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Ghost at the Party

The Most Rev. David Chillingworth, primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, writes about the Columba Declaration:

The tasks which we need to address together are very clear to me. We are living through a time of change in Scotland. Nobody knows where Scotland’s journey will end — but Scotland is on a journey. Faith communities need to focus on Scotland and the way in which faith is represented and shared in this changing context. We also need to work together on new understandings of how we can share in local mission across the whole of Scotland. We need to support one another and work together. None of us can do this on our own.

I watched the debate in which the Columba Declaration was approved by the Church of England with a sense of unreality. The Scottish Episcopal Church was like a ghost at the party — often referred to and talked about but not present. Concerns which have been voiced within the Scottish Episcopal Church about the Columba Declaration focus significantly on the Church of England. The Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church are partner-Provinces in the Anglican Communion. We are the presence of the Anglican Communion in Scotland and we expect the Church of England to respect that. The concerns are that the Columba Declaration places the Church of England in a compromised position in relation to the Scottish Episcopal Church.

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