Vol I No. 7

Covenant and Koinonia

Archbishop Samy Fawzy Shehata

The compass rose is the symbol of the Anglican Communion. At the heart of the circular emblem is Saint George’s Cross, a reminder of the origins of the Anglican Communion. Encircling the cross is the inscription ‘The truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32). It is written in the original New Testament Greek, the traditional language of scholarship within the Anglican Communion. The points of the compass radiate from the band. as a symbol of the worldwide spread of the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican identity is defined by the truth of the Holy Scriptures in its emblem. The authority of the Scriptures is a key element in the identity and understanding of Anglican ecclesiology. Anglicanism, born out of the English Reformation in the 16th century, has evolved into a diverse and global communion with its rich tapestry of historical roots, liturgical worship, and theological breadth.

The Church of England traces its origins back to the 4th century when three English bishops attended the Synod of Arles.1Howe, John (1977). Our Anglican Heritage. David C. Cook
Publishing Co. p. 16.
The Book of Common Prayer, dating back to the 16th century, remains a defining symbol of Anglican worship and spirituality. Embracing continuity with the past, Anglicans find a sense of unity and connection with the global church throughout history.

Anglican identity is seen clearly in the preface of the Declaration of Assent (Canon C15) for admitting bishops, priests, or deacons to their ministry:

The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

The 39 Articles continue to serve as a reference point for Anglican theology and identity. They outline key theological principles, including beliefs on the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, the sacraments, and the nature of the church.2Davie, Martin (2013). Our Inheritance of Faith: A Commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles (Gilead Books Publishing), pp 230–232. Marshall, Peter (2017). Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (Yale University Press), p.239. Articles VI and VII spoke directly on the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures and the Old Testament. The 39 Articles do not say much more about the Holy Scriptures directly, but the authority of the Scriptures is assumed throughout.

The Book of Common Prayer contains many references to Holy Scripture in the Daily Office and Holy Communion services. In The Form and Manner of Ordering Priests, ordinands must answer the question, ‘Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away from the church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word?’ By affirming the authority of Scripture, the ordained priest is given authority to preach the Word of God.

A high view of Scriptures as the Word of God is expressed in the first book of Homilies, ‘A Fruitful Exhortation to the Reading and Knowledge of Holy Scripture,’ wherein we read: ‘Unto a Christian man there can be nothing either more necessary or profitable than the knowledge of holy Scripture; forasmuch as in it is contained God’s true word, setting forth his glory and also man’s duty’.3Homily on the reading of the Scripture, Short-Title, Catalogue Renaissance Electronic Texts 1.1. copyright 1994 Ian Lancashire (ed.) University of Toronto.

The 1888 Lambeth Conference defined the principles that are the basic framework for Anglicans to navigate theological diversity. The Lambeth Quadrilateral is the cornerstone of our Anglican ecclesiology, and holds a significant place in shaping the Anglican identity, particularly in defining the basis for unity and common ground within the Anglican Communion. They emphasize the centrality of Scripture, creeds, sacraments, and historic episcopate, and they are derived from the 39 articles of religion VI, VIII, XXV, and XXXVI respectively. The Lambeth Quadrilateral remains the Anglican basis and standard for discussing unity with other churches outside of the Anglican Communion.

Anglican identity embraces a wide range of theological perspectives. Within the Anglican Communion, there are various theological streams, ranging from Anglo-Catholicism to Evangelicalism. Seeing scripture, tradition, and reason as the sources of authority and guidance is commonly traced back to Richard Hooker and later became known as the ‘three-legged stool’ of Anglicanism:

What Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit and obedience are due; the next whereunto, is what any man can necessarily conclude by force of Reason; after this, the voice of the Church succeedeth. That which the Church by her ecclesiastical authority shall probably think and define to be true or good, must in congruity of reason overrule all other inferior judgements whatsoever.4Hooker, Richard (1597) Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, Book V; Chapter 8, p 240.

Thus, Scripture had a critical role in evaluating church teaching and practices. Reason is not an independent source of authority; it is the tool and the method by which the scripture was translated into local languages and how we apply the truth. Tradition is the guide in interpreting the Scripture, balanced by the guardrails of the ecumenical Creeds. Tradition makes certain that our understanding of scripture is not a matter of private, idiosyncratic interpretation but is consistent with the consensus of the church throughout the ages, even reaching back into the teaching of the Apostles.

