, “Anglican Covenant—Bishop’s Council” written by Peter Doll, Canon Librarian of Norwich Cathedral, and forwarded by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to Church of England bishops. Clatworthy argues that Doll misrepresents Americans and The Episcopal Church.
A (Very) Close Look at Doll’s Pro-Covenant Essay Dr. Lionel Deimel 28 January 2012 Deimel also takes on the Doll paper that is the subject of Jonathan Clatworthy’s essay (above). His analysis examines the details of Doll’s argument from an Episcopalian’s viewpoint.
The Anglican Communion Covenant: A Church of England Objection from an Evangelical Perspective The Revd. Liam Beadle 29 February 2012 An objection to the Anglican Covenant by a Church of England priest from an evangelical perspective. A PDF version of the essay is available here.
Anglican Covenant talk: Crew, MacCulloch return Williams' serve The Revd. Torey Lightcap 5 March 2012 Lightcap’s post includes two videos responding to the recent video from the Archbishop of Canterbury titled “Why the Covenant Matters.” The videos are from Oxford historian Diarmaid MacCulloch and Episcopal Church gay activist Louie Crew. MacCulloch counters conventional arguments for the Covenant, whereas Crew disputes Rowan Williams’ contention that the Covenant is not punative.
Historical Problems with the Anglican Covenant Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch 7 March 2012 MacCulloch summarizes a paper by the Ven. M. Edward Simonton, “The Anglican Covenant and the Experience of The Scottish Episcopal Church: Rewriting History for Expediency’s Sake.” Simonton argues that the churches of Scotland and the United States do not share the common history asserted in the proposed Covenant.
‘The unity that you have given’: the Idea of a Covenant The Revd. Dr. Andrew Davison 9 March 2012 Davison is Tutor in Doctrine at Westcott House, Cambridge. In this revision of an earlier paper, he argues that “covenant” has been wrongly understood in the case of the proposed Anglican Covenant.
Diocesan Synod Presidential Address The Rt. Revd. James Jones 17 March 2012 Bishop Jones addressed the Liverpool Diocesan Synod to explain why he believed votes should be cast against the Anglican Covenant. Video of the address can be found here.
Letter to Rupertsland Anglicans Peter Flynn, et al. 24 March 2012 Letter to Anglicans in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land (Anglican Church of Canada) arguing that the Covenant is unnecessary and that it is better to “muddle.”
An Anglican Covenant—Responses Anglican Communion (anonymous) 20 July 2012 This page lists churches that have made a decision on the Covenant and informed the Secretary General of that decision. It also contains links to responses from various churches and other parties to the various Covenant drafts.
CoGS recommends ‘continued monitoring’ of Covenant Ms. Marites N. Sison 16 March 2013 Anglican Journal reported that, when the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada meets in July, it will be presented with a resolution to delay action on the Covenant until 2016 and monitor developments.
Time for a Definitive Response to the Anglican Covenant (Short Version) Dr. Lionel Deimel 13 June 2015 It is assumed that the General Convention of The Episcopal Church will make an actual decision on the Covenant when it meets beginning 25 June 2015. This essay discusses the two proposed resolutions concerning the Covenant.
Covenant? What Covenant? Dr. Lionel Deimel 3 July 2015 The assumption about the Episcopal Church’s General Convention (see entry above) was wrong. The convention instead chose to ignore the Covenant and made no provision to consider it further.
 

