American agenda and the crisis in Anglicanism

by
29 August 2007

From Canon Andrew Deuchar and the Revd Ron Ingamells

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From Canon Andrew Deuchar
Sir, — The only surprise in reading the allegations made (News, 24 August) about Martyn Minns’s editing of a document purportedly from the Archbishop of Nigeria is that anyone is surprised.

Four years ago, I had a letter published in The Guardian identifying clearly the political agenda being pursued by a small (and publicly invisible) group of American antagonists, and expressing a concern that some African leaders were being used as cover to enable the pursuit of that agenda.

Now it is all coming to the surface, and those people have suddenly been given very public positions, where their politicking cannot be kept underground. But the battle has been joined, and unless someone somewhere shows some remarkable humility, there is going to be no retreat.

And the result? Those who have fuelled this crisis will hold on to their personal positions, and the Communion that I, at least, believe to be a beautiful thing, and part of the extraordinary tapestry of God’s love for his people, will disintegrate, as Desmond Tutu so poignantly identifies.

The end of the Communion is not something about which simply to look ruefully at one another, throw our hands up, and say it never mattered really, as too many in the Church of England are doing. The vast majority of Anglicans across the world, of all cultures and of diverse beliefs and backgrounds, do not want the extremes of American politics to dictate the life or death of our Christian community any more than we want them to control the world.
ANDREW DEUCHAR
St Peter’s Rectory
3 King Charles Street
Nottingham NG1 6GB

From the Revd Ron Ingamells
Sir, — Dr Desmond Tutu’s call to “be united and let Jesus smile again” (News, 24 August) must rank as one of the most important messages ever made to the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The energy and effort required by the Church to tackle the most important issues of peace and justice throughout the Communion does not allow for these kind of divisions. The long tradition of the acceptance of diversity within the Anglican Communion is a thing to be treasured with all our hearts.

This is a prophetic call. As an ordinary (now retired) priest who has loved the privilege of being part of the Anglican Church, I pray that this call will be heeded and that attention can be focused on the many issues that face our world.
RON INGAMELLS
2 Aragon Close, Buckden
Cambs PE19 5TY

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