Resolution 15.01: Anglican Communion Environmental Network
Note ACEN report: ‘Crisis and Commitment: Final Report, Lima Statement and Action Plan of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network Meeting in Lima, Peru, August 2011’, http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/reports/index.cfm.
Seven ACEN Sabbath Reflections, written by Bishop George Browning, http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/resources/documents.cfm.
Resolution 15.02: Anglican Health Network
Note to (3): A descriptive document for the ‘Promoting health communities’ initiative can be viewed or downloaded at www.anglicanhealth.org.
Resolution 15.03: Anglican Indigenous Network
Acknowledging the witness of Scripture to set free God-given gifts of leadership ‘to equip the saints for ministry’ (Ephesians 4:11-13: ‘The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.’),
Resolution 15.04: Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network
Note to 4(c): The text of International Labour Organization convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers (ILO 189) is available on-line http://tinyurl.com/basbk9q. An explanatory summary of ILO 189 is on-line at http://tinyurl.com/8zs36qs.
Resolution 15.05: Birth Registration
noting the importance of the proper registration of the births of children, and the scale of under-registration and its impact on children’s lives; and recognizing that the importance of birth registration is based on a theology of belonging and identity:
Note ‘Count Every Child’, IAFN’s Newsletter on birth registration and identity, November 2011: http://iafn.anglicancommunion.org/newsletters/2011/november/index.cfm.
IAFN’s birth registration blog: www.registerbirths.blogspot.co.uk.
Resolution 15.06: Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC)
Resolution 15.07: Gender-based and Domestic Violence
as part of its continuing commitment to the incorporation and realisation of Millennium Development Goal 3 ‘Promote gender equality and empower women’, as expressed in ACC resolutions 13.31 and 14.33:
Resolution 15.08: International Anglican Youth Network
Collect for Young People
You desire to welcome all your children:
In the beginning you reached out your hand
and brought forth offspring from the earth;
draw to yourself the young people of our community.
Guide and strengthen them,
to celebrate the joy of life that flows from you,
that in knowing you, they may know life in all its fullness;
through our eternal saviour,
Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
recognising and affirming:
commits itself to promoting the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, within the member churches of the Anglican Communion, and to this end calls upon all member churches to adopt and implement the following Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and report to the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to steps taken to adopt and implement the Charter.
Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion
Pastoral support where there is abuse
Effective responses to abuse
Practice of pastoral ministry
Suitability for ministry
Culture of safety
Resolution 15.10: The trafficking of persons
Recalling Exodus 2.23 ‘Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.’, and mindful of God’s liberating action through human history,
Note United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (the ‘Trafficking Protocol’):
English: www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf, page 41ff
Français: www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-f.pdf, page 41 et ss
Español: www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-s.pdf, página 43 y s
United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons:
ECPAT: End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, see www.ecpat.net
Resolution 15.11: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and related activities
calling to mind II Corinthians 5:17-20: ‘ So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God’, and
remembering that as ambassadors for Christ Christians are called to be reconciled and have been given the ministry of reconciliation, and
in light of the number of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions currently in process and the increasing movement towards forming Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in post-conflict or post-human rights abuse situations:
Note A background paper ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: An emerging issue for the Anglican Communion’ by Bishop Terry M Brown of the Anglican Church of Melanesia is on-line at http://apjn.anglicancommunion.org/media/53597/truth_and_reconcilation_commissions_terry_brown.pdf
Resolution 15.12: Violence and the Family
Note ‘Violence and the Family – Action Plan for the Churches to Tackle Abuse’, Report of IAFN’s Oceania consultation 2010:
Resolution 15.13: Anglican Lutheran International Commission
welcomes the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (‘To Love and Serve the Lord’, LWF 2012), commends the report to the churches of the Anglican Communion for study and action, endorses its recommendations, and in particular affirms the establishment of a Coordinating Committee to take this work forward.
