No-one has the right to take decisions which affect the whole. The moment the ‘local’ wrests decisions from the whole, it is engaging in division. No diocese should take unilateral action which impairs the life of the whole province. Every House of Bishops must seek unity of vision for the sake of the Province it leads – and deviation from agreed constitutions will only weaken the Church bishops claim to serve. No Province should take unilateral action which affects and impairs the whole Communion – that only denies the nature of communion and declares that we are in reality no more than a federation of independent Churches. That clearly is not our ecclesiology and we have to say so, again and again and again..
And let me take that one step further, to engage in division is itself to undermine truth. The call to unity is at least as strong in Scripture as is the call to purity and holiness. ‘I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church’. It is there as a fundamental tenet of our faith. So I hope that those who are tempted to go their own way, wherever they are, and for what ever reason they feel frustrated with the Communion will hold back, and have faith in the loving purposes of God. The unity of the Church is, after all, God’s gift to us. It is not of our making. It is we in our disobedience who have fragmented, and fragmented again and again.
Read the whole thing here. It is from Archbishop Carey's presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council in September 1999.