Vermont debates call for TEC to withhold funding for the Anglican Consultative Council


The 189th meeting of the Diocese of Vermont annual convention has turned aside a resolution calling for the Episcopal Church to defund the Anglican Communion Office. The Resolution entitled “Distancing of The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion” and a substitute resolution were postponed for deliberation until the 2023 diocesan convention.

On 13 October 2022 the convention considered a resolution that asked the 81st General Convention scheduled to meet in 2024 to:

“refuse to participate in the Lambeth Conference in any form, including all governance and consulting bodies, until such a time as 

a) there is absolute equity in the process of invitations to the Lambeth Conference;

b) Lambeth Resolution 1.10 is declared to be invalid; 

c) hatred and violence against LGBTQIA+ persons in every Anglican diocese around the world is publicly decried by every Anglican primate and bishop; and d) the Anglican Communion Office, governance and consulting bodies, and the Lambeth Conference pledge to work actively against hatred and violence toward LGBTQIA+ persons

The resolution asked the General Convention to use funds set aside for the Anglican Communion Office in London be sent to the Human Dignity Trust, a UK-based NGO that focuses on strategic litigation challenging the criminalisation of homosexuality around the world. In November 2021 the Executive Council approved a grant of $383,000 to the ACC/ACO.

Anger over the decision of the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to not invited the same-sex spouses of partnered American, Canadian and Welsh bishops prompted the resolution, which had a counterpart in deliberations earlier this year in the Episcopal Church House of Bishops, which resolved to bewail the archbishop’s failure to invite all spouses.

Opponents of the resolution pointed out the invitations to the Lambeth Conference lay within the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury and were not subject to outside oversight.

The Rev. Canon Lee Alison Crawford proposed a substitute amendment that asked the General Convention to withhold funding for the ACC/ACO while also moving responsibility for the decision from the General Convention to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

The resolution asked the next General Convention to direct Executive Council “to inform the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Communion Office that, until such time as Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 is declared no longer normative for the Communion, The Episcopal Church will not support the budget of the Anglican Communion Office but instead direct those funds to The Human Dignity Trust “

The Crawford substitute also asked the Executive Council to suspend “humanitarian, educational or ecumenical activities”  with overseas organizations that “fail to honor the dignity of every human being” as defined by the Episcopal Church.  It further stated the Episcopal Church would stand ready to use its experience in these matters “to work for reconciliation with other member churches of the Communion so that the injustices and violence of our several institutions against LGBTQIA+ persons be ended, both in our churches and in the larger society.”

After debate the convention agreed to table the resolutions until the October 2023 meeting of the diocesan convention.