New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Central control not Anglican, says Williams

by Rachel Boulding

Click to enlarge

In transit: Dr Williams on the York University campus last weekend SAM ATKINS

In transit: Dr Williams on the York University campus last weekend SAM ATKINS

THE Archbishop of Canterbury was in defiant mood this week, as he spoke of his hopes for the Lambeth Conference. He was positive about its strong mission agenda, which he believes should put into perspective the debate about sexuality.

In an interview for this paper, Dr Williams admits to feeling “frustrated”, and even to having “kicked the furniture a bit over the last few weeks”. But he is clear in his analysis that GAFCON (News, 4 July) was not just about the biblical interpretation. “The vast majority of Anglican theologians and Anglican leaders have an absolutely clear commitment to the authority of scripture in the way we always have,” he says. Rather: “There are major ethical and cultural anxieties about sexual ethics here.”

He affirms the Anglican approach as being able to encompass plurality, without any one view undermining the basis of scriptural authority.

In the long term, the Anglican Communion would survive, he argues. “We may be less obviously at one for a few years, but that doesn’t let us off the obligation to keep listening to each other.” The model of diffused authority was part of the essence of Anglicanism: “If we did have a tight central model, we would cease to be the kind of Church we have always set out to be.”

The Church does, however, need to keep up to date with the new speed of global communications: “When something which happens in one province is instantly around the world, you have to go for a more coherent structure.”

When pressed about the personal hostility he has encountered, Dr Williams confesses to “feeling really whingeing” about the idea that he might be “incapable of talking to the person in the pew”. He jokingly painted a picture of himself “hiding in a foetal position under the bedcovers” if the situation gets any worse, but he remains resilient.

Interview

Job of the week

National Adviser & Archbishop's Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs

London and Home Counties

With its network of parishes covering the country, the Church of England plays an active role in national life, bringing animportant Christian dimension to the nation as well as strengthening community....  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

How we took our pick

How we took our pick

Paul Handley explains why we began our quest for the best 100 Christian books, and how we reached our verdicts  Read More

Question of the week
Will world leaders make the changes needed to combat climate change?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

When the nation needs a shared sense of sacrifice

War memorials have been made more Christian, but this has blurred distinctions between faith and patriotism, says John Wolffe  Subscribe to read more

Tue 30 Sep 14 @ 15:27
To update readers, we are tracking the case of former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball at Old Bailey. Case will next be listed 27/10/2014

Tue 30 Sep 14 @ 14:36
RT @SJames_DarloI've read 6 of the @ChurchTimes 100 best Christian books. How about you? http://t.co/NyaCHryqfH #CT100