Brisbane defers the Covenant

Culled from an Australian Catholic discussion board:

Just came from the Brisbane synod vote [Saturday 23/June] on approving the Anglican Covenant. Rather than approve or reject it, they took the 'Welsh Option' and instead passed the following motion which acknowledges that the process has been somewhat overtaken by events.
That this Synod recommends to the General Synod that it:
Affirm the commitment of the Anglican Church of Australia to the Anglican Communion.
Affirm its readiness to engage with any ongoing process of consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant
Request clarification from the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to the status and direction of the Covenant Process in the light of the position of the Church of England.
Urge upon the Instruments of Communion a course of action which continues to see reconciliation and the preservation of the Communion as a family of interdependent but autonomous Churches.

The Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and the Roman Catholic 
Archdiocese of Brisbane and Diocese of Toowoomba 
signed a Covenant on 29 May 2009
The author adds:

There are some real structural problems with the Australian Anglican Church and the covenant. Everyone has to agree otherwise no-one can, and there is absolutely no chance that all diocese will agree so its a moot point.
All we can do about it from this side of the world is to keep affirming our commitment to communion and ongoing dialogue. The covenant debate was a useful trigger for starting that sort of dialogue for those who actually considered it.

The Brisbane Diocesan website
doesn't seem to have the result yet. It has the speech to Synod by the Archbishop Phillip Aspinall in favour of the Covenant which concludes,
So I think Australia should enter into the Covenant. We have further contributions to make as the Covenant evolves. Indeed the unique shape of the Australian Church means we may have a very important contribution to make. We can only do that if we are on board.
I look forward to hearing what emerges from the group discussions this afternoon and to the debate in Synod. You now know what I think, but we Anglicans believe in dispersed authority, so I wait to see what you think!


  1. This is of course what the Covenant Mk II will look like and pretty well everyone will be able to sign up to it as an authentic Anglican document.

  2. Clarification re item three: 'Affirm its readiness to engage with any ongoing process of consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant'.

    This is a way of doing what former Bishop of Lincoln, John Saxbee suggested 'talking about the Covenant for ever as an ongoing process that simply represents having a conversation indefinitely'. This is what Anglicans should always be doing anyway.