November 3, 2010

The Announcement

A few days ago, I posted this graphic on my blog without comment, though I did offer a few words on the front page of Lionel Deimel’s Farrago:

WATCH FOR AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT COMING NOVEMBER 3Since today is November 3, it is time for the promised announcement.

Richard HookerA new international group has been formed to oppose adoption of the Anglican Covenant. The group is called the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, and its advent is announced officially in this news release. The Coalition has a new Web site, which you can find at

I encourage visitors to read the news release and browse the Web site, which offers a collection of resources related to the Anglican Covenant, with an emphasis on arguments against its adoption. The collection should be helpful as the various churches of the Communion consider what they should do with the Covenant.

November 3 was chosen as the rollout day for the Web site, as Anglicans celebrate on that date the quintessential Anglican theologian, Richard Hooker, who died November 3, 1600, 410 years ago today.

Permit me a pause for prayer before continuing:
O God of truth and peace, you raised up your servant Richard Hooker in a day of bitter controversy to defend with sound reasoning and great charity the catholic and reformed religion: Grant that we may maintain that middle way, not as a compromise for the sake of peace, but as a comprehension for the sake of truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2000

A Brief History

More than a year ago, I wrote a post titled “No Anglican Covenant” in which I introduced the No Anglican Covenant logo. In that essay, I said, “I am, however, ready to suggest that Episcopalians and other moderate and progressive Anglicans must begin now a campaign against any Anglican covenant, lest our churches approve whatever comes along out of simple but misguided Anglican civility.” All I had in mind at the time was plastering the logo all over the Web, primarily on blogs. In fact, a number of blogs did pick up the logo and display it to this day.

On October 10, a bit longer than three weeks ago, I woke up with the idea that a No Anglican Covenant campaign could be more than a logo scattered across the Web. Before going to church, I registered the Internet domain That same afternoon, I sent e-mail to a select group of Anglicans around the world, most of them bloggers. I said, in part,
This morning, the idea of building a standalone No Anglican Covenant Web site occurred to me. This could be a site promoting a No Anglican Covenant campaign, with links to blog posts opposing the covenant, along with other resources. The latter might include a chart showing the current status of covenant adoptions in all the Anglican churches and perhaps even links to some material favoring a covenant. In any case, the objective is to put a large collection of anti-covenant material in one place. This should be especially helpful as parishes and dioceses discuss the covenant. Before heading off to church today, I registered the Internet domain for the purpose.
I received my first enthusiastic reply 24 minutes later. More positive responses soon followed. What we began calling the No Anglican Covenant Coalition soon grew to nearly two dozen strong. (Their names can be found here.) Although I had been thinking primarily in terms of providing resources for Episcopalians as they consider the Covenant, as requested by the 2009 General Convention, the most enthusiastic responses came from England, where the Covenant is to come to a vote before the General Synod this November 24.

A campaign was quickly planned and the construction of a Web site undertaken. It did not take long to realize that November 3 would be an appropriate day to announce the Web site, and the corresponding deadlines seemed only mildly unrealistic. As I write this, the task of putting together a campaign has required approximately 900 e-mail messages, a few meetings and telephone calls, and unbelievable dedication by all concerned. Would that the Anglican Communion itself could operate with such dedication and concord!

The No Anglican Covenant Web site, I think, looks very good. We will be polishing its content in the coming weeks and adding more information. Suggestions for improvement and additional material will be greatly appreciated. Go to the Contact page for appropriate e-mail addresses. Feel free to leave comments here, where they can be seen immediately by anyone.

Finally, I want to thank all my colleagues of the Coalition for their dedicated work. Special thanks must go to the Rev. Dr. Lesley Fellows, Moderator of the Coalition and our Convenor for the Church of England, who took on the unofficial roles of manager and cheerleader.

You will find that other members of the Coalition will have written posts similar to this one. Surf the Web and see what they have to say. Thank each one.


  1. How curious that today should be the day when an anti-Covenant lobby really gets going. Hooker's magnum opus is, of course, about law - not about comprehensiveness. Have you read any of it? I would be fascinated - and I mean this quite sincerely - if a single book on Hooker could be produced to show that he, of all people, might be a patron saint for your own cause for "comprehension". But what is comprehension without a telos? Without order, direction, and authority, how can a multiplicity of voices offer any coherent harmony? How is cacophony any different than an inarticulate univocity?

    There is a fine article on Hooker at the Living Church (if I may be so bold):

    But again, let's raise the dialogue: how do any sources concerning Hooker or the English Reformation more generally vindicate the case for the purportedly comprehensive Anglicanism that you believe a Covenant prevents us from having?

  2. Thank you for the link to your article. I think you have confused comprehension, with comprehensive and comprehensive with openness and welcoming, among the Christian virtues (on purpose or by accident, I can not say).

    I think Hookers contribution was to avoid the excess of Catholic AND Calvinist propensities. That alone could qualify him as a patron on the anti-covenant movement. Anglicanism did NOT give rise to a declaration, creed, or covenant. That turn of events should be seriously considered in our present age.

    “But what is comprehension without a telos? Without order, direction, and authority, how can a multiplicity of voices offer any coherent harmony? How is cacophony any different than an inarticulate univocity?”

    To all your questions, I suggest you stand still and listen attentively. There is order in the apparent chaos of many voices. We can reach our destination without order, direction and authority (as if anyone actually knew the way). Above all, Anglicans can tred the middle way, as we have done these last 400 odd years.


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