Mission - Commissions - MISAG II

Report of the Mission Agencies working group to MISAG II

Sections

Background

MISAG I emphasised the need for transparency between Agencies, Dioceses and Provinces and the need to share information and co-operation together.  As a result the ACC recommended that a Mission Agencies Conference should be arranged with substantial representation from Churches in the South.  This took place in Brisbane in 1986.

The Mission Agencies Working Group (MAWG) was established by the Brisbane Conference to carry forward co-operation among the agencies in a number of specific tasks.  The formation of MAWG and the tasks given to it were endorsed by ACC 7 in Singapore.

MAWG has made regular report to the ACC through MISAG II.  In their later meetings, a member of MISAG II and MAWG have been represented at each other's meetings.   MAWG held its last meeting in May 1992 and now makes this final report.

Completion of the work given to MAWG by ACC 7

The tasks under paragraphs 1-5 were given to MAWG by ACC-7

  1. Co-ordinating Agencies' responses to agreed PIM priorities.
    This task initially took up a good deal of time trying to gather information about responses to four particular PIM Consultations by means of questionnaires.  After discussion of the difficulties faced in attempting to monitor the responses it was agreed to discontinue the experiment and seek other methods of co-ordinating agencies responses.  The data-gathering system recorded in section 2 was the method which was pursued.

  2. Assisting the ACC to develop a system of data-gathering.
    ACC 7 asked MAWG `to assist the ACC in developing a system of data gathering' for the Anglican Communion.  In the light of discussions with Revd Fred Howard, MAWG recommended to the ACC Standing Committee that this task be transferred to IAIN and that `MAWG concentrate on gathering data from the mission agencies as a nucleus for a database which would be of use to the whole Communion in fostering co-operation between the agencies'.  This recommendation was accepted.

    With the help of a grant from Trinity Church, New York, computer hardware and software have been purchased and a database is being developed by Mr Douglas Fryer of the Church of England General Synod Statistics Department.  After a pilot scheme had been tested and amended, a questionnaire was circulated to all mission agencies in the Anglican Communion.  To date 33 replies have been received with information about the nature of their agency, the type of work it supports, its income and expenditure, details of transfer of personnel and resources, etc.  This database was further considered at the meeting of MAWG in May 1992.  The following points were agreed:
    1. to accept the proposal of MISAG II that the database will be handed over to the proposed Mission Commission in early 1994 so that it can form the basis of a wider database of the whole Communion.
    2. to ask Mr Douglas Fryer to continue to give staff time until 1994 to update (but not to expand) the data from the Anglican mission agencies so that it contains accurate information for the years 1990,91,92 and 93.
    3. to appoint two people (as requested by MISAG II) to represent the mission agencies in advising Mr Fryer and being a reference point between him and the agencies during the period 1992-94.  The two people appointed are The Revd Canon John Ball and Mr John Clark.
    4. to ask this group to produce an annual report containing some of the information gleaned from this database and make this available to Anglican mission agencies and Provinces on the understanding that information over such a short period does not form the basis for accurate decision making.  However, Mr Fryer should not be asked to respond to specific requests for further information at this stage.
    5. to ask Trinity Church New York to continue to assist with the funding.

  3. Assisting the ACC to draft Guidelines for Companion Diocese relations throughout the Communion.
    MAWG drafted guidelines for Companion Diocese relations and distributed them widely throughout the Anglican Communion for comment.  After further consultation and adjustment the Guidelines were submitted to and approved by the ACC Standing Committee at Cardiff in 1990.  The Guidelines are included in the MISAG II report to ACC 9.

  4. Exploring the feasibility of establishing loan funds in various parts of the Communion.
    After careful consideration and advice from MAWG the Provinces of Brazil and Tanzania were asked and have prepared viable loan schemes in local currencies as pilot projects to which agencies are being requested to make grants.  MAWG has asked USPG to coordinate and liaise this work and assist in any training needed.

    MAWG asks that liaison reports about these pilot projects from USPG and further proposals for the loan scheme should be considered by the proposed Mission Commission.

