Group reviews church structures

Published June 1, 2006

Mississauga, Ont.
A working group  has completed its review of the way the Anglican Church of Canada is being governed, paving the way for discussion and possible action at General Synod 2007.  Change is needed and inevitable, said the governance working group, created last year following a request made by General Synod in 2004 that the Council of General Synod (CoGS) review the church’s structures. In its report, the group cited as reasons for reviewing the church’s governance: “the widely held view that our church is over-governed, i.e., our governance structures are too big, too multi-layered and too complicated;” the reality of “a lack of money at virtually every level of our church; and the “distinct lack of interest in ‘running’ the institution among many of its younger members.”But the “most important and immediate” factor is the endorsement in 2004 by General Synod of the New Agape proposal for a self-governing aboriginal “church within a church,” the group said. “As this plan moves to fruition profound changes in our governing structures will take place at national, provincial, diocesan and even parish levels.” The group also said that the conflict within the Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexuality also raises the “distinct possibility” of a split along theological lines which could result in “two or more separately or largely separate Anglican entities in Canada.” Council members later considered the points raised by the working group in its report and offered feedback, among them, that the wider church should be involved in the discussion around governance and structures. CoGS later passed a resolution directing the planning and agenda team to “remandate” the governance working group to “develop further the work begun, using the feedback from the May 2006 Council meeting” and to report on the progress at the fall meeting, “with proposed new structures to be presented to the March 2007 meeting” of the Council.


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