Anglican identity will include elements of worship as well for our identity is marked by its liturgical character which often blends elements of catholic and reformed traditions. Also, it emphasizes inclusivity and social engagement, and it encourages interfaith dialogue as well as ecumenical engagement. The church engages with social, ethical, and theological issues without compromising the main element of her identity as formulated by the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, the Homilies, the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and the three-legged stool of Anglicanism. Scripture lies at the heart of Anglican identity.

The declaration of faith for the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans contains the traditional position of Anglicanism.5https://www.thegsfa.org/_files/ugd/6e992c_49081e3f1d214530871259ddbbbb191f.pdf. Christian identity is defined by its understanding of the inerrancy of Scripture. Our understanding as Egyptian Anglicans in unity with Global South Anglicans and all Christian churches in Egypt is that God, being all-powerful and all-knowing, ensured that the human authors of the Bible wrote without error, preserving the integrity of the message intended for humanity. The Bible’s accounts are accurate and trustworthy. All Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (1 Tim 3:16-17).

Inerrancy of Scripture as a theological doctrine asserts that the sacred texts in their original manuscripts are without error or contradiction. It is rooted in the belief that the Bible is divinely inspired, guided by God’s hand, and thus contains absolute truth in all its parts. Therefore, the Scriptures are the ultimate authority for faith, life, and moral guidance.

It is important to recognize that the real issue is not about the term inerrancy. What matters is the belief that the Bible is completely and totally infallible, and inerrant. The doctrine of the inerrancy of scripture held by Rome, as expressed by the Second Vatican Council, is that ‘The books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted to put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation’.6Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, DEI VERBUM, solemnly promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965 In contrast to the teaching of the Catholic tradition, the Episcopal Church (USA) declares its position: ‘Biblical inerrancy and infallibility are not accepted by the Episcopal Church’.7https://www.episcopalchurch.org/glossary/inerrancy-biblical.

The best description of infallibility of the Scripture is outlined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy from 1978:

The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian Church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God’s written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.8Preface of Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978.

God has preserved the biblical texts throughout history, protecting them from corruption and ensuring that the essential teachings remain intact. This understanding of the inerrancy of the Bible is at the heart of the dilemma and tension within the Anglican Communion. Do we accept the authority and truthfulness of the Scriptures when we engage in any discussion related to doctrine (theory) or moral issues (practice)?

All faithful Christians love their Bibles. So how is it that we come out with such different ideas on doctrine and practice, some of which are very important? The answer lies in hermeneutics, how we interpret the Scripture. Once we’ve agreed that Scripture is infallible, authoritative, and normative, then we ask, ‘Who has the authority to interpret the Scriptures?’ The answer to this question is that every Christian has equal authority to interpret the Scriptures since every Christian is trained and equipped to interpret faithfully.

Biblical hermeneutics must be understood in the context of the early catholic beliefs that have been passed down. We read the Bible in consensus with the whole church. Biblical hermeneutics provides a focus for faithful Anglicans as we walk together. An Anglican hermeneutic of the Scriptures must hold to the faith once delivered to the saints where this is reasonably clear, charitable, and generous in matters that are not determined by the consensus of the whole church.

The topic of homosexuality is at the heart of the discussion of Biblical hermeneutics. It is a central symptom of one’s hermeneutic: whether it is biblical, historical, and reasonable or syncretistic, idiosyncratic, and philosophical. Homosexuality is addressed in several passages within the Bible, primarily in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here are some key biblical passages that are often referenced in discussions on this topic: Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26- 27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. The story of Sodom appears in several placesthroughout the Bible: Genesis 19:1-29, Deuteronomy 29:23, Deuteronomy 32:32, Isaiah 1:9-10, Isaiah 3:9, Jeremiah 23:14, Ezekiel 16:46-56, Amos 4:11, Zephaniah 2:9, Matthew 10:14-15, Matthew 11:23-24, Luke 10:10-12, 2 Peter 2:6, and Jude 1:7.

Church Fathers, like Origen, St. Augustine of Hippo, and St. John Chrysostom, condemned homosexual acts as immoral and contrary to natural law. They viewed homosexuality as a deviation from the divinely ordained order of sexuality and reproduction.

Origen in his defense against Celsus wrote: ‘while those who call themselves wise have despised these virtues, and have wallowed in the filth of sodomy, in lawless lust, “men with men working that which is unseemly”’.9Origen. The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 4, Origen Against Celsus Book VII, Chapter 49, p. 1301. Likewise, St. Augustine comments on the sin of homosexuality in his Confessions:

…foul offences which be against nature, to be every where and at all times detested and punished, such as were those of the men of Sodom: which should all nations commit, they should all stand guilty of the same crime, by the law of God, which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature, of which He is Author, is polluted by perversity of lust.10Augustine. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, Volume 1, chapter 8, p. 120.

