In addition to its implementation of the decisions on same-sex marriage, on which not all of the SEC is in favour, it is likely that there will be knock-on effects in its relationship with the Anglican Communion. As we noted in our post Communiqué from the Primates, the meeting of Anglican Primates on 11-15 January 2016 discussed inter alia the change to the doctrine of marriage by The Episcopal Church in the United Stated (TEC) and recommended [paragraphs 7 and 8 of Addendum A]:
“It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.
We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ”.
The Anglican Church of Canada, which has allowed some clergy members to perform same-sex marriages but has not adopted a policy for the entire province, escaped sanctions. However, the primates’ resolution fell short of the demands of conservative primates to evict the Americans and the Canadians from the Communion. It seems likely that Archbishop Welby will be under pressure to apply sanctions similar to those on the TEC to the Scottish Episcopal Church.