Trusty Kiwi reporter, David Virtue, brings news that the support for the Covenant around the Communion increases even in this week before Christmas. The Southern Cone has voted for the Covenant. This is an interesting development because the Southern Cone is, shall we say, on the more conservative end of the Communion spectrum, and there are opinions aroundabouts that the more conservative are going to vote 'No Covenant'. Anyway, building on my post below about the count having been counted by Mark Harris as 6-1 in favour of the Covenant, I reckon it is now increased to 7-1.
Where is the overall count heading?
I suggest the more that sign up the more likely the C of E is to sign up: it would be doubly embarrassing not to sign up. Not signing would be against the lead of the ABC but it could also be against the tendency of the former colonies (NZ excluded!!). In any case there are plenty of positive reasons for the C of E to sign up to the Covenant. If the C of E signs up I suggest others will pick up on this cue, alongside the cue of the trend of 7-1.
But what about those likely to not sign up? My recent "6-1" post highlighted the possibility that Australia would join ACANZP and TEC in not signing. ACCan is hard to predict - lots of reasons to think it will follow the lead of its sister church below the border, but it has so far shown itself to be somewhat canny in its bending with its discernment of the mind of the Communion. The 'hardcore' GAFCON churches might not sign, but even that is not, in my view, a foregone conclusion. Take Nigeria, for instance, with its CANA branch in North America, itself also part of ACNA: it cannot be unaware that CANA is part of giving ACNA Anglican 'legitimacy' as part of the Communion (albeit a 'legitimacy' not much recognised outside of the conservative end of the Communion spectrum). There is a logic here which leads to the conclusion that in the end Nigeria will sign to the Covenant in order to maintain its Anglican credentials. One might then apply similar logic to Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda.
So, in my view, 35-3 is not inconceivable. Realistically this one and that one will surprise us (one way or another) and the final count could be 31-7 or 30-8. Or some other figure if there are abstentions.
Incidentally I said earlier this week that my view is that the Covenant needs 80% minimum support to be workable in the life of the Communion. That means a 31-7 vote or better (30-8 is 78.9% support for the Covenant).
And, I agree with those who say the vote of the C of E is decisive: a no from the C of E would make a nonsense of the Covenant as a Communion document.