Index to writing on the Covenant

I have been writing about the Covenant and related developments in the Communion since 2006.  This is an index of my writings online to help me find what I once said, as well as anyone else who may be interested.  There is inevitably a high degree of overlap in some of the papers and posts, and the punchline has always been the same: No Covenant.

As always, please feel free to reproduce anything you wish - although, of course, attribution and a link would be welcome.

Voting on the Covenant in the English Dioceses:
24 March
17 March (2 For, 3 Against) and overview of the voting figures
10 March (2 For, 4 Against) and voting statistics summary
3 March (1 For, 2 Against)
2 March (Sodor and Man, Against)
18 February (4 Against)
6 February (2 against)

23 March 2012 People of Synod! Arise!
An appeal to voters not to be bulldozed by the bishops
23 March 2012  Dissing Synods
The whole Covenant process is destructive of synodical government
20 March 2012 The Bishop talks sense
Video of Bishop James Jones' speech to the Liverpool Diocesan Synod
20 March 2012 Hong Kong and the Covenant
A look at the earlier, critical, submissions Hong Kong had made on the Covenant, and speculation it had been dismissed or ignored.

9 March 2012 Archbishop, I beg to differ
A response to the release of a YouTube video by the Archbishop of Canterbury promoting the Covenant
17 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Press Release
Momentum against proposed Anglican Covenant continues
 16 March 2012 Chocolate teapot?
Bishop Alan Wilson's take on the Covenant
16 March 2012 The end of criticism in Wales
The Church in Wales was a sustained critic of the Covenant and the vision behind it. But they laid down their hand and will probably vote in favour, despite their criticisms remaining unanswered.
13 March 2012 Is Lambeth preparing to retreat?
Rumours of contingency plans from Lambeth Palace should the Covenant be defeated. (What evidently happened was that they decided to pressure all the dioceses not yet decided to deliver the vote they needed.)
13 March 2012 No Anglican Covenant Press Release
Cautious optimism
12 March 2012 An update from Scotland
Hugh Magee's summary of votes and opinion in Scotland - they're against.
12 March 2012 How about some ecclesiology?
Response to comments by the Bishop of Sodor and Man following defeat of the Covenant in it's Diocesan Synod

9 March 2012 Archbishop, I beg to differ
Critique of the video commending the Covenant published by the Archbishop of Canterbury
6 March 2012 Three videos
By the Archbishop of Canterbury, Louie Crew and Diarmaid McCulloch
6 March 2012 New Patrons from New Zealand, Australia and England
Press Release from the No Anglican Covenant Campaign
4 March 2012 What is not being said about the Covenant?
A response to a letter by the Bishops of Bristol and Oxford commending the Covenant
25 February 2012 What would happen if the Covenant were to be defeated?
Reflections on some possible implications
25 February 2012  "this ill-thought-out and potentially disastrous measure"
The full text of Diarmaid MacCulloch's letter to the Church Times

24 February 2012  Comments have been disabled

Response to talking-head videos froma sub-group of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order

21 February 2012 New pro-Covenant website

Response to the launch of the  'Yes to the Covenant' website.

19 February 2012  Two voices against the Covenant

The voices being those of Professor Marilyn McCord Adams and the Revd. Giles Fraser
19 February 2012  Facts, not judgment, please
A response to the reported comments of Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover

14 February 2012  No Anglican Covenant Coalition ~ new Patron

Professor McCord Adams

6 February 2012 Three points for the Covenant
i.e. 1) The Covenant will introduce regulation where there is currently little regulation
2) The Covenant initiates a mechanism for building relationships and communication allowing the Churches of the Anglican Communion to stay in communion both nationally and internationally
3) There remains room for local freedom with connectedness to the whole
6 February 2012  What if the Covenant vote is close?
3 February 2012 Bishop of Salisbury talks sense

Bishop Nick Holtam of Salisbury with a comment on the Covenant
31 January 2012  "This pernicious proposal of a Covenant"
Oxford University Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, DD, named as a Patron of the coalition.
31 January 2012  Doll and Covenant
Peter Doll, Canon Librarian at Norwich Cathedral, has written a paper supportive of the Covenant, commended by Archbishop Williams
27 January 2012  Covenant, conflict and the idea of heresy
The underlying model of the Covenant
11 January 2012 Covenant and conflict: definitions?
There is significant ambiguity in some of the Covenant's key ideas

09 January 2012 Covenant, conflict prevention and resolution
A close re-writing of the relevant sections of the proposed Anglican Covenant.

