[Anglican Communion News Service] Members of the Anglican Communion around the world are, for the first time in history, being invited to share their views on the ministry of the next archbishop of Canterbury.
The Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England — the body that nominates the next archbishop of Canterbury — traditionally asks for the views of all primates and provincial secretaries of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion.
On this occasion, however, not only has a primate been invited to join the commission, but a letter has also been sent to provinces to be read in Anglican Communion churches inviting everyone to share their thoughts about the ministry of the next archbishop.
The letter, sent by the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, on behalf of the commission, states: “The archbishop of Canterbury exercises many roles — he is bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England, and focus of unity for the Anglican Communion.
“The process of seeking the next archbishop is led by the Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England and extensive consultations within the U.K. have begun with various representatives of the Church of England, other Christian denominations, other faiths and wider church life. Members of the Church of England are also invited to share in this process.
“The commission wishes to offer the same opportunity to other members of the Anglican Communion. It is seeking your views on the priorities for the ministry of the next archbishop to enable the members of the commission to have as rich a picture as possible as they begin their work.”
The hope is that clergy will receive the letter (translated in several languages) from their primate or bishop and read it out in church so Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world know of and can respond to the commission’s request.
Anglican Communion members will be able to contact the commission via both electronic and traditional means before April 30. All views that are received will be collated and included in a report to the commission.