The Corner

Re: The C of E

Andrew, I don’t know if you saw this interesting article in the Spectator a couple of weeks ago, which blames Rowan Williams’ obsession with the “Anglican Communion” as having serious negative consequences for the Church of England:

Over the last few decades, the Church of England has increasingly presented itself as one part of the global Anglican Communion. This seemed a way of reinventing itself, of edging away from the embarrassment of being a state church. But the move has turned out to be disastrous. It has been the undoing of the C of E and has led what was once a pacific, tolerant church to its present state of exhausted collapse…

[I]f Rowan Williams had just focused on the Church of England without kowtowing to the rest of the worldwide Communion, he might have kept these tensions from destroying our national church.

But he didn’t, because Rowan Williams never believed in the established Church, to which he didn’t belong until he moved to Canterbury (the Church in Wales is not a state church). He has always believed in the international Communion. In a sense, the events of the last five years have not been entirely negative, from his perspective. For the body in which he has always believed has got itself noticed. The Anglican Communion is fast eclipsing the old image of the English established Church. This is so close to what he has always wanted — and yet so far. The problem is that the new Anglicanism runs counter to the logic of Anglican tradition, which aimed to diffuse Christianity through a liberal culture.

I don’t agree with everything in the article, but this particular point seems spot on to me.

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