“… What we are really asking for is the rebirth of the Anglican Communion.…”

Out of Toronto last month came a 6,500 word manifesto making bold suggestions to the Anglican communion. Aim: to strengthen relationships among the world’s eighteen autonomous Anglican churches and to achieve a more unified approach to pressing issues.

The plan, which seemed to strike a largely responsive chord among the 1,500 clergy and lay delegates to the third world Anglican Congress, had been conceived at a much more private meeting of bishops 100 miles away—in London, Ontario—a few days prior to the Toronto meeting.

The manifesto said that “we must undertake a comprehensive study of needs and resources throughout our communion, to give us up-to-date, tested data on actual work now going on, resources in manpower (clerical and lay), training facilities, financial resources and their distribution, and the unevangelized areas which still confront the church.”

The message quickly added, however, that “we cannot wait for the results of such long-range studies. We ask each church to join now in an immediate commitment to increased financial support, amounting to at least $15,000,000 in the next five years, over and above our existing budgets and engagements …”

Appointment of eight “regional officers” to assist the communion’s chief executive officer, Bishop Stephen Bayne, also was urged. Bayne denied that this was a move towards “a new central curial power.” They will be the very opposite,” he said. “They will serve the churches in their area as the executive officer serves them, multiplying him … and making local initiative possible … of each church in each region.”

The specific suggestions in the document, entitled “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence ...

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