Thursday, 18 November 2010

Covenant cont...

For those of you following events to do with the Covenant, here are two potentially interesting articles, a strong and comprehensive defence from Andrew Goddard (no, I don't agree with him, but he puts forward a reasoned case and certainly knows his stuff) and another piece by Chris Sugden which condemns the Covenant as "weak" and "substituting conviction for truth."

Ah well, even the conservatives can't agree.

This is a house divided against itself (complete the saying...)


  1. Just wondered - is the heading for this a typo?

  2. As I said to you earlier, this quite cheered up my morning:)

  3. I was reading in a blog that a Bishop from China was speaking on the Covenant and he said simply that 'its “just a piece of paper” and the reality is that if we can’t sort out our relationships in the church, whether we have this piece of paper or not is irrelevant. It is all about relationships.'

    this really helped me because for us 'men on the ground' these things can be really scary nightmares that we are unsure how they will effect our lives.

  4. Rosanna
    as an civil partnered woman on the ground in the CoE I'm pretty sure how signing the Covenant will affect me. My church will no longer be free to develop its theology on this issue. Because the Covenant is designed to stop the debate it is not likely that 1st tier signatories will immediately continue the fighting.
    What they will do is decide this issue on the basis of a majority vote by 15 conservative individuals.

    This will be "just a piece of paper" in the same way that the Windsor report was "just a report".

  5. I think that is what a lot of people don't realise, Erika. If you ask ordinary churchgoers they don't know and don't care what the covenant is (kind of understandable!)If they do know, they have a vague idea that it is about everyone trying to get on with each other better. If the covenant is adopted, I will immediately see myself as a second tier member of the C of E. I console myself that Jesus was not very acceptable to the religious authorities of his day either.

  6. Erika
    I think what Suem is saying is true. if you ask people about the covenant they will not know what your talking about. My concern is that this has even become a talking point but when someone says that we should get up and do rather than talk and debate then I feel if we did something like this covenant would not even be on the first run of the ladder.
    unfortunately people are too fearful to ask and more fearful to act.
    we don't like to be ignorant so remain uninformed.

  7. I am increasingly experiencing a growing sense of despair and bubbling anger (which I don't think is healthy) over the direction Anglicanism is heading.

    I think I've already unintentionally pissed off one commenter on this blog by saying what I think, so I am trying to get a bit of distance on the issue at the moment.

    I don't want to stop going to church altogether, but at this moment I am looking into ways to do church differently and at people and places to go for respite.

  8. What's your church like with you being in a CP BTW, Erika? (Only if you want to say.)

  9. Rosanna
    so are you saying that the CoE may sleepwalk into signing the covenant but that, once it realises what it is truly about, it will then not obey the ruling of those who will impose their theology on it?
    I'm not sure it can do that. Signing will confer some legal legitimacy on the document and the Instrument it creates.

    All the church could do is have a fierce debate later... a bit like the one we're having now and that the Covenant is mean to stop... and then opt to become a 2nd tier member.

    I don't know how likely that is. Come to think of it - is there any provision in the Covenant for 1st tier provinces deliberately demoting themselves?

    My own parish is lovely and largely accepting. Many of them came to our blessing, all know about it. There are a few who disapprove but don't say. And the highlight is one man who disapproves strongly and does say, but who talks to me in church, exchanges the peace with me, is happy to welcome me in his house for prayer breakfast and kneels side by side with me at the altar.
    I am very fortunate.

    But I also know of true horror stories nearby. Of a young woman who was stalked by a stranger and whose priest said to her that this was God's way of telling her to "go straigth".
    Of a group of street evangelists who were shown a video of a civil partnership as part of their training. And one of them clenched his fists and said he'd like to effing punch their effing lights out. No-one said anything and that person is now out there "evangelising".

  10. tell me how a document can be signed for a Church without 90% of the those making up the BODY even knowing it exists? I am sure it will sleep walk into signing but certainly VERY SURE it will sleep walk while it is being implemented. It is horrific really. But that does not change things here in england if we were in france the ferries would have stopped by now.
    I am shocked that actually i only came across this through a blog a couple of days ago.

  11. Rosanna
    I agree that it shouldn't be signed! And I suspect it is being pushed through deliberately while few people know about it and fewer care. And it's shocking that it doesn't even require a 2/3rd majority!

    But....but.... I have to say that up a point it is up to every single one of us to educate ourselves about what is being done in our name and on our behalf.

    The Covenant has been debated in General Synod before, it has been doing the rounds in the blog sphere for a long time and I think it has also been discussed in the Church Times.

    I know, I have never read everything that happens in Synod and I'm very likely to miss hugely important items. I don't read the Church Times. But I could. The information is there and I have access to it.
    We can't just blame the others.

  12. I know what you mean but unless we know what is going on then we can not discuss or learn about it. I know you understand what I am saying as you say yourself we are all 'very likely to miss hugely important items.'
    But one of the most important things about being an anglican and about being in a church which is not Roman Catholic is that there is a system of communication open. It is therefore not up to the man who is about his daily life to find out what is going on - it is up the few who are doing something to feed that news through to the Bishops who inform the priests who inform the people who inform each other.
    it is not a mystical science is it. If I come up with an idea then it is up to me to share it not you to find out if i might have had an idea.
    This is why I truly believe this is NOT a covenant. A covenant is 'coming together' in some way that has to happen if not then it is a sham.
    we cannot all be educated in everything that is why we discuss and also why we are a BODY which is what the Covenanters try to use as their back up of what they are doing!
    anyway off my pedestal except to say their BODY is so of one opinion it is wholly unanglican! and using 'The Ancient Fathers' as their back up is a bit unfair on the Fathers I feel who can't stand up with a voice! bit like us!!!

  13. Rosanna
    where do we draw the line?
    If I never ventured out of my parish church I might not yet have discovered that the CoE allows women priests.

    The Covenant was debated in General Synod, it was discussed in the Church Times and it has been discussed intensely on many blogs around the Anglican world.

    What do you suggest the CoE should do to ensure that everyone who does not make use of information dissipated in this way nevertheless gets it and understands its significance?

    At what point do we become responsible for what we know?

    Yes, I do miss important things. But unless someone has actively tried to bury the information I tend to think that's my fault.