St. John Chrysostom on the punishment for homosexuality wrote:

For truly, the very nature of the punishment was a pattern of the nature of the sin! Even as they devised a barren intercourse, not having for its end the procreation of children, so did God bring on them such a punishment, as made the womb of the land ever barren, and destitute of all fruits!11Chrysostom, John. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, Volume 9, Homily XVIII, p. 796.

There are many more quotations in the writings of the early fathers, but we need to hear C S Lewis on the marital union:

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism – for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact – just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on a sexual level, but totally combined.12Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity, Geoffrey Bles, pp 104-105.

The early fathers and the Anglican tradition affirm the understanding expressed in Lambeth Conference 1998 which ‘upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union’.13Lambeth Conference 1998, resolution 1.10. There is little agreement about what would count as Anglican sources and norms. While all would acknowledge the supremacy of Scripture, the methods of interpretation are widely divergent.14Avis, Paul. (2016), The Vocation of Anglicanism, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, pp 153-4.

In recent years there have been many attempts to redefine and reinterpret the biblical passages mentioned above. The true interpretation from Genesis to Revelation for thousands of years cannot be denied, changed, or twisted to fit a sexual agenda. The scriptures teach us that sexual activity is between a husband and wife; any activity outside of this boundary, including homosexuality, is a sin.

A Focus on the Family pamphlet puts it this way:

When churches revise theology to embrace same-sex sexual intimacy, they add to the confusion already prevalent in our world. Instead of offering healing and transformation, they compound the deception and dysfunction and promote false intimacy and sinful behaviour. In attempting to meet a homosexual’s deep hunger for God the Father, they discount biblical truth and reject historic Church teaching, which calls all of us to confession and repentance. They deny those struggling with samesex attractions forgiveness, grace, healing and restoration. This false teaching should compel believers to reach out to those struggling with homosexuality with the compassion of Christ and the truth of God’s Word.15What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality? (2014), focus on the family, pp 8.

The concept of the church as koinonia emerged from World Council of Churches documents and the Second Vatican Council. The strengths of this concept of the church as koinonia are its strong biblical connotations. It is also used as a model of fellowship with God and one another (1 John 1:3-6). Koinonia is expressed in Scripture in the Eucharistic meal, 1 Corinthians 10:16 ‘participation (koinonia) in the Body of Christ’. It is used in Paul’s prayer reports in 1 Corinthians 11:22, 10:25- 32, 1:14; the benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:13, Philippians 2:1; in exhortation and admonition for congregational life in Galatians 6:6; financial support and collection in 2 Corinthians 8-9; ecclesiology in Galatians 2:9. These are a few examples of the biblical usage of the concept of koinonia.

Koinonia is not just a mere gathering of individuals; it is a profound bond of love, sacrifice, and service. It reflects the unity of believers, who, despite their diverse backgrounds and perspectives, share a common faith in Christ. This unity enables them to support one another, carry each other’s burdens, and grow together in spiritual maturity. Koinonia celebrates the inclusivity and diversity of the church. Just as the early Christian community welcomed Jews and Gentiles alike, modern koinonia embraces people from all walks of life. Koinonia involves collective worship and prayer as essential components. Gatherings for communal worship not only strengthen the bond among believers but also deepen their relationship with God.

In examining the notion of the church as koinonia for Anglicans today we need to be cautious. Is the notion carrying more weight than it should? There is a concern that the notion of koinonia carries the danger of allowing the church to define herself as Communion in an inclusive way.16Doyle, Dennis. (2000) Communion Ecclesiology, Orbis Books, pp5. Is there legitimate and illegitimate diversity in koinonia? This is the challenging question we face when we disagree. Can we consider the diversity in the communion today as legitimate? It is legitimate if it does not threaten the confessional identity and if it is a mere cultural difference. It becomes illegitimate, however, when it creates unreconcilable conflict and when it changes the message of the gospel.

