Divorce in the Anglican family: A Look Back at the Break-Up

Oct 23, 2019 by

by Stephen Noll, Contending Anglican:

In September 2019, Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, shared some reflections with clergy and laity in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on the state of the Anglican Communion.

“I am saying ‘Anglican family’ rather than ‘Anglican Communion’ because we’re a very fractured communion but we’re still family – like so many families, quarreling till the cows come home,” he said…. There is uncertainty, division, a measure of suspicion still and a sense that our conventional and inherited ways of being Anglicans together across the world have come under almost unmanageable strain.”

Archbishop Williams’s switch from “communion” to “family” reminded me of something I had written fifteen years ago, titled “The Divorce,” because while “quarreling until the cows come home” is a nice sentiment, it is not the way many families end up. Fifteen years on, real repentance and reconciliation seem as far away as ever.

So at the risk of reviving unhappy quarrels around the supper table, here it is:


Let’s face it: the Anglican Communion is breaking up. Statements about “breaking ties,” “impaired communion,” and “loose federation” are commonplace since the election and consecration of Gene Robinson last year [see note]. Call it what you will, Anglicans throughout the world are going through a divorce.

Read here

Related Posts


Share This