DAY 1 - 30 May, 2012
• Anglican Communion needs to consider “a mixed economy”
• Consideration of the Covenant should continue until after ACC-15
• Global ecumenical talks are “moving forward”
The Standing Committee—comprising elected members of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Standing Committee and the Archbishop of Canterbury—met for its three-day annual meeting in London, England, yesterday (Wednesday). Only the Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, the Most Reverend Daniel Deng Bul was unable to attend after not getting a travel visa. Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi (who is also the new Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa) is attending as his alternate.
As the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is meeting later this year, the Standing Committee agenda is lighter than previous years. Nevertheless, members still met from 9am until 6pm during considering agenda items including finance, membership of the ACC, and the lease of St Andrew’s House.
Other topics included a short review by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon, of the process of election of a Primate to the Crown Nomination Committee. Canon Kearon also presented his annual report to the committee which highlighted, among other things, the positive progress of the global ecumenical talks (Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues, Anglican-Methodist dialogues, etc.) He told the committee that such conversations were moving forward, on from solely doctrinal issues towards greater co-operation.
The Standing Committee received an update on the progress of the Anglican Communion Covenant. It was noted that eight Provinces had endorsed the Covenant to date, in some cases with a degree of qualification. They were the only responses received so far by the Secretary General. The committee also noted that the President, Chair, and Vice-Chair all hold their offices other than as representatives of their Provinces.
There was general agreement that no timeframe should yet be introduced for the process of adoption of the Covenant by Provinces. The Standing Committee will return to this question following ACC-15.
The first day of the meeting also saw members of the Finance Committee and Director for Finance, Tim Trimble, present the Report and Financial Statements for 2011 to the Standing Committee.
While the report indicated that an increased number of Provinces had paid their inter-Anglican contribution in 2011, a graph revealed that, since 2005, the amount given by Provinces to the work of the Anglican Communion has largely remained at the same level. It is the increase in restricted/grant funding, sourced by Anglican Communion Staff and others, that has allowed the work of that office, and of the Anglican Network members, plus other official commissions, committees and working groups to grow.
It was suggested, though not resolved, that there should be some more thought about “a mixed economy” in which Anglican Communion work is funded through a range of ways.