Dear Fr. Gregory,
As a converted Anglican I can see where some of those who say they are thinking of converting are coming from; but I have not yet seen many of them go there!
Anglicanism is such a capacious Gladstone bag that it contains everyone from those who see that Church as the English version of Orthodoxy to those who would make Zwingli seem an Anglo-Catholic; indeed, one of my last few vicars held the view that there was much to be said for Buddhism and used to preach regularly on the subject. Now I'm all for a bit of understanding others, but four weeks running seemed a little much!
The pull of tradition and circumstance for those who do feel that Anglicanism is the English version of orthodoxy is a great one; as is the desire to be obedient to those set in authority above them. The fight to prevent their Church from being taken over by those who see it as purely Protestant is one of the things that has kept such people in the Anglican Church.
These things said, I would have to agree that the timing and the methodology which seems in evidence are both dubious. Why Rome should be more attractive this morning than yesterday is a puzzle. Two of my best friends went to Rome after the decision to ordain women. They had both been Anglo-Catholics of long-standing, and from my own discussions with them, it was clear that only the issue of Papal Infallibility had stood in their way for years; there was no Old Catholic grouping they could join, so Rome it was. These many years on they are more like Manning than Newman - but it is often the way.
I suspect many of these Anglicans are hoping for an English uniate Church, which Archbishop Nicolls has certainly discussed in print; they may even get it from this Pope, whose recent moves in relation to the canonisation of John Henry Newman certainly raise hopes in that direction.
For myself, there was never any temptation to Rome; the differences between what it teaches and what the early Church held are too great. For me, it was a case of having been left by my own Church a long time ago, but being in the wilderness. Eastern Orthodoxy, although more in evidence in the UK than Oriental Orthodoxy, seemed too riven by ethnic considerations and too narrow in its attitude towards other Orthodox. despite contacts with it, I was never moved in its direction.
That is why I thank the Lord for the British Orthodox Church, where I have been fortunate and blessed in finding an Orthodox home in which I can learn - and experience - the True Faith once given. I remain grateful to the Anglican Church, which brought me a long way along the road; but I am a member of the BOC because it is where I encounter the Risen Christ.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)