Paul Handley, editor of the Church Times, but writing in the Guardian (hat-tip to Thinking Anglicans), has a brilliantly written analysis of the recent history of the Anglican Communion, channelled into a scary prophecy that 2009 is the year of the great bust up (or 'schism' in ecclesially correct language).
But he seems to envisage just two Anglican Communions by the end of 2009, more or less a 'liberal' one and a 'conservative' one, except the Archbishop of Canterbury will be leading the former and Nigeria will be dominant in the leadership of the latter. On the face of it people like me are going to be very unhappy, should Paul turn out to be Jeremiah, that is people who would like to be in a conservative Communion but with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the helm (naming just a couple of matters from the reality of quite a few other issues about forging the character of the ideal Anglican Communion in the face of intense internal conflict). One of those issues, incidentally, is the distinct possibility that neither Communion would be talking to the other in 2010.
So, I am getting in on the act quickly, before the Year of the Great Bust Up even begins:
I announce the formation of the Anglican Bridge Communion (ABC), with the Archbishop of Canterbury as patron, primate inter pares, and pastor-in-chief - a Communion geared for Anglicans unhappy about a binary schism, who want to be sure their Communion will be in respectful conversation with all other Anglican Communions, yet do not accept the dominant theological tendencies of TEC and ACCan should hold sway in any global Anglican Communion. The ABC's formal motto will be 'Ut Unum Sint'; it's informal motto will be, 'Schism and heresy are both bad boys'. The ABC will only begin formally if the Great Bust Up takes place, and it will only exist for as long as necessary.
Happy New Year!