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.
ANGLICAN CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
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 17th Session of the ACC (ACC17) met in Hong Kong, from 28 April to 5 May 2019.
The Province of Australia was represented at ACC17 by:
The then Primate, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, attended as a representative of the Primates’ Meeting.
The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO – Diocese of Perth
The Ven Arthur Copeman – Diocese of Newcastle
Mr Garth Blake AM SC – Diocese of Sydney
The Rev’d Heiden Kunoo attended as a youth delegate representing the Oceania region.
Ms Anne Hywood, General Secretary, attended as an observer at the final two days of ACC17 along with other invited Provincial Secretaries.
The 18th Session of the ACC is scheduled to be held in West Africa.
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 last Primates’ Meeting was held in Amman Jordan 2020 and was attended by the then Primate, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier.
PRIMATES’ TASK GROUP
Archbishop Philip Freier is a member of a task group established by the Archbishop of Canterbury to “maintain conversation” among the Primates of the Anglican Communion, as requested during the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting in January 2016. The Primates asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish the group as part of their commitment to “walk together” despite “deep differences”.
The Lambeth Conference of bishops from throughout the Communion meets every 10 years, at the personal invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The last conference was held in 2008. The next conference was to be held in mid-2020 but was re-scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be held in Canterbury from 27 July to 8 August 2022.
The Anglican Church of Australia actively engages with the following networks:
Inter-Anglican Safe Church Commission and Anglican Communion Safe Church Network
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.
International Anglican Womens’ Network (IAWN)
Ms Ann Skamp (Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn) is the Provincial link to the IAWN.
The Province of Australia is invited each year to nominate a woman to join the Anglican delegation to the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women.
The Rev’d Dr Ruwan Palapathwala has been appointed as the regional representative on the Anglican Interfaith Commission.
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).