The Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, discusses his concerns about the proposed Columba Declaration:

I think that the first surprise in the announcement of the Columba Declaration is how little it says about the shared concerns of two churches which have a particular status in the national life of England and Scotland. Clearly there are constitutional issues which are common to the Church if Scotland and the Church of England. But there is little mention of them. Nor is there any discussion of one further matter which concerns the Church of Scotland and its ecumenical partners in Scotland. That is the issue of territoriality — the question of how the Church of Scotland and its ecumenical partners will together sustain mission and ministry across the whole of Scotland.

… But the aspect of the Columba Declaration which will cause most concern to the Scottish Episcopal Church is the potential involvement of the Church of England in the ecclesiastical life of Scotland. The Church of England is not a Scottish Church nor does it have any jurisdiction in Scotland. The Anglican way is to recognise the territorial integrity of each province — they are autonomous but inter-dependent, The important question is whether, within that understanding of the relationship between provinces of the Anglican Communion, it is proper for the Church of England to enter into this agreement about ministry and ecclesiastical order in Scotland. That is a matter which will have to be explored in future dialogue between the Scottish Episcopal Church and both the Church of Scotland and the Church of England.

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He adds in a subsequent post:

The question here is not whether the development of ecumenical relationships is desirable — for of course it is. The question is about whether that development can take place respectfully and in good order. The Scottish Episcopal Church now seems to be faced with the possibility that Church of England clergy will minister in Scotland under the authorisation of the Church of Scotland and without reference to the Scottish Episcopal Church. Yet the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church are partner members of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion in Scotland is expressed in the life of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

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