Miscellaneous Material

Title Author Date Comment
No Anglican Covenant Dr. Lionel Deimel 6 August 2009 The original post suggesting a campaign against the covenant and offering the No Anglican Covenant logo.
International Campaign Seeks to Stop Anglican Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 3 November 2010 News release announcing No Anglican Covenant Coalition.
Introducing the No Anglican Covenant Coalition and the No Anglican Covenant Web Site No Anglican Covenant Coalition 3 November 2010 Explanation for why this site was introduced on the day we celebrate Anglican theologian Richard Hooker.
The Anglican Covenant: Original Introduction to Web Site, 3 November 2010 No Anglican Covenant Coalition 3 November 2010 Introduction to the No Anglican Covenant Web site when it was first announced.
Status of Covenant Adoption No Anglican Covenant Coalition Updated continuously Our own tally of where the Covenant stands in the various Anglican churches.
The Radio 4 Anglican Covenant Debate No Anglican Covenant Coalition 13 November 2010 Secretary to the Covenant Design Group Bishop Gregory Cameron and moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition debated the Covenant on BBC Radio 4 on 7 November 2010. The audio of this encounter is no longer on the Web, and the BBC will not allow a transcript to be posted. This document is a description of the debate.
No Anglican Covenant Coalition Gathers Momentum No Anglican Covenant Coalition 23 November 2010 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release on eve of Church of England General Synod vote.
No Anglican Coalition Responds to General Synod Vote No Anglican Covenant Coalition 24 November 2010 News release from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition after the Church of England General Synod vote to send the Covenant to dioceses for consideration.
Letter to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams No Anglican Covenant Coalition 7 December 2010 The No Anglican Covenant Coalition explains its position in this letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, asks him to reconsider his support of the Covenant, and invites him into dialogue. A belated and rather perfunctory reply from Lambeth Palace, dated 9 February 2011, has been received.
A Comparison of various drafts of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant Tobias Stanislas  Haller BSG 14 February 2011 Haller has constructed a side-by-side comparison of the St. Andrew’s draft, Ridley Cambridge draft, and final draft of the Anglican Covenant. He draws no conclusions, but his comparison does show the evolution of the covenant idea.
No Anglican Covenant Coalition Calls for Fair Process and Honest Debate No Anglican Covenant Coalition 28 February 2011 News release from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition. The Coalition descries the lack of balance in the materials about the Anglican Covenant sent to Church of England dioceses, as well as in the recent materials issued by the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO).
First English diocesan vote rejects Anglican Covenant Modern Church, Inclusive Church, and No Anglican Covenant Coalition 16 March 2011 Wakefield was the first diocese in the Church of England to vote on adopting the Anglican Covenant. The vote was negative. This news release responds to that event.
Bishops John Saxbee, Peter Selby to Be Patrons of No Anglican Covenant Coalition No Anglican Covenant Coalition 6 July 2011 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release announcing Bishop John Saxbee and Peter Selby Episcopal Patrons of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.
Coalition Releases A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 19 July 2011 Announcement of the release of “A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant,“ a concise handout on the Covenant. (See entry here.)
Statement by the No Anglican Covenant Coalition Regarding Covenant Background Information Prepared for the Diocese of Oxford No Anglican Covenant Coalition 31 August 2011 A statement by the No Anglican Covenant concerning material on the Anglican Covenant prepared for the Diocese of Oxford. A news release was issued regarding this statement.
Coalition “Disappointed” by Background Material for Anglican Covenant Debate No Anglican Covenant Coalition 31 August 2011 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release commenting on the statement from the Coalition regarding material on the Anglican Covenant prepared for the Diocese of Oxford.
Coalition Celebrates Successes, Plans for the Future No Anglican Covenant Coalition 6 December 2011 No Anglican Covenant Coalition review of progress and look at future events.
Coalition Announces Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch as Patron No Anglican Covenant Coalition 31 January 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release announcing Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch as a Patron of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.
Professor Marilyn McCord Adams Appointed as Coalition’s Fourth Patron No Anglican Covenant Coalition 14 February 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release announcing Professor Marilyn McCord Adams as a Patron of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.
Momentum Shifting in Anglican Covenant Debate No Anglican Covenant Coalition 21 February 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release reflecting on the trend among Church of England dioceses to reject the Covenant.
Coalition Adds New Patrons from New Zealand, Australia and England No Anglican Covenant Coalition 6 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release announcing three new patrons.
Yes to Communion – No to Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 13 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release responding to the news that Rowan Williams will retire at the end of the year.
Coalition Statement on the Retirement of Archbishop Rowan Williams No Anglican Covenant Coalition 16 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release indicating support for the Anglican Communion, but not for the Anglican Covenant.
Momentum against Proposed Covenant Continues No Anglican Covenant Coalition 17 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release in response to the latest voting in Church of England diocesan synods.
Coalition Statement on the Defeat of the Proposed Anglican Covenant in the Church of England No Anglican Covenant Coalition 24 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release in response to the voting that has prevented adoption of the Anglican Covenant from being considered further by the Church of England General Synod.
Model Covenant Resolution for 2012 General Convention No Anglican Covenant Coalition 27 April 2012 The No Anglican Covenant Coalition proposed this resolution on the Covenant for adoption by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. (The resolution is available as a Microsoft Word file or as a PDF file.) When this resolution was publicized, three very different resolutions had already proposed.
Coalition Plans Next Steps No Anglican Covenant Coalition 1 May 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release announcing a new Moderator and a new Convenor for the Church of England.
Why say NO to the proposed Anglican Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 11 June 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition brochure prepared for the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.
Coalition Statement on This Week’s Votes on the Anglican Covenant No Anglican Covenant Coalition 11 July 2012 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release about developments in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and The Episcopal Church.
Suggested Talking Points Regarding Anglican Covenant Resolutions No Anglican Covenant Coalition 22 June 2015 Background information and suggested arguments prepared for legislative hearing on Covenant resolutions being considered at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.
Statement by No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator the Venerable Malcolm French Regarding the Primates Meeting 2016 and the Purported Sanctions Against The Episcopal Church No Anglican Covenant Coalition 18 January 2016 No Anglican Covenant Coalition news release about the outcome of the Primates Meeting held 11–15 January 2016. The primates declared sanctions against The Episcopal Church for it authorization of same-sex marriage.

Page last updated 23 January 2016
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