[Anglican Communion News Service] The primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, is to chair a review into the operational priorities of the Anglican Communion Office. The review was proposed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Anglican Communion Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon and accepted by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council during an online meeting last week.
The Anglican Communion Office, based in the Notting Hill district of London, England, is the secretariat for the Instruments of Communion – the four bodies which hold the Anglican Communion together: the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The staff in the Anglican Communion Office serve the communion through coordination, networking and relationship building in the areas of mission and discipleship, theological education, gender justice, representation to the United Nations, communications, and administration – including finance and support for meetings and events.
The review team will consult with primates – the leaders of the 40 national and regional independent yet interdependent autonomous churches of the Anglican Communion – and others, including departmental directors at the ACO, to help determine new operational priorities for the Anglican Communion going forward, as the world emerges from the post-COVID-19 global lockdown.
“The Church around the world now faces a whole host of new challenges and mission priorities than it could have envisaged just a few short months ago,” Idowu-Fearon said. “A ‘new normal’ is emerging. It is too early to say what that ‘new normal’ will look like, but it is clear that the assumptions and priorities of the past are not the assumptions and priorities for the future. The work and ministry of our member churches is being changed. We need to change too, in order to help them in that work and ministry.
“One thing won’t change is the priority of all of us to be God’s Church in God’s World; but the world has changed and this review will help us to discern how we be God’s Church in these changing times.”
Thabo’s review committee will produce its interim report by the end of June and its final report by the end of August. It will be considered by the Standing Committee at their September meeting. That meeting, which was to have taken place in person in London, will now be conducted by video conference.