Note The Jerusalem report asks both Communions:
1. a. To encourage our churches to pursue common development of a wide range of ministries and for the building up of Lutheran and Anglican relationships on all levels of ecclesial life and mission;
b. To challenge member churches to find ways in which they may do more together on all levels for disaster relief and to advocate on issues relating to climate change, illegitimate debt, HIV and AIDS, and other pressing social concerns of peace, justice, and the integrity of creation;
c. To encourage churches not in a relation of communion with each other to begin conversations around the invitations to shared diakonia, especially as it is developed in this report, and simultaneously to consider cooperation in diaconal projects;
d. In particular, to encourage the All Africa Anglican–Lutheran Commission to move to the formal signing of those agreements on full communion which have been agreed in various consultations since 1992 but not yet endorsed;
e. To encourage ways to be with one another in decision making (following the model of the 2013 joint meeting in Canada of the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s National Convention and the Anglican Church’s General Synod);
f. To encourage churches to revisit and continue to consider the recommendations from Growth in Communion, especially Recommendation 6, Paragraph 214 concerning ‘mutual visits and common action by church leaders’
g. To commend to the churches the appendix on Transitivity.
2. To continue regular Joint Staff Meetings, and to include a focus on possibilities for shared diakonia;
3. To seek opportunities to participate reciprocally in each other’s networks and programmes
4. To establish a Coordinating Committee to aid in taking the next steps
The proposed mandate for the Coordinating Committee is on page 44 of The Jerusalem Report.
A similar resolution has been adopted by the Lutheran World Federation’s Executive Council
15.14: Anglican-Old Catholic Relations
Resolution 15.15: Anglican-Reformed Relations
recommends the establishment of a dialogue with the World Communion of Reformed Churches, according to the Schema prepared at the exploratory talks.
Note In June 2011, exploratory talks were held between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, with a view to re-establishing a dialogue between them. There has not been a formal dialogue since the publication in 1984 of God’s Reign and our Unity, a report which has been influential, despite never having been received officially. These talks were very positive and a proposed Schema has been approved by IASCUFO.
The Schema proposes that the following topics be addressed:
and transmit ministerial authority and oversight
A recommendation to establish the talks is being sought from ACC-15 now and will also be sought from the Executive Committee of the WCRC. Due to the reorganisation of the Reformed Communions this work is likely not to begin immediately, but is hoped that it will start before ACC-16.
Resolution 15.16: Transitivity in Ecumenical Relationships
affirms the report on Transitivity and commends it to the member churches of the Communion, inviting them where appropriate to implement its recommendations on “Laying foundations for transitive relationships”
Note Transitivity is a term that is used in the ecumenical context. It is the question of the relationship of different ecumenical agreements to one another. The report on transitivity arose in the context of the Anglican-Lutheran international conversations. It is found at in the IASCUFO Report, Ecumenical Section.
Resolution 15.17: WCC Faith and Order Commission text 'The Church: Towards a Common Vision'
welcomes the publication of The Church: Towards a Common Vision, the convergence text of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, commends it to the member churches of the Anglican Communion for study, and requests those which are members of the World Council of Churches to send a copy to the Anglican Communion Office of their response to the WCC.
Resolution 15.18: Anglican Alliance
Resolution 15.19: Bible in the Life of the Church Project
Resolution 15.20: Communications
Resolution 15.21: Continuing Indaba
Resolution 15.23: Mission Department
Resolution 15.24: Christian Witness in a Multi-religious World
Note The document was produced jointly by the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the World Evangelical Alliance. It is an Appendix on pp 4 – 9 of the NIFCON Report.
Generous Love is a NIFCON document which identifies the discernment of a distinctive Anglican theology of inter-faith relations. It is available at www.nifcon.anglicancommunion.org/resources/generouslove and is available in English, Spanish, French and Urdu.
Resolution 15.25: Theological Education in the Anglican Communion
Resolution 15.26: Denial of Visas
Resolution 15.27: Anglican Communion Safe Church Network
Note The mission of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Consultation is:
This mission is to be accomplished through:
the provision of information and recommendations to the Instruments of Communion.
Resolution 15.28: Religious Minorities in Pakistan
Recognizing that the churches play a positive and developmental role in the public life of Pakistan, and that Christians contribute in the areas of health care, education (both formal and specialized), awareness of the need for a clean environment, gender justice, peace, and inter-faith relations;
and that the Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan, while protecting Islam and the Prophet, are vaguely formulated and are increasingly being arbitrarily enforced by the police and judiciary in a way which amounts to harassment and persecution:
Resolution 15.29: Greek Orthodox School of Theology
supports the immediate reopening of the respected Greek Orthodox School of Theology on the island of Halki, Turkey.
Resolution 15.30: Translation of key documents
Resolution 15.31: Capital Campaign
Requests the Secretary General to explore, and with the approval of the Standing Committee, implement as appropriate, a capital campaign to provide endowment income for programmes of the Anglican Communion.
