3,000 to leave CofE?

Reform is: squeezing even more hot air into the church

It's rubbish, of course. Or, more accurately, Reform posturing as part of the continuing campaign to bend the Communion in one direction or another. No accident then that the report is in the Daily Telegraph.

But given that many of the Reform congregations have more or less excluded themselves from the life of the CofE anyway, will it make much difference? Many have wholly or partly stopped paying their quota so it wouldn't even make much difference to Diocesan budgets.

It's clearly the North American let's have a Province to suit ourselves model being essayed in the UK. But if 3,000 is the top estimate then you might need a microscope to find a conservative Province that covered the whole of Europe.

The trickier situation would be if the congregations don't leave. They would carry on occupying parish churches, clergy drawing stipends and pensions as now, but merely march to the Foca drum. Just like now. I suspect that only if there were to be some explicit schismatic act (e.g. inviting a GAFCON bishop to conduct a confirmation, ordaining a person on their own cognizance, or making a statement of formal allegiance in contravention of the Oath of Obedience) could any action be taken against them.

Not so much a new province as old parasites.


  1. This analysis is correct.

    Indirectly the North American political situation is also behind this. An Obama win will do wonders for the Anglican Communion in calming everything down.

  2. penwatch, thank you, always good to be told I'm right.

    I also agree about the impact of American politics. Given that American foreign policy doesn't change much between Presidents then I thnk that the immediate impact is in the symbolism: words and images are likely to be as or more influential as American action.

    One direct impact of the success of the neocons was that right wing money in the US was moved from fighting the culture wars in the States both to softer US targets (including churches) and to international targets.

    Perhaps the reverse will be true when, if, Obama is elected.