Bonnie Anderson’s Church Times interview

Pat Ashworth in The Church Times:

Lay people at the General Con­vention of the Episcopal Church in the United States will have some hard questions for the Archbishop of Canterbury when he visits, says the president of the House of Depu­ties, Bonnie Anderson. …

The deputies are unhappy with moves towards greater centralisation of authority in bishops and in panels appointed by Lambeth Palace. “We work very well together [with the bishops], but to see that kind of po­tential disenfranchisement of laity is really adverse to our polity,” Mrs Anderson said on Monday.

The Bishops will have divided loyalties. They are acknowledged to have returned from the Lambeth Conference much influenced by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appeals for unity, and mindful that newly formed relationships with African bishops could be jeopardised if any steps were taken on this and on same-sex blessings. “The indaba groups enabled bishops to get to know one another,” Mrs Anderson says.

“They are very faithful about transmitting information to us. But I think we can safely say that people in the Episcopal Church like to get in­formation first hand, and we like to speak for ourselves. So there is always that little bit of an edge.”

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