The strength of the model of koinonia is its degree, which is pointed at by the Canberra Statement on the nature and purpose of the church. The nature and purpose of the Church offers different terms such as ‘‘fuller communion’, ‘full communion’, ‘perfect communion’, and suggests what sense is to be made of the notions ‘restricted communion, partial communion, impaired communion’.17The Nature and Purpose of the Church (1998, Faith and Order document, Paper 181, WCC Publications, pp 28. The church as koinonia recognizes the existing tension and looks towards koinonia as a tool for unity.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addressed a case of sexual immorality within the church. A man was involved in a sexual relationship with his stepmother, which was considered adultery and a grave sin according to Jewish and Christian teachings.18Chapman, Mark. (2012), Anglican Theology, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, pp271-272. Paul took a strong stance on this issue and urged the Corinthians to remove the immoral man from their fellowship, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a pure and righteous community (1 Cor 5). He acted firmly in order to protect the integrity of the Christian community in Corinth.

In another part of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul dealt with the issue of eating food sacrificed to idols. Some Corinthian Christians were unsure whether it was acceptable to eat such food, considering their previous pagan practices. Paul acknowledged that some believers might have a weaker conscience and struggle with this matter (1 Cor 8:12). He advised the stronger believers, who had the knowledge that idols were nothing, to be considerate and refrain from exercising their liberty if it would cause their weaker brothers and sisters to stumble. Here, Paul showed a more understanding and empathetic approach, encouraging believers to prioritize love and unity within the Christian community over asserting their individual freedoms.

These examples demonstrate that Paul adapted his teachings and exhortations to the specific circumstances and challenges faced by the early Christian communities without changing the heart of the gospel message. In some cases, he took a strict stance on issues like sexual immorality, while in others, he emphasized the importance of love, understanding, and consideration for the weaker members of the community. Paul’s letters reflect his pastoral sensitivity and the application of Christian principles to real-life situations faced by the early believers even as they reflect his unswerving dedication to the singular gospel.

The tools of unity for the Anglican church are the instruments of communion. They are the constellation of the Lambeth Conference, Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), and Primates Meeting as it remained into the twenty-first century was complete. From 1987 the archbishop of Canterbury and these three bodies were all termed ‘Instruments of Unity’; from 1997 they were called ‘Instruments of Communion’. In 2005 the ACC approved that the three bodies be regarded as the Communion’s ‘Instruments of Communion’ and the archbishop of Canterbury as its ‘focus for unity’.19Many Gifts, One Spirit. The Report of ACC-7: Singapore 1987 (London, 1987), pp. 129. These instruments are organizational and cannot be considered main elements in our identity as Anglicans. The instruments of communion barely held Anglicans together and could not resolve the fragmentation. The model of a united church through the instruments of communion could not stand the disputes that involved matters of order, especially the ordination of women and homosexuals.

The instruments of communion proved ineffective. They were designed to encourage dialogue and cooperation among the diverse member churches while respecting their autonomy and cultural contexts. They were intended to provide means for addressing challenges and fostering unity within the Anglican Communion. The need for unity led to the creation of the Anglican Covenant. It is a response to the failure of the instruments of communion to negotiate Anglican differences and retain unity.20Sachs, William. (2009) Homosexuality, and the Crisis of Anglicanism, Cambridge University Press, pp242-3.

A Covenant that unites the communion is a powerful tool. The Anglican Covenant can serve as anchor of faith, inspiring devotion, and creating a sense of belonging. The concept of covenant is often portrayed in the Scriptures as an unbreakable contract between believers and their one true God. It represents the promise of faithfulness and obedience to the divine laws in exchange for blessings, protection, and eternal life. Also, a covenant is a commitment to follow a set of ethical principles and pursue spiritual growth. A covenant creates a sense of unity, trust, and connection among believers. It is a solemn and binding agreement between believers. Through the covenant’s promises’ shared experiences, individuals can find guidance, and profound spiritual connection with God and with fellow believers, enriching their lives and fostering a greater understanding of their mission in the world, all of which will lead to full communion in faith and practice.

Toward this end, the Windsor Report was published in October 2004 and made an excellent suggestion of an Anglican Covenant as a framework for our diversity to ensure mutual accountability and interdependence. This covenant encouraged churches to consult when making major internal decisions and encouraged those who acted divisively, including interventions in other provinces, to express regret. A moratorium on further consecrations of gay bishops and blessings of same-sex unions was recommended. When the text of the Covenant appeared in 2009, many traditionalists, accepted the Covenant as it was grounded in the theological standards they accepted. Anglicans of a progressive inclination feared that a Covenant might limit local autonomy. However, the Covenant struggled to win acceptance. A major hindrance was its rejection by the Church of England in 2012.21Radner Ephraim. & Turner, Philip. (2007), The Fate of Communion, Grand Rapids; pp 113-114.

