Most people in the diocese who bother themselves with such matters (but not everyone, as the bishop has pointed out) dont like the idea of an Anglican Covenant at all.

The suggestion came from the Windsor Commission who, unlike this diocese, believed the case for an Anglican Covenant was overwhelming. The Anglican Communion cant afford repeated world-wide inter-Anglican conflict.

It is our shared responsibility to have in place an agreed mechanism to enable and maintain life in communion, and to prevent and manage communion disputes.

Unfortunately, all that a covenant design group has come up with is that finallythe Primates (Chief Bishops of each national Anglican Church) will offer guidance and direction.

North Americans especially, but others too, reject the idea that the final say on anything really important should be given to a group of leaders, no matter how revered. Everybody - priests, deacons, and the lay people - has to be involved, we insist, when decisions are momentous.

Still the Windsor Commission rightly observed that our current dispute has done much damage, financial and otherwise. We do need a way to better resolve disputes.

As the Rev. Paul Woehrle put it, we do need a covenant, a covenant of love. The task before us is to put that sentiment into words that most Anglicans (including North Americans) can accept.

Its going to take a long time, but the Church that wrote a masterpiece like the Book of Common Prayer should be able to come up with something.