Resolution 15.32: Land of Promise?
expresses its appreciation for NIFCONs report Land of Promise?: an Anglican exploration of Christian attitudes to the Holy Land, with special reference to Christian Zionism and requests that it be made available as a resource for the Provinces to study.
Resolution 15.33: Rites Relating to Marriage
Welcomes the Canterbury Statement of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 'Rites Relating to Marriage' and commends it to the Provinces for study.
Resolution 15.34: Sixth Mark of Mission
revises the Fourth Mark of Mission so that it reads as follows:
‘To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation’
Resolution 15.35: Peace in African Countries
Resolution 15.36: Lay Participation in the Work of the ACC
requests the Secretary General and the Standing Committee to ensure the increased participation of lay people in all of the Anglican Consultative Council’s commissions, councils, committees, working groups and other bodies.
Resolution 15.37: Practical Strategies for Implementing the Marks of Mission
recognizing in particular the fourth Mark of Mission: to seek to transform unjust structures, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation,
requests the Secretary General to identify practical strategies to provide support for Provinces across the Communion whose people are suffering with respect to the following issues:
and to communicate these strategies to the Provinces as soon as they are identified.
Resolution 15.38: ACC Written Statement to the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57)
Anglican Consultative Council Statement to the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) representing 85 million Anglican Christians in more than 165 countries has been in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 1985. The ACC is committed to seeking relief for all women and girls from the harsh and disproportionate consequences of conflict, poverty, violence, discrimination and the trauma of natural disasters on their lives and well-being. In view of the high priority given to this commitment, ACC delegations with membership drawn from across the world-wide Anglican Communion have been present at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in significant numbers for more than ten years and we particularly welcome the opportunity to participate in this 57th Session of UNCSW with its priority theme: Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.
We understand ‘gender based violence’ to be violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim, and which is derived from unequal power relationships between men and women. Violence is directed specifically against a woman or a girl because she is a woman or a girl, or affects women and girls disproportionately. It includes but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological harm, and it includes violence perpetrated or condoned by the community or by the state. Gender based violence may be hidden and shrouded in stigma but our experience is that it happens all over the world, in all our communities.
The ACC seeks immediate action to eradicate this and all forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls, including trafficking for sexual purposes. The ACC especially seeks to endorse, promote and emphasise that the work of preventing and eliminating gender based violence is the work of all – men and women, boys and girls. Although often considered a ‘women’s issue’, it is the responsibility of all sectors of our communities.
A core belief of the Christian faith is that women and men, girls and boys are cherished equally by God. In January 2011, a global gathering of Anglican church leaders wrote a Letter to the Churches of the Anglican Communion, saying: ‘Our churches must accept responsibility for our own part in perpetuating oppressive attitudes towards women. In penitence and faith we must move forward in such a way that our churches truly become a living witness to our belief that women and men are made in the image of God.’ Recognising the urgency of this issue, they committed themselves to working locally and strategically to eliminate gender based violence. In November 2012 their commitment was endorsed by the Anglican Consultative Council.
Our work towards preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls will build on action already being taken across the Anglican Communion and will take into account local experience, cultures, need and expertise. This action includes awareness raising, advocacy, education to change attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence, the care and reintegration into society of victims/survivors of violence, and working with perpetrators of violence.
We have highlighted the importance of, and will attend further to: the training of clergy and pastors so that they are aware of the nature and dynamics of gender based violence and how certain attitudes and behaviours can be challenged and transformed; participation in the White Ribbon campaign led by men and boys who condemn and act against violence against women and girls, and in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence; and, engagement with young people so that boys and girls, young men and young women, are enabled to honour themselves and one another and are empowered to be agents of change among their peers.
We urge all member states of the United Nations to:
The global cost of violence against women and girls, and its impact on development, economies and health is incalculable. Our experience is that its impact on human lives is also incalculable. The Anglican Communion with its presence throughout the world is well placed and is fully committed to challenging gender based violence and taking action. We look forward to our continued work with the United Nations, member states, other civil society groups and agencies, and local communities in preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls.
Resolution 15.39: Understanding of Continuing Indaba
noting the adoption of the resolution ACC-15.21 on Continuing Indaba,
understands Indaba to be a process of honest conversation that seeks to build community, energize mission, and provide a context in which conflict can be resolved.
