A new group is being set up to look at broadening the composition of the Anglican Consultative Council and re-examining the financial contributions made by provinces.
The ACC Standing Committee, which is establishing the group, said it would comprise primates, bishops, clergy and laity. The aim would be to recommend how the ACC could better reflect the make-up of Anglican churches around the world. The recommendations would go to the next meeting of ACC in 2019.
The Committee, which has been meeting in London this week, heard that more than a dozen provinces were failing to make contributions to the Communion regularly. The new group will look at introducing greater clarity around contributions and finance and examine how even the poorest provinces would be able to make at least some contribution.
The ACC chair, Archbishop Paul Kwong, said the working group would take account of the sensitivities involved.
“These are important issues for the whole Communion and we are taking care to make sure that we hear what God is saying and get this right,” he said. “Providing a contribution to the Communion is an important part of the life of our family. This is not about rules and regulations; it is about relationships. The contributions enable everyone within the Communion to grow and flourish; for example, they enable us to focus on important work such as mission. It means everyone has a stake in what is happening across our Communion.”
He stressed that the size of contributions was not the most important issue.
“What is more significant is that a contribution is made.”
The Committee has spent the week listening to reports across a wide range of Communion life—from finance and governance to the work of ACO directors and the networks and the need and cost of having more material translated into languages other than English. It also received a report from the Secretary General. The minutes of the Standing Committee meeting will appear on the ACO website in due course.
Members of the Committee present at the meeting were: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (President), Archbishop Paul Kwong (ACC Chair), Canon Margaret Swinson (ACC Vice Chair), Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (Secretary General), Archbishop Richard Clarke, Archbishop Francisco da Silva (in place of Archbishop John Holder), Bishop Jane Alexander, Bishop Eraste Bigiriman, Alistair Dinnie, Jeroham Melendez, Louisa Mojela, the Rev. Nigel Pope and Bishop Joel Waweru.