10 January 2011 What do we get if we get the Covenant?
the Church of Ireland "subscribed" to the Covenant but were not willing to subordinate the Church to the Covenant.
11 Nov 2011 Seven constitutional questions on the Covenant
Exploring the constitutional and procedural implications of adopting the Covenant for the English General Synod
4 Aug 2011 A clear NO
The Philippines say no to the Covenant
31 July 2011 Alan's Covenant Questions
Questions posed by Alan Perry, at Insert Catchy Blog Title Here,
10 July 2011 1-page Covenant introduction 
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition Publishes One-Page Covenant Introduction
8 July 2011 No Anglican Covenant Press release

6 July 2011 Bishops back No Anglican Covenant campaign
The Right Reverend Dr John Saxbee and the Right Reverend Dr Peter Selby appointed Episcopal Patrons of the international No Anglican Covenant Coalition.
25 June 2011 Just say NO
Reasons why the Covenant didn't go away and won't fade away and why sections 1-3 can't be disconnected from section 4.
16 March 2011 Wakefield says NO

24 Feb 2011 Modern Church against the Covenant
Modern Church resources to support those in the Dioceses who want to argue 'Vote No to the Covenant'.
20 Feb 2011 Players and audience 
A persistent aspect of the debate on the Covenant is that there has barely been a debate about it - at least, not in public.
19 Feb 2011 Study Guide, Q&A, C-
Comment on the official Covenant study material 
17 Feb 2011 The view from Japan
Ambiguous reporting of Japan's General Synod of May 2010
15 Feb 2011 The Synoptic Covenant
Hiding implementation mechanisms from view merely adds to the power given to Communion bureaucrats.  
12 Feb 2011 Doors slammed shut! Windows blown open?
My desire for an every member church is one root of my continuing opposition to the Covenant. 
7 Feb 2011 Whereas ...
The Diocese of East Carolina has voted against the Anglican Covenant.
5 Feb 2011 End game
An overview of the shape of the Communion and its component structures following the 2011 Primates' Meeting and the withdrawal of the GAFCON Primates from the councils of the Communion.
13 Nov 2010 What is the Covenant supposed to solve?
The Covenant will not achieve its stated objectives, though debate about it has already begun to change the Communion in some ways.  Some alternative possibilities.
30 Jan 2011 Covenant count: 3 provinces have signed

24 Jan 2011 How authority is transferred
Processes by which centralisation will take place under the Covenant
23 Jan 2011 To go forwards, look back
The irony of the Covenant: with GAFCON gone it will come to bind those who never wanted it in the first place.

17 Jan 2011 Creeds, orthodoxy and the Covenant
The Covenant will not be effective in establishing doctrinal conformity 
15 Jan 2011 Dear Archbishop
Lesley Fellows, moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury.


1 Dec 2010 Why worry?
Extensive restructuring of the Anglican Communion is a key context for making sense of the Covenant in practice.
 30 Nov 2010 Where the Covenant came from
 Aspects of the early history of the Covenant
27 No 2010 'effective and forceful'
The given reasons for the Covenant
 25 Nov 2010 A kicking on the Covenant
A depressed response to the vote in General synod. But what about GAFCON?
 24 Nov 2010 A simple request
 Let the arguments be clear and voters fully informed
23 Nov 2010 Three papers to note
Viz: by Ronald Stevenson, QC ~ by Jonathan Clatworthy ~ What Gentle Anglicanism by Mark Clavier (links direct to the articles)
22 Nov 2010 Reasons to abstain or vote against the Covenant  

Reasons to vote for/against the Covenant (written in the run up to the vote in General Synod)

21 Nov 2010 Sunday      The Covenant is deeply unclear on accountability and 'shared mind'.
20 Nov 2010 Saturday   Support the Archbishop of Canterbury
19 Nov 2010 Friday       There are always alternatives
18 Nov 2010 Thursday   The Covenant will give the Standing Committee the powers it craves.
17 Nov 2010 Wednesday   The Covenant won't engender unity.
16 Nov 2010 Tuesday    The Covenant won't “make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection” (Windsor Report).
15 Nov 2010 Monday   The Covenant won't reduce future conflicts, manage them or limit their damage.