Resolution 15.40: Thanks to Archbishop Rowan
authorizes the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary General to issue a letter of thanks to all those who have so graciously and generously assisted in making this Council’s meeting so fruitful for us all.
To the Anglicans of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, engä hoa aroha:
As the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council held in Auckland comes to a close, all involved in the meeting want to say that our hearts are full of gratitude and joy. We have been received with overwhelming love and hospitality. We have been welcomed once, welcomed twice, welcomed three times, and more. We express our gratitude to all lay people, clergy and bishops in Tikanga Maori, Tikanga Pasefika, and Tikanga Pakeha who have received us and accompanied us these many days.
We thank the Primates, the Most Revd Brown Turei, the Most Revd Winston Halapua, and the Most Revd David Moxon, and the host bishops: Bishop Ross Bay, Assistant Bishop Jim White, Te Kitohi Pikaahu, and all the other bishops of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. We thank the Ven Amanaki Tuitavake of the Tikanga Pasefika. We thank the Provincial Secretary, Michael Hughes, and the staff of the Provincial Office: Lloyd Ashton, Jayson Rhodes, Julanne Clarke-Morris, Gavin Wood and Marissa Alix. We thank the staff of the Diocese of Auckland, the Diocesan Secretary Kevin Third and Archdeacon Carole Hughes.
Special thanks are due to the Rt Revd John Paterson and all the members of the Local Arrangements Committee who have carried responsibility for this meeting for many months.
The ACC's meeting had the privilege and pleasure of visiting Turangawaewae on Thursday, November 1 (All Saints Day) and all were welcomed by King Tuheitia, the Kahui Ariki and the Iwi of Waikato Tainui. ACC-15 expresses its deep appreciation for the warm and gracious welcome by the King.
We are overwhelmingly grateful to the Very Revd Jo Kelly-Moore, the Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity which was our sacred space. Thanks beyond measure the Chapter, especially the Precentor the Revd Howard Leigh, the Revd Sarah Stevens, the musicians, office and Resource Centre staff, especially events managers Sarah Harris and Gill Blackler, We thank Mark Crowther, Barbara Wesseldine and Jane Bellamy, facilities team, volunteers and all members of the congregation. The Cathedral and St Mary’s Church gathered us in all of our worship, from the splendid opening Eucharist to the daily offices and Eucharist. We thank the other members of the chaplaincy team Revd Jenny Quince, Revd Dr Peter Wensor, Revd Rob McKay, Revd Orisi Vuki and Revd Lui Tuilotolava. In particular, we want to thank the parishioners of the Cathedral for their generous gift to the members of the ACC which made it possible for all who wished to go on one of the excursions on Saturday afternoon.
We are grateful for the work of Dr Jenny Plane Te Paa and her team of Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, the Ven Dr Lynda Patterson, the Revd Amy Chambers and the Rev Sarah Park who prepared and led us in our daily Bible studies on II Corinthians.
Welcome and Hosted Meals
On the opening day we were welcomed in a Powhiri for which we thank the hosts and the Mayor of Auckland Len Brown who so generously provided a civic lunch for our first meal together. We thank the young people and children of the Anglican schools who led us in, sang for us and posed difficult questions to three of our Primates. We thank Bishop Kitohi for organizing our own singing, thus contributing to our building of relationships with each other.
On three occasions we were welcomed to dinner: by Tikanga Maori, for whom we especially thank the Auckland Maori Mission, by Tikanga Pasefika, for whom we especially thank Archbishop Winston Halapua and all his people, and by Tikanga Pakeha, for whom we especially thank Archdeacon Carole Hughes and the people of the New Zealand Dioceses.
We thank the Stewards, led by Ellen Bernstein who helped us with so many things: welcoming us each morning, coping with rebellious photocopy machines, distributing papers, driving us to and from our hotels, and running errands, We thank them for the sign in their meeting area which read ‘Please join in ALL the singing and dancing.’ We thank the security staff led by Canon Lloyd Popata and Sergeants Paddy Whiu and Wayne Panapa.
We thank the many volunteers from parishes in the Diocese of Auckland who assisted in so many ways, especially those who served morning coffee and afternoon tea. We are grateful to those congregations which received us on All Saints Sunday and with whom we had energizing conversations about the mission of God in our ‘mission encounters’. Thanks are due to those who organized transportation to and from the airport, John and Christine Payne and Diane Clarke.
