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/
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.