The Covenant respected the autonomy of the churches and called for a common mind in dealing with issues that divide us. In the text of the Covenant:

its resolve to live in a Communion of Churches. Each Church, with its bishops in synod, orders and regulates its own affairs and its local responsibility for mission through its own system of government and law and is therefore described as living ‘in communion with autonomy and accountability’. Trusting in the Holy Spirit, who calls and enables us to dwell in a shared life of common worship and prayer for one another, in mutual affection, commitment and service, we seek to affirm our common life through those Instruments of Communion by which our Churches are enabled to be conformed together to the mind of Christ. Churches of the Anglican Communion are bound together ‘not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference’ and of the other instruments of Communion.22A Letter from Alexandria, the Primates, March 2009.

Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, put it well at his last meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council:

I still hope and pray, speaking personally, the Covenant has a future, because I believe we do have a message to give the Christian world about how we can be both catholic and orthodox and consensual, working in freedom, mutual respect and mutual restraint. Without jeopardizing the important local autonomy of our Churches, I think we still need work on that convergence of our schemes and systems, and I say that because I believe we all need to wake up to the challenges here if we are not to become less than we aspire to be as a Communion.23https://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/99905/The_Anglican_Covenant.pdf, Anglican Covenant, (3.1.2), pp5.

Realizing that Covenant can deepen the sense of commitment and obligation among participants. It is
essential to have an agreement between the Anglican provinces who share the same beliefs. Hence the emergence of a covenantal Structure for the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA). The term ‘covenantal structure’ refers to the relationships, agreements, and shared commitments that exist among Anglican provinces in the Global South.

The Global South Anglicans have sought to strengthen their unity and address various theological, ethical, and ecclesiastical challenges through collaborative efforts and initiatives. The Global South Anglican provinces hold conservative theological convictions on issues such as human sexuality, marriage, and the authority of Scripture. These shared convictions have been a significant factor in fostering closer relationships within the covenantal structure. As a member of the drafting committee, I quote the Executive Summary of the Covenantal Structure:

The proposal of the covenantal structure arose from the resolution of the sixth Global South Conference in Cairo, October 2016: ‘… We recognise the need for our enhanced ecclesial responsibility. We need to strengthen our doctrinal teaching, our ecclesiastical ordering of our collective life as a global fellowship and the flourishing of our gifts in the one anotherness of our mission’.

The doctrinal basis for the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), where membership of the ecclesial grouping is not merely by geographical location but by way of agreement to clearly enunciated Fundamental Declarations in keeping with orthodox faith. Expressing the common life by way of relational commitments to one another in discipleship, mission, and ministry. These relational commitments will be actualised through specific Task Forces, which we envisage will work with other doctrinally orthodox global bodies, dioceses and parishes in the Anglican Communion.

To establish conciliar structures for the Churches of GSFA so that particular Provinces/Dioceses in their respective Churches and together as the Church universal have a clearer process for addressing ‘Faith and Order’ issues, establishing the limits of diversity, holding each other accountable to a common dogmatic and liturgical tradition, and making decisions which carry force in the life of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches.

Agreement with the doctrinal foundation, relational commitments and conciliar structures makes the GSFA an effective and coherent ecclesial body with member Churches in full communion with each other. The goal is to be an ecclesial body that is faithful to God’s revealed word and effective in Gospel mission to the world. The proposal invites the Churches to live out their life and witness as a holy and united people of God, to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1.11-14).24Williams, Rowan. in his final address to the Anglican Consultative Council, November, 2012, St Mary’s Cathedral, Auckland, New Zealand.

As a result of the Lambeth Call on Anglican identity at the Lambeth Conference 2022 to review the instruments of communion:

We call for a review of the current Instruments of Communion. We ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to set up an independent review group on the Instruments of Communion with special attention to Anglican polity and deepening a sense of synodality for the whole people of God in the Anglican Communion. To what extent are the Instruments fit for purpose? To what extent might some (or all) of the Instruments be reconfigured to serve the Communion of today and the future? This review should be presented to ACC19 at its meeting in 2026.25https://www.thegsfa.org/_files/ugd/6e992c_49081e3f1d214530871259ddbbbb191f.pdf, Executive summary of covenantal structure of the GSFA.

