Thinking Anglicans

Commission to Communion: "Tell us your views on next Archbishop of Canterbury's ministry"

Updated to add clarification

A press release from the Anglican Communion Office states:

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 Secretary General of the Anglican Communion* Canon Kenneth Kearon 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 30th April. All views that are received will be collated and included in a report to the Commission.

Notes to Editors

*The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion is a non-voting member of the Commission

For more information about the procedures for appointing a new Archbishop of Canterbury visit: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/2403/outline-of-procedures-for-appointing-a-new-archbishop-of-canterbury

The Anglican Communion Primate who joins the Commission is elected by the Standing Committee. As the Standing Committee is not scheduled to meet in person until May, the whole procedure, both nomination and election, occurs by email.

The Anglican Communion comprises around 85 million members in 38 regional and national member churches around the globe in more than 165 countries. http://www.anglicancommunion.org/

Update

Episcopal Café reports receiving the following:

UPDATE: Clarification from The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office:
The letter from the Secretary General to members of the Anglican Communion seeks opinions on the priorities for the ministry of the next Archbishop. The responses to that will be available to the members of the Crown Nominations Commission. This is the first time this has been done.
In a separate letter to all Primates and Provincial Secretaries the same question about the priorities for the ministry of the next Archbishop is asked, together with a request for nominations, as on previous occasions.

Sincerely,

Kenneth.

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MarkBrunsonErika BakerLaurence RobertsJCFdavid wilson Recent comment authors
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Marshall Scott
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I have to admit to some ambivalence about this. On the one hand, a wider sense of the priorities of folks across the Communion might just crack some of the insularity that seems to have surrounded Canterbury generally and the current incumbent particularly. On the other hand, I wonder if this would only reinforce someone’s image that there is a worldwide Anglican Church, and not an Anglican Communion of autocephalous churches

Jeremy
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Jeremy

This smacks of ecclesiastical imperialism, plain and simple.

What other province would ask the entire world who should lead the province?

What part of primus inter pares does the Church of England fail to understand?

Fr James
Guest
Fr James

I agree with you Jeremy, but the problem is that if the rest of the Communion were not consulted like this then people would complain that the CofE wasn’t being open about the process, and given that the ABC is primus inter pares in the Communion, the Communion ought to have some sort of hand in the process… Couldn’t win either way I suppose!

Father David
Guest
Father David

If the Roman Catholic branch of the universal Church can successively elect a Pole and a German as pope after centuries of Italians – who knows who may become the next Cantuar if the net is spread further afield? After all – last time round it was a pretty daring move to look next door to the Province of Wales to rustle up Rowan for Canterbury with all his formidable intellect and holiness.

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

I think it’s a terrible idea. It would support the erroneous notion that the ABC should have some kind of influence over the other provinces of the Communion, but his views are no more important than those of any other bishop. I also strongly oppose the idea that the ABC should come from some other Anglican province (well, Wales is still part of the UK). Let the C of E tend to its own affairs and let the rest of us tend to our own.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

James, it’s only when the ABC doesn’t like the primus-inter-pares concept that it becomes difficult. In other words, it would be easy if the ABC (or the institutions that surround him) would understand, and abide by, his very limited role. Twenty years ago, all the ABC did was invite people to garden parties. The only reason the CofE “can’t win” either way, as you put it, is because the ABC is getting too big for his britches. Dr. Williams’s departure from his office is of a piece with his conduct in it. He wants to justify the office’s aggrandisement, so… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

If the Commission to appoint the next Archbishop of Canterbury is open to the opinions of everyone in the Communion – attractive as this may sound initially – this means that the GAFCON Provinces, which have already distanced themselves from the See of Canterbury, may, by sheer numbers, gain some advantage over the more moderate Provinces who are loyal to Canterbury, and want the future ABC to be less able to be influenced by the bullying tactics of the likes of GAFCON, who have issued their own quasi-Anglican prospectus in the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’. Can one be sure that the Commission… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Time for a nice Desmond Tutu- Una Kroll job share ? This could restore Canterbury’s credibility. But only giants of the spirit, like these could do it.

or else abolish the bl–dy thing altogether, as a lost cause.

