The Windsor Report 2004

General findings

  1. The Communion has affirmed the importance of interdependence on very many occasions. The question that has been raised in relation to both the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada is that in relation to matters of real and acknowledged importance to them, they have not attached sufficient importance to the impact of their decisions on other parts of the Communion. This in turn has prompted reactions from other provinces and individual primates which offend our understanding of communion in significant ways.

  2. The Commission has given long and careful consideration to the submissions made to it about the Episcopal Church (USA), the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, and about various primates who (without consultation with their fellow primates) have accommodated clergy who are at odds with their own bishops. We cannot avoid the conclusion that all have acted in ways incompatible with the Communion principle of interdependence, and our fellowship together has suffered immensely as a result of these developments. Furthermore, we deeply regret that the appeals of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates and of this Commission for a period of “calm” to allow the Commission to complete its report have been ignored in a number of quarters, and that a number of primates and provinces have declared themselves in impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church (USA) or the Diocese of New Westminster.

  3. The Commission regrets that without attaching sufficient importance to the interests of the wider Communion:

    • the Episcopal Church (USA) proceeded with the consecration of Gene Robinson

    • the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) declared that “local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions”[80]

    • the Diocese of New Westminster approved the use of public Rites for the Blessing of same sex unions
    • the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada issued a statement affirming the integrity and sanctity of committed same sex relationships

    • a number of primates and other bishops have taken it upon themselves to intervene in the affairs of other provinces of the Communion.

    Our unanimous recommendations in relation to these matters are set out below.