Draft of Anglican “Covenant”

Report of the Covenant Design Group — Excerpts
January 18, 2007

The Covenant Design Group, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury on
behalf of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, held its first meeting
in Nassau, the Bahamas, between Monday, 15th and Thursday, 18th January,
2007. The Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez,
chaired the group.

The meeting discussed four major areas of work related to the
development of an Anglican Covenant: its content, the process by which
it would be received into the life of the Communion, the foundations on
which a covenant might be built, and its own methods of working.

While the group felt that it was important that the
strength of a covenant would be greater if it addressed broad
principles, and did not focus on particular issues, the need for its
introduction into the life of the Communion in order to restore trust
was urgent.

There were therefore two particular factors which would need to be borne
in mind:

Content

The text of the Covenant would need to hold together and strengthen the
life of the Communion. To do so, it need not introduce some new
development into the life of the Communion but rather be the
clarification of a process of discernment which was embodied in the
Windsor Report and in the recent reality of the life of the Instruments
of Communion, and which was founded in and built upon the elements
traditionally articulated in association with Anglicanism and the life
of the Anglican Churches.

Urgency

While a definitive text which held all such elements in balance might
take time to develop in the life of the Communion, there was also an
urgent need to re-establish trust between the churches of the Communion.
The faithfulness of patterns of obedience to Christ were no longer
recognised across the Communion, despite Paul’s call to another way of
life (Romans 14.15), and its life would suffer irreparably if some
measure of mutual and common commitment to the Gospel was not reasserted
in a short time frame. We were mindful also of the words of the
Primates at Oporto, “We are conscious that we all stand together at the
foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ, so we know that to turn away from
each other would be to turn away from the Cross”.

An Anglican Covenant Draft prepared by the Covenant Design Group,
January 2007 — Contents:

1 Preamble

2 The Life We Share: Common Catholicity, Apostolicity and Confession of
Faith

3 Our Commitment to Confession of the Faith

4 The Life We Share with Others: Our Anglican Vocation

5 Our Unity and Common Life

6 Unity of the Communion

7 Our Declaration

(Psalms 46, 72.18,19, 150, Acts10.34-44, 2 Corinthians 13.13, Jude
24-25)

With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partners
in this Anglican Covenant, releasing ourselves for fruitful service and
binding ourselves more closely in the truth andlove of Christ, to whom
with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

The Report and the Covenant Draft text are also available to download as
a PDF Document here:
http://www.aco.org/commission/d_covenant/downloads.cfm

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