[Anglican Communion Office] Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum, bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, was elected unopposed Feb. 17 to vice chair of the Anglican Consultative Council during the 18th plenary session of the ACC, which is meeting in Accra, Ghana. The ACC is one of four Instruments of Communion of the global Anglican Communion of 42 autonomous, interdependent national and regional provinces.
As vice chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Naoum also will serve as vice chair of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. This comprises the Archbishop of Canterbury, as president, five primates elected to represent the regions of the Anglican Communion, a chair and vice chair, and seven members elected by members of the ACC.
Elections for six other members of the Standing Committee were scheduled to take place Feb. 17. The election had been planned for five members of the Standing Committee, but Naoum’s election as vice chair creates an additional vacancy among the ordinary members.
Naoum is bishop of the Anglican diocese that covers the countries and territories of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It is part of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Later this year, Naoum will become primate of the province when Archbishop Michael Lewis, bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, steps down. Naoum also is secretary of the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, the leading ecumenical group of senior Christian leaders in the Holy Land.
Naoum is well known throughout the Anglican Communion. Prior to becoming archbishop in Jerusalem, he served as dean of Saint George’s Anglican Cathedral in the city and welcomed pilgrims from all over the world to the land of Jesus’ birth.
“I am absolutely delighted that I have the confidence of the ACC to be the vice chair,” Naoum said. “This is a humbling, of course, opportunity as well as a great privilege to be able to serve and continue serving on the Standing Committee but in a different capacity. I will do all that I can as a person, as a bishop and as a member to foster unity within the Anglican Communion.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commented: “Archbishop Hosam has been a friend for many years since he was dean of Jerusalem. His deep spirituality, his calmness and his love for the church around the world makes him eminently suitable for this position. We are very blessed in the ACC that many who could have stood for this position would have received an equally warm welcome.”
Bishop Anthony Poggo, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, said: “I am thrilled that Archbishop Hosam Naoum has been elected as vice chair of the ACC. He brings with him a wealth of experience since he has been a member of the Standing Committee from 2019 to date.
“During this time, he was a member of the committee that reviewed the Anglican Communion Office. He was also on the recruitment panel for the new secretary general. He was a member of the subcommittee that planned for ACC-18 and is chair of the Resolutions Committee. He brings with him wealth of experiences to this role.”
Naoum will succeed Maggie Swinson as vice chair. Swinson, a lay canon of England’s Liverpool Cathedral, was elected chair of the ACC on Feb. 16.