Or include a lay person in the shared post.

Time to THINK outside the tiny little old sexist classist box !

If you doubt me – think on Jesus’ message of radical forgiveness (It is Easter for crying out loud) – then anything becomes possible…

Or maybe the C of E believes in, neither radical forgiveness or Easter !

MarkBrunson
Guest

The CofE could’ve “won” if their head-boy had kept himself head of his church and not tried to be the Great Welsh Pope.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

One other point. Canon Kearon tells us that the Archbishop of Canterbury is “the Focus of Unity for the Anglican Communion.”

I thought that a bishop is the focus of unity within a diocese.

Is the claim to being the “Focus of Unity” for the Communion effectively a claim that the entire Communion is the Archbishop’s diocese?

MarkBrunson
Guest

If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sorts.
You must be kind.
You must be witty,
Very sweet and fairly pretty,
Take us on outings, give us treats,
Sing songs, bring sweets.
Never be cross or cruel,
Never give us castor oil or gruel.
Love us as a son and daughter,
And never smell of barley water.
If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Mark, we already have a Nanny State in England – the last thing we need is a Nanny Archbishop. Rather than Mary Poppins as the next Cantuar we need a Shenouda III.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

When an English diocesan bishop is appointed, there is wide consultation by the secretariat of the Crown Appointments Commission. Leaders of community organisations, business, other churches, other faiths are all asked whether they have any view on the sort of person needed for the post. Doubtless in the case of an new ABC, the Commission Secretariat feels it right that there should be a global dimension to this. It is not an opportunity for people to press specific candidates – the GAFCON lobby could not achieve the appointment of Nazir-Ali or Okoh simply by shouting louder, but an opportunity for… Read more »

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

Episcopal Cafe posted an update, a “clarification from The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon…” that affirms the letter seeking opinions from the Anglican Communion on priorities for ministry of the next ABC. Then, the clarification goes on, “In a separate letter to all Primates and Provincial Secretaries the same question about the priorities for the ministry of the next Archbishop is asked, together with a request for nominations, as on previous occasions.” So, it is, and evidently has always been, an opportunity to put forward specific candidates. The link to the Episcopal Cafe article is here.
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/archbishop_of_canterbury/share_your_views_on_the_next_a.html

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I don’t need to imagine conspiracies. Canterbury has interfered with other provinces long enough.

Fortunately, the Church of England itself has now flatly rejected Canterbury’s centralizing Covenant.

This latest announcement is merely another, subtler bid for interprovincial legitimacy.

Perhaps it’s frustrating for Lambeth’s latest machination to be labeled for what it is.

But face facts. Trust in Canterbury, and the ABC’s international influence, have both sunk quite low.

It’s not a good time for Lambeth to seem to be advancing the same centralizing agenda, just more covertly.

commentator
Guest
commentator

May I say what I have said elsewhere on Thinking Anglicans? The Bishop is the SOURCE of Unity because s/he is the source of Holy Order in the diocese. The bishop is not the FOCUS of unity as we are all allowed to disagree and to have opinions of our own. But it is the bishop who ordains and/or validates those ordained elsewhere. The ABC is a primus inter pares but is primarily a SOURCE of unity in his own Province as the principal consecrator of bishops.

John Bunyan
Guest
John Bunyan

Jeremy is wrong. In the past, Archbishops of Canterbury did much more than invite those of other parts of the Communion to garden parties. An Australian,I remember the warm welcome for Archbishop Coggan in Canberra fifty years ago, or that for Archbishop Runcie in Goulburn at the completion of the cathedral tower. I think, for example, not least of the courteous but courageous visit of our present, distinguished spiritual leader, Archbishop Rowan,only recently to Zimbabwe.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I, too, remember the warmth extended to Archbishop Michael Ramsey (of blessed memory) on his visit to Aotearoa/New Zealand a long time ago. His first Liturgical Reception was held in the Auckland Town Hall; and after his inspirational sermon, he was processed down the centre aisle, in cope and mitre with pastoral staff, and seemingly everyone in the audience knelt for his Blessing. Wondrous days of loving togetherness in the association with the see of Canterbury. Are those days really gone?

