Scotland Says No!

The Scottish Episcopal Church has resoundingly rejected the Anglican Covenant as a way forward for the Anglican Communion. At the same time, the Synod passed a motion rejoicing in our commitment to the Communion itself. What we have said is No to the Covenant, but Yes to the Communion.

The vote was decisive – 6 in favour of the motion adopting the Covenant, 112 against and 13 abstaining.

Interestingly, I didn’t speak in the debate. I didn’t need to.

Once upon a time, I would have been on my feet encouraging, threatening, cajoling. I’d have been sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt. I would have been at work behind the scenes, bending people’s ears, twisting people’s arms – all to get them to reject the Covenant.

In the end, I didn’t need to. It just turned out to be something that the church overwhelmingly felt was not the way forward.

We should not underestimate the significance of the decision though. It will resound around the communion. In the Church of England, there was not enough support in the dioceses to bring the thing to Synod. In Scotland, we took a different strategy – ensuring that it did come to Synod. We took a clear vote and said a clear no. We are the first province to reject the Covenant in a synodical vote, I think.

No to the Covenant. Yes to the Communion.

You heard that on this blog first.

It is now the policy of this Province.

Thanks be to God.


  1. Hallelujah!!

  2. Amen!

  3. Susan Sheppard Hedges says


  4. “something that the church overwhelmingly felt was not the way forward”

    …… the way set by the emergency Primates meeting way back when Gene had just been elected was not the way forward and, sad to say, I can’t think of any good that has flowed from it.

    I can only hope that the threats are now over and the listening begins.

  5. Neil Oliver says

    Excellent news.

  6. Zebadee says

    This has to be good news for the Anglican Communion it’self.

  7. Brother David says


  8. Brother David says

    BTW, Father Mark Harris in the US says that the Philippine province has already said no to the covenant.

  9. Yes – it is reported that the Philippine province has said no, but the reports I saw suggested that it was their bishops who said no rather than a vote in a General Synod.

    My point was that I think that the Scottish Synod is the first actual Synod of a Province to say no. Happy to be proved wrong though.

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