Canterbury role reviewed

Published October 1, 2001

Archbishop George Carey.


An eight-member review team has completed its analysis of the increasingly heavy workload of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and delivered recommendations.

Among them is that the archbishop conduct a “strategic distancing” from the daily administrative affairs and management of the Church of England in England.

Senior bishops, the group said, should be given policy portfolios as spokesmen for the church and take on a greater share of required attendance at state events.

“We believe that the leadership of the Anglican Communion will remain one of the principal modern roles of the Archbishop of Canterbury,” the team wrote in its findings. The review team said this was not optional, because churches abroad “require him to do what only he can do.” This role is expected to grow, they added.

New forms of subsidiary leadership both at the regional level and the ACC office were encouraged, and the creation of a “right hand” position in Anglican Communion affairs. The person holding this position should come from an ACC overseas office.

The review identified a need to improve the financial position of the ACC office, and recommended the appointment of a funded development officer.

Addressing the archbishop’s extensive and exhaustive past travel itinerary, it called for a more carefully planned schedule of visits to the provinces, including no more than two formal tours a year of no more than a week’s length.

The archbishop’s interfaith role also came under scrutiny. “He should be sparing in extending his personal involvement when new initiatives such as the World Bank initiative have developed beyond successful launch,” the report said.


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