A very good piece by Madpriest this week on church unity, and how to get along with those you disagree violently with but who (like it or not) are still part of the body of Christ:
The experience of the Church of England since the days of Elizabeth I has shown that people of, what amounts to, different faiths can exist together in the same church. Of course, there will be squabbling. There is squabbling in the dog club I belong to but this doesn't mean its members don't all love dogs (we may hate each other at times but we never stop loving our canine companions and if that is not a perfect metaphor for the Anglican Communion I don't know what is) and the arguments rarely lead to people storming off in a huff to set up their own dog club somewhere else. Different dog clubs have different constitutions, different priorities, different ways of doing things. But this doesn't mean that we are not all united by our affiliation to the Kennel Club. It doesn't stop us all competing at the same dog shows run under the auspices of the Kennel Club.
The same can be true for different congregations and provinces affiliated to the Anglican Communion. The same has been true for many years. There is no need to mend something that isn't broken, especially when such tinkering will lead to more damage not less.
There is a lot of energy being spent on what actually constitutes 'affiliation to the Kennel Club', because many Anglicans think that there has to be more to it than adherence to the Nicene Creed, recognition of your diocesan bishop, and a tradition of worship. But how much do we add to the basics before it becomes almost impossible for everyone to stay affiliated, or even to keep up with all the rules and regulations?
There's also a difference between organic and institutional unity. I'm part of the institution of the CofE, but in reality, on a day to day basis, work just as closely (if not more so) with non-Anglican churches who share the same values of worship, community, mission and discipleship. However, there are 'economies of scale' in an institution, but with those come the small print. Is it even possible to have one without the other?