14 Nov 2010 Covenant comments
 A Church Times vote: 17% for, 83% against, 947 votes.
13/11/2010 What is the Covenant supposed to solve?
A sceptical look at various problems the Covenant is supposed to resolve
11 Nov 2010 Do bishops want a covenant?
A short post by Jonathan Clatworthy from August 2008
7 Nov 2010  The Anglican Covenant: a briefing paper: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
A response to GS Misc 966 (pdf), The Faith and Order Commission, The Anglican Covenant: a briefing paper. This was a briefing for members of the Church of England's General Synod debate on November 24th 2010.
7 Nov 2010 TAAA
There is Always An Alternative: alternatives to the Covenant and opposition to TINA.
3 Nov 2010 Campaign against the Covenant
Launch of the No to the Anglican Covenant campaign and my 3 top reasons for opposing it
31 Oct 2010 The Architect's Manifesto
Archbishop Drexel Gomez' agenda as set out in 2002
 30 Oct 2010 The legal fiction at the heart of the Covenant
How the Covenant finesses provincial autonomy and yet provides for central international governance.
29 Sep 2010 No Anglican Covenant
The launch of the Modern Church & Inclusive Church campaign
26 Sep 2010 How to mount a successful coup in Anglicanism
A summary, from historical experience, of the five steps of significant conflict in the Church 
26 Sep 2010 The Covenant: Antarctic Study Guide
A study guide for the Province of the Antarctic

Comparing the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of Uganda concerning the future of the Communion

29 Aug 2010 Incompatible with the Covenant - Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4
An exploration of what the phrase 'incompatible with the Covenant' might mean.  A case study of what might happen should the (fictional) Province of the Antarctic wish to complain against the Church of England for turning a blind eye towards partnered gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex partnerships.
It concludes it's a matter of politics: 'What is 'incompatible with the Covenant' is (a) what key people say is incompatible or (b) what a sufficient vote says is incompatible.'
15 Aug 2010 A couple of covenant comments 
Including some observations on Stephen Noll's critique of the Covenant
5 July 2010 Questions on the critical clause
A close reading of Covenant clause 4.2.7 
4 July 2010 And what shall we do about Canterbury?
An exploration of the implications for the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury should the Covenant pass.
4 July 2010 Autonomy in a Confessional Church
The Covenant will create a new foundation for the relationship between erstwhile autonomous churches.
3 July 2010 Why the Covenant won't work
The Covenant won't prevent or manage future disputes. It will have other effects.
30 June 2010 Just what will the Covenant cost?
An attempt to identify the costs of the covenant - and of conflict resolution through its mechanisms - against the complete official silence on the question
11 June 2010 Constitutional and common sense from New Zealand
Section 4 of the covenant attracted criticism and the prospect of legal advice in NZ, though sections 1-3 were deemed good for all.
4 June 2010 No clear view of the Covenant from the South
Leaders of the Global South do not agree over the Covenant.
14 February 2010 Discretionary Money
Funds administered by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.
8 February 2010 The centralised state of Anglicanism
The duties and formal and informal powers of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.
7 February 2010 The coup has already occurred
Describes the way the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion came to be created, and the additional powers the Covenant will give it
The Anglican Church In North America (Jan 2010) on the Modern Church site

20 Dec 2009 Last version of the Covenant released
Initial response to the publication of the The Anglican Covenant
15 May 2009 ABC leaves ACC
The Archbishop's comments at the end of the ACC meeting in Jamaica, and my comments on his comments.
9 May 2009 Turn up for the books (2)
The ACC accepted the Covenant, but not Section 4 which they sent to a new committee for a review.
25 March 2009 Covenant matters
Responses to the Covenant around the final meeting of the Covenant Design Group.
9 March 2009 Rwanda statement of the Covenant
Rwanda is in favour of a coventn, just not the one on offer.
3 March 2009 An American Visitation
On the visit by Pastoral Visitors (what happened to them?) to TEC
8 Feb 2009 Centralise power and enforce the rules
The Archbishop of Canterbury's agenda for the Communion.
PDFBriefing Paper for General Synod Members (Feb 2009) on the Modern Church site

