Finance and administration1
Director of Finance Andrew Franklin and ACC consultant and Vice Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee Robert Fordham presented the Report of the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee meeting and of the report of the external auditors Mazars. For new members Mr Franklin explained that income comes primarily from Inter-Anglican budget contributions, from the Compass Rose Society, from the guest house at St Andrew’s House and from other sources including publications and occasional gifts. This year’s income was good he said. In fact, it was better than expected, although less than the previous year. Mr Fordham reported that the auditors had given the finances “a clean bill of health”.
Responses from the committee to the presentation included an agreement to explore the desirability of employing a professional fundraiser. Another resolution was passed that the Director for Communications should find ways of sharing with the Anglican Communion the Report and Financial Statements of the ACC, in particular the work across the Communion facilitated by the Anglican Communion Office.
There was also a presentation on the Inter-Anglican contributions and it was noted that the amount of contributions had dropped overall by 9.6% in 2010 in part because of financial pressures within Provinces and also because some Member-Churches failed to pay their contribution. There was some discussion about how the contributions from each Member-Church should best be calculated. It was resolved that several members should undertake a review of this.
Early in 2010, the external auditors requested that the Standing Committee should have a Code of Governance. Since that time Mr Fordham has been working to produce such a document with the input of the Standing Committee, the Finance and Administration Committee and the ACC’s legal advisor Revd Canon John Rees. The final draft of the Code, with a slight amendment, was accepted by the Standing Committee.
Lambeth Conference Company
Canon Rees, reported that, to reduce the chance of a conflict of interest on the Board, two proposed changes to the company were a) to appoint two independent directors, with b) one of those being the Chair of the board. The committee agreed to appoint Professor Michael Wright CBE DL, Professor Emeritus of Canterbury Christ Church University as one of the independent directors and the Chair of the Lambeth Conference Company. This appointment will take effect when the changes have been approved by The Charity Commission for England and Wales.
Canon Rees also reviewed for the committee the guidelines on member representation on the Anglican Consultative Council. It was agreed that, due to the pending ACC in 2012, the Secretary General would write to all Member-Churches concerning expected membership representation at that meeting.
The committee also decided that no additional member would be co-opted to the replace Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe of The Church of Ceylon who has retired from active ministry and therefore has vacated his place on the committee. This is because of the close proximity of ACC-15.
Letters to earthquake-affected Provinces
Letters of sympathy and support were drafted, agreed and will be sent to the Churches of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Nippon Sei Ko Kai in Japan and the Province of Myanmar.
Network for Interfaith Concerns
Stuart Buchanan began by demonstrating the new online interactive book on interfaith relations called Generous Love subtitled The Truth of the Gospel and the Call to Dialogue for use by Christian groups. This book that will be hosted on www.anglicancommunion.org
Director for Theological Studies Clare Amos talked about the pending report and study guide on Christian Zionism which the ACC had commissioned. She said that the project was on target and expected to be completed by early next year. She and colleague The Revd Rana Youab Khan also commended to the committee the Muslim-Christian digest containing “lots of useful up-to-date material”. She also said there is a Communion conference due to be held in December 2011 celebrating 100 years of Anglican-interfaith engagement.
They also reflected on the Anglican-interfaith work over the past year (in particular the Anglican al-Azhar Dialogue Joint Committee Meeting for Dialogue) and pending meetings such as the Anglican-Jewish dialogue planned for June 2011 in Jerusalem.
Advocacy for Christians in minority situations
Mrs Amos asked the committee to consider whether there needed to be wider Communion thinking about how to support and advocate on behalf of Christian minorities or Christians in situations of persecution or discrimination. Committee members including Bishop Paul Sarker, Archbishop Paul Kwong, Canon Elizabeth Paver and The Revd Maria Cristina Borges Alvarez shared their experiences and challenges of interfaith issues in their own contexts. After this, the committee agreed to encourage the holding of a discussion of the theological principles underpinning human dignity at ACC-15, perhaps involving representatives of the International Anglican Networks in that discussion.