by Jean Mayland, August 2012

The process of debating the Covenant is continuing throughout the Communion. The GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) Churches have declared that it is too weak and so do not support it - though many of the members of this group have still to vote as Provinces.

Provinces who have adopted the Covenant

  1. La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico - General Synod adopted the Covenant in June 2010
  2. The Church of the Province of Myanmar - Provincial Council adopted the Covenant in November 2010
  3. Church in the Province of the West Indies - Provincial Standing Committee in November 2010 ratified an approval in principle by the Provincial Synod of December 2009, thus adopting the Covenant
  4. Church of the Province of South East Asia - Provincial Synod adopted the Covenant, together with their own Preamble, in April 2011
  5. Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea - Provincial Council adopted the Covenant in November 2011

Provinces who have rejected the Covenant

  1. The Church of England through its Diocesan Synods
  2. The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
  3. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines
  4. The Scottish Episcopal Church

The following Churches are in the process of debating it

  1. The Anglican Church of Australia - 2 Dioceses have aready rejected it
  2. The Anglican Church of Canada
  3. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa

The Church of Ireland 'subscribed' to the Covenant on 13 May 2011. The General Synod intended to make it clear that the Covenant did not supplant existing governing documents of the Church of Ireland.

The Church in Wales passed a motion on 18 April 2012 indicating its willingness to consider the Covenant but asking the Anglican Consultative Council to 'clarify the status of the Covenant in the light of its rejection by the Church of England'.

In the United States the Episcopal Church considered the Covenant at the General Convention in July 2012. The General Convention voted to 'decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant' and 'to continue to monitor the progress of the Covenant until the next General Convention in 2015'. The General Convention went on, however, to pass a resolution to agree services for the blessing of same sex unions. This shows where that Church really is.

For now we must wait to see what the Anglican Consultative Council does when it meets in November and who the next Archbishop of Canterbury will be; an appointment which is crucial for the Church of England and the whole Anglican Communion.


Jean Mayland is a retired priest and former Co-ordinating Secretary and  Assistant General Secretary at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.