So, who wants an Anglican covenant? For some reason it is never acknowledged that the only province to sign up so far is Mexico, whose primate is a Patron of Inclusive Church (the other province close to signing is that well-known neo-Puritan African province, South Africa). He perhaps wants it for the same reasons many others have welcomed it.
The covenant will, for example, force the Church of England to stop thinking of itself simply as, in the words of the advertisement, ”˜the mother church of the Communion’ whose actions are so important that on its own it can prevent developments such as the covenant. It will create a more egalitarian and post-colonial international fellowship of churches affirming not simply an English ‘mother church’ but a common inheritance of faith and shared vision of life together “in communion with autonomy and accountability” (3.1.2). That will then shape their commitments, including mutual accountability, to one another and to a pattern of life marked by such virtues as spending time “with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and reflection, to listen, pray and study with one another in order to discern the will of God” (3.2.3).
Above all, the covenant will hopefully help refocus the Church of England and all covenanting churches on mission. That mission is not, as in the advert, defined by whether or not some outside the church are ”˜put off by the Church’s apparent reluctance to change’. It is rather ”˜God’s call to undertake evangelisation’ and ”˜share in the healing and reconciling mission’ of God in Christ ”˜”for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world”’ (2.2.1).