  5. Undertaking research on criteria for appropriate Development programmes.
    As requested by ACC-7 MAWG drew up a set of draft guidelines in the form of questions to help mission agencies and Churches identify aspects of good development activities in the light of planning for the overall mission of the Church.  These were sent to provincial secretaries or other appropriate officers in nine Provinces or Churches in full Communion for their comments and to members of the Development Network.  The Guidelines were revised and are included in the MISAG II report to ACC-9.

Other work completed by MAWG

In addition to the above tasks which MAWG was charged to undertake by the Brisbane Conference and ACC, it has also completed work on the following:

  • Partnership Visit Guidelines.
    MAWG drafted guidelines for Partnership Visits and distributed them widely throughout the Anglican Communion for comment.  After further consultation amendments were made.  These Guidelines were recommended by MISAG II and with minor editing changes will be presented to ACC-9 as part of the MISAG II report.

  • Standard Request Form for Personnel
    MAWG was made aware of the problems caused by the multiplicity of various forms for requests for personnel which are used in the Anglican Communion.  After consulting with many of the agencies and some of the Provinces MAWG has prepared a form that might be used by any church/agency requesting personnel from another.  It is hoped that many agencies and churches will soon begin to used these standard request forms for personnel.
  • Anglican Encounter in the South
    MAWG has encouraged mission agencies to support this Conference.

Unfinished MAWG initiatives

MAWG has also discussed the following matters which it hopes will be taken up through the ACC

  • Work on Preparation for the Movement for Mission Conference.
    Originally it was thought that there would be another mission agencies conference similar to that in Brisbane.  However, the concept developed of a wider Conference involving, to a greater degree, both Provinces and Mission Agencies from the South as well as the North.  This concept was adopted by MISAG II and ACC Standing Committee.  MISAG II developed this further to include the mid-point review of the Decade of Evangelism.

    MAWG suggests to the ACC-9 that a planning group be set up immediately after the ACC-9 meeting in 1993 (and not wait for the proposed Mission Commission's first meeting in 1994) in order to establish a budget for this Conference and to look a various ways of raising funds.

  • Personnel Exchange.
    MAWG has begun to look at some areas of personnel exchange and compared the practices of the present Anglican mission agencies under the following subjects:
    • pastoral care
    • medical policy
    • selection of missionaries
    • cultural orientation and adjustment
    • relationships between the sending churches, missionary personnel and the receiving churches
    • employment accountability, contractual agreement and work reviews
    • employment and payment of missionaries
    • continuing education and development
    • orientation and re-entry to home country
    Using this work as a basis, MAWG recommends that the proposed Mission Commission give further study to guide agencies and churches in the care of missionaries (wherever they come from or go to).  Such study may become part of the Movement for Mission Conference.

  • Short term 'volunteer' programmes.
    After considerable discussion it was decided that this should be a potential agenda item for the Movement for Mission Conference.

  • Anglican Scholarships.
    Some discussion and considerable research has been undertaken on behalf of MAWG.  MAWG noted that it does not seem feasible to have one united scholarship programme for the whole Anglican Communion.  However, there are matters concerning scholarship programmes in the Anglican Communion which MAWG recommends are taken up by ACC.

This final report of MAWG was prepared by the members meeting in May 1992 who signatures are attached.  However, they would also like to express their thanks to others who also shared in earlier meetings of MAWG:  Mr George Cram, The Revd Patrick Mauney, Mr Robin Gibson, The Revd Canon Burgess Carr, Mrs Margaret Larom and the Revd Canon Sam Van Culin.  In particular their thanks are due to The Revd Canon (now Bishop) Humphrey Taylor who was the convener for the first five meetings and to the late Revd Canon Martin Mbwana who as the ACC Associate Secretary for Mission and Social Issues shared in the first two meetings.

The Revd Canon John Ball
The Rt Revd Simon Chiwanga
The Revd Noel Derbyshire
The Revd Mark Harris
Dr Eleanor Johnson
The Rt Revd Kenneth Mason
The Revd Canon Peter Price
The Revd Dr Cyril Okorocha (ACC)
Miss Marjorie Murphy (ACC)

May 1992.