ACNA Recognized in Spirited Debate by Church of England Synod
Archbishops of Canterbury and York must report back to Synod next year.
By David W. Virtue in London
A spirited debate by the Church of England Synod saw the newly formed Anglican Church in North America recognized by all three houses – bishops, clergy and laity in an overwhelming vote.
The final vote was 309 in favor, 69 against and 17 recorded abstentions.
The following is the final draft of the resolution.
“That this Synod aware of the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America, recognize and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican church in North America (ACNA) to remain within the Anglican family; acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011.”
The original motion by Lorna Ashworth, “that this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America,” was defeated. She expressed satisfaction with the final amended resolution.
The original motion went through several amendments, but the final vote after nearly three hours of debate made it clear that ACNA deserved to be recognized as Anglican but delegates needed a year to think and pray over it. Both the Archbishops of Canterbury and York voted for the final amended resolution.
On any kind of reading the passage of this resolution sends a signal to The Episcopal Church that they are not the only Anglican players in North America and the actions of TEC at GC2009 accelerated what took place here today.
Many will view this as a slap in the face at Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and an affirmation of the ministry and ecclesiastical authority of ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan.
One observer said this should have been a decade’s long process but it was clearly truncated and brought to a head by actions of the Episcopal Church over passage of two resolutions D025 and C056 last summer in Anaheim, California.
Motions to pass to next business and to adjourn the debate were lost.
ARCHBISHOP ROBERT DUNCAN RESPONDS TO SYNOD VOTE
General Synod Affirms Anglican Church in North America
By Archbishop Robert Duncan
February 10, 2010
Today, the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, meeting in London February 8-12, affirmed the Anglican Church in North America's desire "to remain within the Anglican family."
The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, thanked Mrs. Lorna Ashworth of Chichester for bringing the church to the attention of the General Synod. "We are very grateful to Mrs. Ashworth and the scores of other friends in the Synod of the Church of England for all they did to give us this opportunity to tell our story to the mother church of the Anglican Communion. It is very encouraging that the synod recognizes and affirms our desire to remain within the Anglican family." said Archbishop Duncan.
A private member's motion, put forward by Mrs. Ashworth, and subsequently amended by the Synod, states that "this synod...recognize and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family." The motion passed by a resounding 309 - 69 margin (with seven abstentions).
The motion was amended by the Right Reverend Michael Hill, the Bishop of Bristol. His purpose, in his own words, was "(1) to encourage those who are part of the Anglican Church in North America;
(2) to commend the process of recognition afforded by the Instruments of the Anglican Communion; and
(3) to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to report progress back to Synod in a year's time."
The discussion at Synod presented an important opportunity for members of the Anglican Church in North America, joined by many friends in the United Kingdom, to share the vision and mission of the church with fellow Anglicans.
"We are deeply thankful that we were given the opportunity to tell the Synod about our church, and our vision for reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. This chance to speak directly to our Anglican family was very rewarding. We look forward to working with the friends we made and reaching out to others in the years ahead," said Bishop Donald Harvey, who, with Mrs. Cynthia Brust, Dr. Michael Howell, and the Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum, represented the Anglican Church in North America in preparation for the Synod vote.
The Anglican Church in North America, founded in June of 2009 with 703 congregations, today unites 800 Anglican congregations across North America. The church's mission is to reach North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ.
CANA Welcomes General Synod Affirmation of ACNA
HERNDON, Va. (February 10, 2010) - The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) welcomed the news that the General Synod affirmed the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)'s desire to "remain with the Anglican family" today. CANA is a founding member of ACNA.
"This is a significant step forward for the ACNA and for all orthodox Anglicans in the U.S. We are grateful to the General Synod for recognizing the home that has been created for those Anglicans who wish to remain a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Both ACNA and CANA have provided that home at a crucial time in the life of the church. Today's affirmation from the General Synod is a welcome response to that need," said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.
The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (http://www.canaconvocation.org/) is an association of orthodox Anglican congregations in North America that is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a community of 77 million people.
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