Showdown Day in Gay Clergy Row That Could Split Anglican Church

Article excerpt

Byline: FLORA STUBBS

THE ROW over homosexuality threatening to split the Anglican Church is set to erupt again today with the release of a key report.

The Lambeth Commission's Windsor Report will address several issues affecting the unity of the Anglican Communion's 70 million members worldwide.

However, divisions over homosexual-clergy are expected to dominate its findings.

Conservatives have called for tough action on dioceses which support homosexuality and, according to rumours, the report may call for churches to sign up to a series of "core covenants". Gay Christians fear such a move could threaten the Church's diversity.

The Rev Martin Reynolds, spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said: "Traditionally, Anglicans have dispersed authority right the way down to the man in the pew. That has been its great strength. Statements that would say everyone has to act in concert will remove one of the church's greatest characteristics."

However, the Rev David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society, said: "Every organisation needs rules about what is and is not acceptable behaviour amongst its members.

"The Anglican Communion is being asked to decide what to do when some members deliberately break the agreed rules. …