10 Downing Street
13th. October 2010
Dear Prime Minister,
The Archbishop Of Canterbury is, at this moment in time, trying to persuade the provinces of the Anglican Communion to sign up to a covenant that will result in the individual provinces, including the Church of England, having to adhere to the beliefs of the majority of provinces. This would include matters of church order, such as the equality of gay people and women in the churches, and also matters of belief such as an insistence on Biblical inerrancy, not previously insisted upon in the Church of England.
I believe the adoption of such a covenant by the Church of England would be unconstitutional. It would place members of the Church of England under the authority of foreign churches and would contradict our monarch’s position as head of state and church. The idea of a member of the Church of England being told what to think by a a foreign prelate is the antithesis of the reasons why the Church of England was founded in the first place.
It may well be that Parliament feels that it should not interfere in church matters nowadays. But I strongly suspect that they have no option regarding this particular matter because the connection between church and state is still in the constitution of our country.
The general feeling among those of us in the church who wish to retain our independence is that the Church of England is sleepwalking into the adoption of this covenant. I am worried that Parliament will also fail to take full notice of the constitutional aspects of the covenant when and if it is passed to it for approval.
The Church of England is spending a lot of money on this matter that could be well spent elsewhere. If the Church is debating something that will end up being rejected because it is unconstitutional, money would be saved if they were told so now rather than later.