Justin Brett, a lay member from the diocese of Oxford, wants the Synod to “note” rather than “affirm” the Primates’ recommendation. On Wednesday, he described as “dubious” the idea that Synod should, as he put it, effectively write a blank cheque. He also expressed concern that the timetable for drawing up the Covenant was already well advanced.
This was not a wrecking amendment, he said. “It’s trying to make sure that when we do vote on the motion, we do so with a sizeable majority.” There was too much uncertainty surrounding the process, Mr Brett said. The various views expressing doubts about the Covenant “all hang on whether we’re absolutely sure we are doing the right thing, and have been talking long enough”.
Another amendment, tabled by the Revd Jonathan Clark, a member of Affirming Catholicism, reflects concern about the power of the Primates. It seeks to ensure that the Synod gets the chance to endorse the Church’s official response to the current draft Covenant.
The amended section (c) would read: “invite the Presidents, having consulted the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council, to bring back to the next group of sessions of Synod for approval a considered response to the draft from the Covenant Design Group for submission to the Anglican Communion Office”.