jQuery Slider

You are here



March 29, 2023

The Communion Partners note with deep concern recent developments in the Church of England around the blessing of same sex unions, with implications for the unity of the Anglican Communion, and the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury among the Instruments of Communion.

Recently, ten Primates (1) recognized as such by the Anglican Communion, representing the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches issued a "Statement of GSFA Primates on the Church of England's Decision Regarding the Blessing of Same Sex Unions." (https://www.thegsfa.org/) In this statement, they admonished the present Archbishop of Canterbury, no longer recognizing Archbishop Justin Welby as the "first among equals" leader of the Anglican Communion nor the Chair of the Primates' Meeting.

We note that the Archbishop of Canterbury does not necessarily disagree with them. In his presidential address to the recently concluded meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Ghana, the Archbishop stated: "I will not cling to place or position as an Instrument of Communion. (2) The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the See of Canterbury, is an historic one. The Instruments must change with the times. ... I hold it very lightly, provided that the other Instruments of Communion choose the new shape..."


As bishops, we recognize that these new developments are a clarion call to the establishment of new patterns of relationship in the Anglican Communion that will strengthen the life we share. More specifically, we take note of the proposals for a covenanted Anglican Communion offered by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches. The Churches of the Communion share a common life and are in need of means for seeking common counsel and common direction.

The Communion Partners have consistently worked for reconciliation within our own provinces and the Communion at large. We are committed to preserving communion across difference, to the highest degree possible. The unity of the Communion should not be lightly abandoned. While adhering to Lambeth I.10 (3) as the teaching of the Anglican Communion, we do not believe that the breaking of communion between one another serves the mission of the Church to which God has called us.

The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen
Bishop of Honduras

The Rt. Rev. Stephen Andrews
Principal of Wycliffe College

The Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt
Bishop of Tennessee

The Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer
Bishop of Central Florida

The Rt. Rev. Brian K. Burgess
Bishop of Springfield

The Rt. Rev. David Greenwood
Bishop of Athabasca

The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins
Bishop of Saskatchewan

The Rt. Rev. Fraser Lawton
Assistant Bishop of Dallas

The Rt. Rev. Lucy Netser
Bishop Suffragan of the Arctic

The Rt. Rev. Moises Quezada Mota
Bishop of the Dominican Republic

The Rt. Rev. Juan Carlos Quiñónez Mera
Bishop of Ecuador Central

The Rt. Rev. Joey Royal
Bishop Suffragan of the Arctic

The Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith
Assistant Bishop of Dallas
Assisting Bishop of Albany

The Rt. Rev. George Sumner
Bishop of Dallas

(1) Two of twelve signatories are not recognized as official primates of the Anglican Communion.

(2) Traditionally understood as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates' Meeting, and the Anglican Consultative Council.

(3) Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10 on Human Sexuality states that "while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation ..." The Resolution also states that the Lambeth Conference "cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions."

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top