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The Pilling Report and the Anglican Communion

By Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll, AAC

[...]  The following analysis is restricted to those parts of the PR that most directly relate to the Anglican Communion in general and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) in particular. Although the Report does have chapter divisions, I shall refer to it by section (§).

The Anglican Communion

The PR devotes considerable space referencing the Anglican Communion. However, the references are lopsided in emphasis. In its Introduction (§§10-39), it focuses exclusively on a purported "Communion-wide shift of emphasis" to "the listening process," or "facilitated conversation" or, using an African word, "indaba."

An entire chapter (§§85-100) is devoted to "The Obligations of Belonging to the Anglican Communion." While noting the legal autonomy of the Church of England, the PR seems to affirm the "mutual interdependence" of Anglican provinces:

So, while the Church of England may be legally free to decide its own belief and practice in the area of human sexuality without having regard for the rest of the communion, it would be unwise for it to do so. It needs to engage in continuing consultation with the other Churches of the Communion through the various structures that exist for this purpose and to try to seek an agreed way forward based on Anglicans thinking together about human sexuality in the light of the classic Anglican sources of theological authority. (§97)

Having affirmed the principle, the PR (§92) quotes – ominously in my view – a section of the 2004 Windsor Report to the effect that

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