Posted on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 


The Covenant will not do (Jul 2008) on the Modern Church site

Friday, 13 June 2008  Scottish Church leery of the Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 

14 May 2008 Diversity rocks!, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
Comment on a sermon at the Synod of the Church of Ireland (13 May) by Archbishop Neill
29 April 2008 Another thumbs down for the Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
By Bishop Maurício José Araújo de Andrade, primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil
24 April 2008  For better bishops go to Lambeth, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
Responding to comments on the Covenant by the Archbishop of Canterbury on YouTube

17 April 2008 Could a Covenant help Central Africa?, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
In a word, 'No'.

19 March 2008 South East Asia and the Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
Comment on a Statement by the Synod of The Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia.
19 March 2008 Bishop Anis and the Anglican Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
He said: "I was shocked when the time line of the covenant process was presented. The plan that it would be enacted in 2015 gives the impression that we are NOT in a state of crisis and that there is no desire to move towards a solution."
6 March 2008 Official Responses to the proposed Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
A survey of responses to the draft Covenant. Wales, with others, was then opposed.
5 March 2008 Further Covenant response, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect  
The Church in Wales is most unhappy with the content and tenor of the Draft Covenant.
4 March 2008 More on the Anglican Covenant, on the Modern Church blog Only Connect 
Several responses including that of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui:
"A decision to transfer authority from the autonomous Provincial Churches of the Anglican Communion, together with a dilution of the authority inherently vested in the historic role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as spiritual leader (primus inter pares), to a credal document would be received by many members of HKSKH as incompatible with Anglican tradition."
Looking at the many comments on the Covenant buried in the 322 responses to the Windsor Report.
21 January 2008 Archbishop of Canterbury responds to the Primate of Canada
A clause in the draft Covenant had seemed to support cross-border intrusion "in extraordinary circumstances where such intervention has been specifically authorised by the relevant Instruments of Communion."
Tuesday, 15 January 2008 Draft Anglican Covenant: a Question or two
The 38 Primates assented to the Draft Covenant and the Covenant Process at Dar es Salaam last February. Yet, of the six official responses published to date, four (TEC, Canada, Scotland and Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) don't like it. One (Ireland) suggests a wholly different alternative. The Archbishop of Wales doesn't like it either. Only England has gone along with the consultation in the terms of the Draft Covenant and it has entered a caveat saying that it cannot be bound by the judgements of the Primates - though it seems to offer to conform the English Church voluntarily to the Primates' decisions.

Responses to the Draft Anglican Covenant
14 January 2008 The Scottish response to the Draft Anglican Covenant
3 January 2008 Draft Anglican Covenant -  Earlier responses (2006) on the AC site are here.2 January 2008 Covenant discussion
Responses from TEC, The Church of Canada (here), The Church of Ireland (here) The Church of England (on the MCU site), and IASCOME.


Except where otherwise stated those below where posted on my more personal, and much mor occasional, blog Jetsam.

4 Nov 2007 The Anglican Covenant - a view from NZ 
Comment on the views of Bishop Brian Carrell of Nelson, New Zealand,

29 Oct 2007 Draft Anglican Covenant - TEC's Response
On the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church's formal response to The Draft Anglican covenant
12 Oct 2007 Plan B: an alternative to The Draft Anglican Covenant

A suggestion for a messy alternative to embrace the range of Anglican realities

10 Oct 2007 Andrew Plus: The Covenant is dead, but can we get back to square one?

Comment on a post by Andrew Plus
Bouncing the Covenant through the Anglican Communion (Jul 2007) on the Modern Church site


19 Nov 2006 Anglican Covenant
The Modern Churchpeoples' Union response to the proposal for an Anglican Covenant.
PDFResponse to Towards an Anglican Covenant (Nov 2006) on the Modern Church site.