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This page last updated 21 March 2011
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 13 to 20 March 2011

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

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Determined to drown?

You may have seen the 11 March press release by Lichfield diocese in which they excitedly say they 'could be the first in the Church of England to adopt the Anglican Covenant.'

The prospect of us being picked off diocese by diocese is appalling. I had assumed there would simply be a vote in General Synod, with each diocese mandated by its own synod, but the idea of declaring individual diocesan votes as they are taken puts great pressure on all to conform.

What happens to the dioceses who vote against the covenant? Will they be excluded from General Synod, extrapolating from the proposal to exclude dissenting provinces from the Anglican Communion? What about the parishioners in each diocese?

It is like the old joke about the man who shouted 'I will drown, and no one shall save me' condemning himself to death by his own apparent determination to drown himself. Whether the Church of England is drifting blindly into this, like the fool on the clifftop, or is determined to commit collective suicide, I see no outcome except schism.

Please tell me I am wrong.

Laura Sykes
St Peter's, St Mary Bourne, Hampshire
Near Andover, Hampshire, UNITED KINGDOM
14 March 2011

(Editor: Any decision that the Church of England may take about adopting, or not, the draft Anglican Covenant, can be taken only by the General Synod. Part of the procedure which it is obliged to follow is to refer the matter to each of the 44 dioceses, and it is only if a majority of them vote favourably on the issue that it can then proceed any further. That is what is happening at the moment, although most dioceses are taking a full year to allow reflection and study to occur within the deanery synods before taking a formal vote at diocesan level. Although elected to represent a particular diocese, voters in General Synod are however, never mandated by a diocesan synod, and each member is free to vote on any issue as he or she thinks fit. The press release is quite simply wrong to make any claim that the diocese will be 'adopting' the Anglican Covenant as a consequence of its vote.)

Thank you

I know of your policy to not print responses to letters, but I wish to respond to the response to a letter. I find your response to Derek Dunwoody most commendable.

Years ago, when I first began reading AO, I also wrote in about the perception given by a front-page commentary. You responded immediately and posted a slightly reworded version to reduce or eliminate any further confusion about the matter.

I am impressed with the care and concern you demonstrate for your readers (from all points along the spectrum of Anglicanism). It demonstrates a Christian ethic of consideration which is now sadly absent in some circles.

Chaplain (CPT) Steven G Rindahl
Fort Jackson, South Carolina, USA
14 March 2011

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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