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Anti-covenant role for Auckland bishop

The Assistant Bishop of Auckland has become a patron of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

Taonga News  |  05 Mar 2012

The Assistant Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Rev Jim White, has agreed to become a patron of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

The coalition is an international group of Anglicans concerned at how the proposed Covenant might change the nature of the Communion.

Two other new patrons are Dr Muriel Porter, OAM, journalist and author from Australia; and the Rev Canon Dr Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, England.

The appointments were announced in London today by the coalition moderator, the Rev Dr Lesley Crawley,  

“I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Bishop White, Dr Porter and Prof Coakley into this role with the coalition,” said Dr Crawley.

“We now have patrons from four provinces of the Anglican Communion, which indicates the breadth of concern about the centralization inherent in the proposed Anglican Covenant.”

Accepting the role of patron, Bishop White said: “The future of the Communion depends on genuine, God-given ‘bonds of affection’ and nothing more nor less.“

"The proposed Anglican Covenant is an attempt to get the toothpaste back in the tube with a spatula, and it won’t work.”

 Today’s appointments bring the number of coalition patrons to seven. The others are:

  • The Rt Rev Peter Selby, retired Bishop of Worcester, Church of England;
  • The Rt Rev John Saxbee, retired Bishop of Lincoln, Church of England;
  • Dr Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kt, Professor of the History of the Church and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford University;
  • The Rev Dr Marilyn McCord Adams, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, former Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford University.

To date, the proposed Covenant has been approved by eight dioceses of the Church of England (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol; Canterbury; Winchester; Sheffield; Bradford) and rejected by 13 (Wakefield; St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Birmingham; Derby; Gloucester; Portsmouth; Rochester; Salisbury; Leicester; Sodor and Man; Chelmsford; Hereford).

Approval by 23 diocesan synods is required for the Covenant to return to the Church of England General Synod. Rejection by 22 dioceses would effectively derail approval of the Covenant by the Church of England.