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I would find it difficult to describe Rowan Williams as a “courageous” spiritual leader. If anything he took a very cowardly road in the shabby treatment of gay candidates for bishop in England and by his deplorable exclusionary position taken over Bishop Gene Robinson’s attendance at Lambeth. I believe Rowan Williams was weak in his so called leadership when it came to dealing with the glbt community and women moving to positions of leadership in the Church. I do think Jeremy may have this right. I agree with his assessment of Rowan Williams. It appears Rowan wanted an Anglican type… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Feel my faith in the Church restored by the Chrism Mass at Southwark.

Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer
Guest
Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer

Guessing that those who thought up and publicized this are not those who will be stuck with wading through and winnowing the replies.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

As to whether a magisterium would have developed out of the Covenant, I believe there was a divided opinion on this and that Rowan thought it was not inevitable. His Holiness, I am informed, thought it was. Even those who have supported this present Covenant and who do not want or hope for a magisterium, then go on to say that “the next step after the Covenant is to find a formula on advising the Communion on what is and what is not adiaphora”. I’m sorry – but that sounds like a group of people telling us what we must… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Egad — previous Archbishops of Canterbury traveled?

david wilson
Guest
david wilson

I pray we get a David – a man after God’s own heart – rather than a Saul of the people’s choice

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Stop imagining conspiracies. And recognise that someone over the retiring age of 70 isn’t going to be appointed, nor is someone who isn’t a British citizen, nor, sadly, is a woman”

The beatings will continue until morale improves, eh crypto? O_o

***

I’m ambivalent about this effort, truthfully. It’s difficult to object to gathering information (opinions), in principal. It’s only the possible outcome—“we’ve listened your opinions, now Submit to Authority!” (the Vatican model)—which is so potentially problematic.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

JCF,
nothing to do with beatings but with the CoE being an established church and the ABC automatically having a seat in the House of Lords and therefore being part of the legislative bodies of the UK.
Non British nationals cannot be members of the British law making bodies.

And as we don’t yet have any women bishops it’s 100% impossible for the next ABC to be a woman.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Yeah, I get that, Erika. I was mainly reacting to cryptogram’s tone.

Regardless of whether the CofE hears from a mere Colonial like my Yank self on this subject, you will have my prayers as the Church By Law Established makes its choice.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

any one COULD be the next abc even a woman or someone from over the seas- if they are wanted !
Where there’s a will there’s a way !

THE way of Jesus is not about worldly pomp and power.

I would appoint someone who embodies the opposite of what most church pundits pronounce.

Let’s have *an unordained person * who is godly and prayerful rather than some prelate –

we’ve tried the prelates !

* no need to gasp and splutter ! *

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence,
that might all be possible if the church was disestablished.
Until then, there simply isn’t a way.

The more impotant question, to my mind, is why the historic fact that the ABC is the primus inter pares of the Anglican Communion should not be changed.
If we really want unity and a greater sense of communion, wouldn’t it be better if the office was filled by rotation from all the provinces?

MarkBrunson
Guest

Erika, it’s a question I’ve raised from a different angle, before, and, perhaps because of the direction I took, that’s why. My point was that the Bishop of Rome could come from anywhere in the Roman Catholic world, so, how could a position that can only be filled by a person from one particular governance be considered a focus and expression of unity for a worldwide communion? If the ABC is to be head, shouldn’t the ABC be subject to being chosen *by* the AC at large and *from* the AC at large, not by a Crown Committee from the… Read more »