Here is a flavour of Martin's "a plague on both your [liberal and conservative] houses" argument:
"BEHIND these, in turn, lie very different visions of what the Church is, visions that are themselves — in the UK, at any rate — tied up with the history of Reformation and of Establishment. Faced with a terrifying loss of social influence — indeed, with the threat of effective disappearance as they haemorrhage congregations and are increasingly ignored in Government — the “puritan” and the “Anglican” traditions within the Church of England (always uneasily and precariously held together) reach for solutions characteristic of their differing histories and identities.
The “Puritans”, with a vision of Christian community based on the set-apartness of the “holiness” code, and with separatism deeply driven into Calvinistic foundations, favour a sharp-edged division between a gathered holy people and the wilderness of the wickedly immoral world.
Meanwhile, the “Anglicans” read the whole world as God’s field, in which sinners and saints mingle undetected, the Spirit blows where it wills, and only God can distinguish wheat from tares. This vision is, especially in England and Wales, underpinned by the ecclesiastical polity of establishment, which assumes that all in the nation belong, by default, to the assembly of the saved, and leaves ultimate judgement to God."
Her main point, I suggest, lies in her last words, and its a point that is much in my mind as I continue to reflect on global and local Anglicanism and the splits/disaffiliations of recent years: we have allowed sex to play a larger role than it should ever have been allowed to play - so large that Martin argues it has been a lordly idol driving our disputes:
"If these irreconcilable differences continue to be the competing stories governing our dis-ease, then we have let the real Lord of all our doings, directing all our pathways and all our dissension, all our understanding of the body of Christ and its institution in the big world, be the — already more than a little publicly tarnished — idol of sex itself."
In other words, Anglican reconciliation on the contemporary matters which divide us might have a best starting point if and when we agree to not let these matters be so big that they divide.