Anglican Communion

 The Anglican Church of Australia is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Episcopal family consists of an estimated 85 million Christians who are members of 44 different Churches. These make up 38 Member Churches (Provinces) and six other national or local churches known as Extra Provincials, spread around the world.

The Anglican Church of Australia is a Province of the Anglican Communion and participates in the life of the Communion through the engagement of its members with the Instruments of the Communion.


The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four Instruments of Communion. Its role is to facilitate the co-operative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion, exchange information between the Provinces and churches, and help to co-ordinate common action. It advises on the organisation and structures of the Communion, and seeks to develop common policies with respect to the world mission of the Church, including ecumenical matters.

The ACC membership includes representation from each province and it meets approximately every 3 years.

The 18th Session of the ACC (ACC18) met in Accra, Ghana, from 12-19 February 2023.

The Province of Australia was represented at ACC18 by:
The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO – Diocese of Perth
The Ven Arthur Copeman – Diocese of Newcastle
Justice Debra Mullins AO –  Diocese of Brisbane

The Rev’d Heiden Kunoo attended as a youth delegate representing the Oceania region.

Ms Anne Hywood, General Secretary, was invited to attend as a co-opted member in her capacity as Convenor of the Provincial Secretaries Network.


The Primates of the Anglican Communion are the chief Archbishops, Presiding Bishops, Moderators and chief pastors of the 42 provinces.

The Archbishop of Canterbury convenes their meetings and sessions are chaired by different primates.

Primates’ Meetings are held at varying intervals around the world. The next meeting will take place in Rome from 29 April to 2 May 2024.

The Primates have no authority as a body and their own national churches determine how their ministry is carried out in their own context.

The Primates’ Meeting was established in 1978 by Archbishop Donald Coggan (101st Archbishop of Canterbury) as an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation” and has met regularly since.


The Lambeth Conference is an international meeting of Anglican bishops. The conference discusses church and world affairs and the global mission of the Anglican Communion for the decade ahead. 

Meeting around every ten years since 1867, the Lambeth Conference is one of the four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion.

The fifteenth Lambeth Conference met in Canterbury in 2022. The theme was to explore what it means to be ‘God’s Church for God’s World’. The bishops also discussed a number of Lambeth Calls on ten themes, relevant to church life and the world today.


The Anglican Church of Australia actively engages with the following commissions and networks coordinated by the Anglican Communion Office:

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall AC is a member of the International Commission for the Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue (ICAOTD).

Mr Garth Blake SC (Diocese of Sydney) has been appointed to be the representative of the Province of Australia on the Inter-Anglican Safe Church Commission. It was established at the 16th Session of ACC and he has since been appointed Chair.

The Rev’d Dr Ruwan Palapathwala has been appointed as the regional representative on the Anglican Interfaith Commission.

Archdeacon Arthur Copeman serves on the Church Planting Network which is a subcommittee of the Commission on Evangelism and Mission.

Bishop Peter Stuart has been appointed to IARCCUM (International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission).

Bishop Richard Treloar serves on IASCUFO (Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith & Order).

Bishop Matt Brain serves on the Anglican Communion Science Commission.

The Rev’d Dr Raewynne Whiteley serves on the Commission for Theological Education.

Bishop Murray Harvey serves on the Anglican Communion Health and Community Network’s (ACHCN) Community of Practice for Mental Health.

Dr Philip Hughes serves as the Provincial Representative to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN).


The Anglican Alliance brings together Anglican churches and agencies who work in development, relief and advocacy to combat poverty and injustice. It is not a relief agency but works with relief agencies to coordinate and provide linkages.

Australia is represented on the Anglican Alliance Advisory Committee by:

The Rev’d John Deane, Executive Director, Anglican Board of Mission – Australia
Bishop Alison Taylor, Diocese of Brisbane
The Rev’d Brian Kirk is also involved as a representative of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC).