chapter  1
41 Pages

Selwyn’s Theological Formation

Selwyn's ideas of conciliar authority with a pan-Anglican synod with authority above that of the provincial synod were important in fostering a global identity for the Anglican Communion, witnessed to by the Lambeth Conference, though the failure of the conference to adopt the model of a pan-Anglican synod indirectly sowed the seeds for later tensions. Hence the desire of Selwyn and other like-minded colonial bishops to foster synodical government through the formation of self-governing provinces of the Church should not be seen as a desire to separate from the Church of England, which continued to be recognised as the Mother Church. At the time there was little danger of the 'centrifugal force' which Selwyn feared cause of future division unless an authoritative structure was developed given that, though the Anglican churches could no longer be united by the established connection, they remained united by common formularies, and America the authority to change them was in theory recognised, they revised conservatively.