Subject: The Proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion
Moved By: Chancellor David Jones, Diocese of Edmonton
Seconded By: The Ven. Harry Huskins, Diocese of Algoma
Given the developments (see background below) in the Canadian Church and the Communion, the Council of General Synod recommends the following resolution to General Synod 2013:
Be it resolved that this General Synod:
1. request the conversation in the Anglican Church of Canada about the proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion continue during the next triennium
2. request the Anglican Communion Working Group monitor continued developments about the proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion, and report to the Spring 2016 meeting of the Council of General Synod ; and
3. direct the Council of General Synod to bring a recommendation regarding the adoption of the Covenant to General Synod 2016.
Submitted By: The Council of General Synod
Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? Yes No
If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? Yes No X
EXPLANATORY NOTE/BACKGROUND INFORMATION
General Synod 2010 passed the following resolution:
Resolved that General Synod
1. receive the final text of The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
2. request that materials be prepared under the auspices of the Anglican Communion Working Group, for parishes and dioceses in order that study and consultation be undertaken on The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
3. request that conversations, both within the Anglican Church of Canada and across the Communion, reflect the values of openness, transparency, generosity of spirit, and integrity, which have been requested repeatedly in the context of the discussion of controversial matters within the Communion;
4. request that the proposed Covenant be referred to the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee and to the Governance Working Group in order to support these conversations by providing advice on the theological, ecclesiological, legal, and constitutional implications of a decision to adopt or not to adopt the Covenant;
5. direct the Council of General Synod, after this period of consultation and study, to bring a recommendation regarding adoption of the Covenant for the Anglican Communion to the General Synod of 2013.
Act 74 of GS 2010
As a result of this resolution:
• In June 2011, the Anglican Covenant Working Group prepared and issued materials entitled Exploring the Anglican Communion Covenant—A Study Kit for Individuals, Congregations and Dioceses. This study guide is designed to help people in parishes and dioceses dig more deeply into the wording of the Covenant, and the meaning behind the words, and to discuss together what the implications of adoption might be. The ACWG’s Study Guide can be found at http://www.anglican.ca/about/files/2011/06/acwg-study-guide.pdf
• In June 2011, the Governance Working Group prepared and issued its report entitled Legal and Constitutional Issues Presented to the Canadian Church by the Proposed Anglican Covenant. The GWG’s report discusses legal issues arising from the definitions and procedures in the Covenant; constitutional issues which the Covenant presents to the Canadian Church; and the consequences of not adopting the Covenant. The GWG’s report can be found at http://www.anglican.ca/about/files/2011/06/GWG-Legal-and-Constitutional-Issues-in-the-Covenant-June-2011-2.pdf?file=2010/10/GWG-Legal-and-Constitutional-Issues-in-the-Covenant-June-2011-2.pdf
• In November 2012, the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee presented its report to COGS about the Theological and Ecclesiastical Reflections on the Adoption or Non-Adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant. FWM’s Reflections can be found at http://www.anglican.ca/faith/files/2010/10/FWM-cov.pdf
Since General Synod 2010:
• At the Fall 2011 meeting of the House of Bishops, the Primate asked each Bishop to describe how their diocese was studying and considering the Covenant. This process is still underway. No consensus has yet emerged about what decision the Canadian Church should make about adopting the Covenant.
• Some Churches in the Communion have adopted (or subscribed) to the Covenant; others have made a decision not to adopt it; others have determined that their constitutions and canons prevent them from adopting the Covenant, even if they are in general accord with some parts of it; and numerous others are still in the process of considering whether or not to adopt it.
• The Anglican Consultative Council did not make a decision about the future of the Covenant at its meeting in New Zealand in late 2012, but will consider this question at its next meeting in 2016.
• Apart from the issue of whether to adopt the Covenant, there remains a strong and vibrant commitment by the Canadian Church to the life and witness of the Anglican Communion, which is manifested in many ways.
Procedure for Adoption (G)
In the normal course, an ordinary motion must be passed by a majority of the Order of Bishops, and by a majority of the Orders of Clergy and Laity voting together.
Six members of General Synod may, prior to the question being put, require a vote by Orders, with a majority of each Order being necessary to pass.
If a question passes on a Vote by Orders, any six members (two from each of three different dioceses) may require a vote to be taken by dioceses. A motion passes if a majority of dioceses (or a tie) vote in favour.
Source: Section 5 of the Declaration of Principles and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of Order and ProcedureIf Resolution A030 is given second reading, the required majority will be all Orders voting together.