The new covenantal structure is essential for the koinonia of the GSFA provinces and dioceses as the Church of England synod voted in February 2023 to bless same-sex couples. This led to the urgency of resetting the Communion. The Primates of the GSFA issued the Ash Wednesday statement:

With the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury forfeiting their leadership role of the global Communion, GSFA Primates will expeditiously meet, consult and work with other orthodox Primates in the Anglican Church across the nations to reset the Communion on its biblical foundation.26https://www.lambethconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Lambeth-Calls-July-2022.pdf, (20220) Lambeth Conference, Calls: Anglican Identity. pp9.

Resetting the Anglican Communion would involve making significant changes to its structure, and practices including a revision of the leadership structure of the Anglican Communion to consider if changes are needed in terms of how decisions are made, whether a more centralized or decentralized approach would be more effective, the priority of the pastoral care and reconciliation efforts among churches and individuals who have been divided by previous disagreements, and healing wounds and rebuilding trust will be essential for any reset to be successful.

It is of the utmost importance to communicate the process of reset and its outcomes to all member churches. Open communication will be vital to maintain trust and understanding as we gradually implement the agreed-upon changes. This might involve amending constitutions, revisiting theological statements, and updating organizational structures. Given the complexity of such an endeavor, involving experienced theologians, scholars, and leaders will be crucial in guiding the process. It is not possible to pretend to be united when we are so different in our understanding of what unites us as Anglicans. It is also important to realize what walking together means for us as Anglicans in our fractured world and communion.27https://www.thegsfa.org/_f iles/ugd/6e992c_d073712b-85614c7c8ac19e69154023e2.pdf, pp2.


  • 1
    Howe, John (1977). Our Anglican Heritage. David C. Cook
    Publishing Co. p. 16.
  • 2
    Davie, Martin (2013). Our Inheritance of Faith: A Commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles (Gilead Books Publishing), pp 230–232. Marshall, Peter (2017). Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (Yale University Press), p.239.
  • 3
    Homily on the reading of the Scripture, Short-Title, Catalogue Renaissance Electronic Texts 1.1. copyright 1994 Ian Lancashire (ed.) University of Toronto.
  • 4
    Hooker, Richard (1597) Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, Book V; Chapter 8, p 240.
  • 5
  • 6
    Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, DEI VERBUM, solemnly promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965
  • 7
  • 8
    Preface of Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978.
  • 9
    Origen. The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 4, Origen Against Celsus Book VII, Chapter 49, p. 1301.
  • 10
    Augustine. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, Volume 1, chapter 8, p. 120.
  • 11
    Chrysostom, John. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, Volume 9, Homily XVIII, p. 796.
  • 12
    Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity, Geoffrey Bles, pp 104-105.
  • 13
    Lambeth Conference 1998, resolution 1.10.
  • 14
    Avis, Paul. (2016), The Vocation of Anglicanism, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, pp 153-4.
  • 15
    What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality? (2014), focus on the family, pp 8.
  • 16
    Doyle, Dennis. (2000) Communion Ecclesiology, Orbis Books, pp5.
  • 17
    The Nature and Purpose of the Church (1998, Faith and Order document, Paper 181, WCC Publications, pp 28.
  • 18
    Chapman, Mark. (2012), Anglican Theology, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, pp271-272.
  • 19
    Many Gifts, One Spirit. The Report of ACC-7: Singapore 1987 (London, 1987), pp. 129.
  • 20
    Sachs, William. (2009) Homosexuality, and the Crisis of Anglicanism, Cambridge University Press, pp242-3.
  • 21
    Radner Ephraim. & Turner, Philip. (2007), The Fate of Communion, Grand Rapids; pp 113-114.
  • 22
    A Letter from Alexandria, the Primates, March 2009.
  • 23
    https://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/99905/The_Anglican_Covenant.pdf, Anglican Covenant, (3.1.2), pp5.
  • 24
    Williams, Rowan. in his final address to the Anglican Consultative Council, November, 2012, St Mary’s Cathedral, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 25
    https://www.thegsfa.org/_files/ugd/6e992c_49081e3f1d214530871259ddbbbb191f.pdf, Executive summary of covenantal structure of the GSFA.
  • 26
    https://www.lambethconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Lambeth-Calls-July-2022.pdf, (20220) Lambeth Conference, Calls: Anglican Identity. pp9.
  • 27
    https://www.thegsfa.org/_f iles/ugd/6e992c_d073712b-85614c7c8ac19e69154023e2.pdf, pp2.
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