He uses this to justify having the Anglican Communion Covenant.
That's one bad metaphor! After all, what is the Internet other than millions of individual and autonomous users interacting and building virtual communities through such individual actions?
To have the equivalent of the Anglican Covenant then would be to say, "Oy you can't say that, not until Freddy in Nigeria agrees." Imagine that killing the organic Internet. It would kill both its freedom and its creativity.
The the "belonging togetherness" of the Internet comes from the users each making their own contacts, that many are similar in what they are doing, but also in different places and settings, and the difference leads to debate.
He puts this:
...you cannot avoid the question of what happens if one particular province wants to press ahead with an action that does not have the catholic consent of the communion - it is inescapable that there has to be first a process of dialogue, and then if the matter cannot be resolved, consequences.
But the consequences always fall upon the innovator. Apply that to the Internet and we would never have had even the Internet or the World Wide Web (the latter invented by the Unitarian Univeralist, Time Berners Lee).
A week earlier, on the same website (a common link from Thinking Anglicans), Paul Avis wrote:
Ultimately, then, the future of the Anglican Communion is not a political matter, but a spiritual issue. I believe we should consider the Covenant in that light.
The problem is that it is shot through with politics. Its very presentation, and its ramroading through with biased documents, is all to do with bureaucracy and politics.
The notion that the Covenant will bring back Churches already splitting off is simply out of date. They won't 'come back' unless there is a punitive element to the Covenant, and it is inadequate for them. However, the subdividing still consequent of the Covenant (a sort of conversation over a created fence) builds a formal division into the Communion that may not be there, in other words adding to the divisions, the 'outsiders' being the social includers rather than the excluders who, bizarrely, have put themselves outside already.