[Anglican Communion Office] Maggie Swinson, a lay canon of England’s Liverpool Cathedral, has been elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, one of four Instruments of Communion of the Anglican Communion. of 42 independent-yet-interdependent national and regional churches. The ACC typically meets every three years and is currently gathered in Accra, Ghana, for its 18th meeting.
The Anglican Communion is made up of 42 independent, yet interdependent national and regional churches. As ACC chair, Swinson also will chair the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, which includes the archbishop of Canterbury, who serves as president, five primates elected by region, a vice chair and seven members elected by members of the council.
Swinson also is charted accountant and company secretary in private practice. She has served as vice-chair of the ACC since her election in Lusaka, Zambia, at the 16th meeting of the council in 2016. During that time, she chaired the Inter Anglican Finance and Administration Committee, led the group which implemented the Anglican Communion Office structure review, chaired the panel for the appointment of Bishop Anthony Poggo as the new secretary general, and attended the Lambeth Conference as an observer.
“I believe the key challenges for the ACC are in taking forward the mission of the communion to serve the Kingdom”, she said. “Developing a governance structure which better reflects the instruments whilst maintaining the key voices of laity and non-episcopal clergy. Developing a financial model which reduces reliance on member contributions and increases sustainability and enabling all Provinces to continue to find a place within the communion in spite of their differences.”
Commenting on Swinson’s unopposed election, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “I have worked with Canon Maggie for many years and she has faithfully served the church – both the Church of England and the Anglican Communion in many ways. I am delighted that her gifts will continue to be shared with the Communion as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee.”
Poggo, said: “I am delighted that Canon Maggie Swinson has been elected, unopposed, by the ACC as chair. This is in recognition of and a vote of thanks for her work in her previous role as vice chair of the ACC, a role she has been in since her election in Zambia in 2016.
“In her role as vice chair of the ACC and chair of the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee, she has worked superbly and has been an asset to each of the committees. As secretary general, I look forward to working with her as she takes on this new role as chair.
“I know she will continue to guide the standing committee and the ACC as we journey together into the next phase and season. We assure her of our prayers as she takes on this role.”
News of her election has been welcomed in her home Diocese of Liverpool, where Warrington Bishop Beverley Mason, said: “I am so delighted to hear of this appointment. Maggie brings years of experience of serving the Church of England nationally and locally as provides a vital lay perspective.
“She brings immense experience, wisdom and insight to the Anglican Communion, and is so well-placed to take on this extra responsibility. In these challenging days, Maggie will play a vital role in listening to and ensuring voices are heard across the communion.
“In Liverpool, we are very proud and give the assurance of our prayers for Maggie and the work of the ACC.”
Swinson assumes the chair at the end of the ACC-18 meeting and serves for the next two meetings. She succeeds the Most Rev. Paul Kwong, the former archbishop of Hong Kong, whose term of office has come to an end. Elections for vice chair and five other members of the standing committee will take place later this week.