The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, strong backing from the House of Bishops this week to ensure that the recommendations of the Windsor Report are implemented.
Bishops were united in drawing up a motion to be put to the General Synod meeting in February, which endorses the work of the Lambeth Commission, and urges that the process reception for the Report in the Anglican Communion should be enabled to begin.
The House of Bishops have united to give Dr Williams a strong mandate ahead of the Primates meeting, which also convenes next month. “We wanted Rowan to go knowing we endorse the position taken by the report,” one bishop said. “We want to be genuinely backing him.” Another bishop said that the show of unity was vital. “It is critical the Archbishop goes to the Primates meeting with the support of his own house. If he’d gone with criticism and a lack of support, it would undermine his ability to do anything. The Windsor Report could be terrific if it’s given teeth.”
They said that the bishops were keen to see action on the recommendations. In particular, bishops stressed the need for the American Church to express regret and to respect the moratoriums on the promotion of gays as bishops and same-sex blessings.
Work should begin on establishing the various instruments, such as the Council of Advice, suggested in the Report, the bishops agreed.
A briefing paper by the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, Chair of the House’s Theology Group, and the Rt Rev John Hind, Chair of the Faith and Order Group, was distributed amongst the bishops. It was regarded as “an encouragement” to Dr Williams as it is very sympathetic towards the Windsor Report, upholding the calls for regret and reconciliation.