Primates are within their rights on ACC request

by
02 November 2006

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From the Revd Jean Mayland
Sir, — Thank you for printing the excellent letter by Pam Bird (Letters, 13 May) whom I first met in the 1970s, when she was secretary to Archbishop Ted Scott, Primate of Canada and Moderator of the WCC Central Committee. Her letter is full of knowledge and wisdom. Let us hope and pray that the Primates and the ACC will take note.
JEAN M. MAYLAND
Minister Cottage
51 Sands Lane, Barmston
East Yorks YO25 8PQ

From Dr Philip Giddings and Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Sir, — Miss Bird ignores the fact that the Anglican Consultative Council has a legal constitution. Article 3 of that constitution specifically provides for alterations to its membership. This alteration can include both additions and (if the need arises) expulsions.

Alterations to the membership require the assent of two-thirds of the Primates. As the Primates’ Meeting in Northern Ireland unanimously agreed to ask ECUSA and the Anglican Church in Canada to withdraw from the ACC, it is plain that the two-thirds assent was present for this request. The matter was, of course, phrased as a request rather than an order — a push rather than a shove — and ECUSA and the Anglican Church in Canada have responded to that request.

However, there can be no doubt that, if by Lambeth 2008 agreement is not reached on the issues which led to the Windsor report — the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire in the USA, and the adoption of same-sex rites of blessing in Canada — the expulsion of ECUSA and the Anglican Church in Canada not just from the ACC but from the Anglican Communion itself remains a distinct possibility.
PHILIP GIDDINGS
CHRIS SUGDEN
Anglican Mainstream
21 High Street
Eynsham
Oxon OX29 4HE

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