While members of ACC-15 were kept busy with the business of the Council, those accompanying them enjoyed a programme of excursions which enabled them to see more of the life the North Island. We thank all those who planned and led these trips, especially Marion Paterson and Paul Kelly-Moore. We were grateful for the presence with us for the first part of the meeting of Dr Jane Williams.
The hotel staffs at the Quality Inn Parnell, the Auckland Rose Park Hotel and the Chalet Chevron cared for our physical needs and were most attentive to our welfare. We thank them for their excellent and abundant food and for their cheerful spirit. We especially thank Wayne Darbyshire, General Manager, Reservations & Catering Managers and staff Sylvia Blundell, Josie Barreto, Litty Roberts and Phil Spathis.
We give glory to God for the gifts of all these people who have shared so generously with us throughout our time in this beautiful land.
Tena koutou! Tena koutou! Tena koutou katoa!
Expression of thanks:
ACC-15 gives thanks to God for the work of all those who have contributed to this meeting and to the work of the ACC since ACC-14 in Jamaica, especially the President, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams. We express heartfelt appreciation for the contributions of the Archbishop of Canterbury throughout this meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council: his sermon at the opening Eucharist, his extended reflection on II Corinthians on the quiet morning, his insights about family violence, the environment and Christian witness in a multi-faith society during the three public sessions, and his exposition on authority in his Presidential Address, and his wholehearted participation in the whole life of this meeting. Dioch yn fawr iawn!
the Chair, the Rt Revd James Tengatenga; the Vice Chair, Canon Elizabeth Paver; the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon; the members of the Standing Committee 2009-2012 and especially those who have completed their terms: Philippa Amable, María Cristina Borges Álvarez, Tony Fitchett, Kumara Ilangasinghe, Stanley Isaacs and Janet Trisk; Robert Fordham and the members of the Inter-Anglican Finance Committee 2009-2012; and John Rees, the ACC Legal Advisor.
We are particularly grateful to Stephen Lyon whose imaginative design and exceptional organizational skills created the space for the Council to conduct its business and do its consultative work well.
We are grateful for the work of all the staff the Anglican Communion Office, Lambeth Palace and co-opted staff who assisted with the preparation for this meeting and worked during it. We extend particular thanks to Lynne Butt who managed the exceptionally complicated travel arrangements and helped with the obtaining of visas, and to Stuart Buchanan who was prevented by illness from attending the meeting. Thanks to those who worked here in Auckland: Michael Ade, Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Rachel Chardon, Christine Codner, Paul Feheley, Jeff Goliher, Yoshimi Gregory, Phil Groves, John Kafwanka, Sally Keeble, Fiona Millican, Sue Parks, Angharad Parry Jones,Terrie Robinson, Tim Trimble, Joanna Udal and Neil Vigers.
Thanks to the translators Paul Cho, Sam Held, Margaret Lockstone, Sarah Patten, Anthea Delugar and Sister Dorothea.
Members of ACC
Thanks to members of the Council who had particular responsibility during this meeting:
Philippa Amable, the Chair of the Resolutions Committee and its members Garth Blake, Josephine Hicks and John Stuart; the facilitators of the Reflection Groups Helen Biggin, Herman Browne, Joanildo Burity, Dickson Chilongani, Sarah Macneil, Sue Moxley; convenors of the ecumenical self-select sessions Helen Biggin, Moses Chin, Maurice Elliott, Peter Elliott, Paul Kwong and Ulla Monberg.
We were blessed by the presence among us of six ecumenical participants, who cheerfully gave a long period of time to live in the midst of our Anglican family and to contribute in so many ways to the life and work of the meeting: Revd Professor Robert Gribben representing the World Methodist Council, Revd Dr Dong-Sung Kim representing the World Council of Churches, Monsignor Mark Langham representing the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Philip Lok representing the Lutheran World Federation, Fr Paul Patitsas representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Rt Revd Dirk Jan Schoon, a bishop in full communion representing the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht. We appreciate the greetings they brought us from Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; the Revd Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation; His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch; and Archbishop Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht.
The meeting was enriched by the presence for the first part of the meeting of many representatives of the Networks of the Anglican Communion and we thank them through their team leaders: Ann Skamp, Catherine Graham, Alan Crouch, Pierre Whalon, Virginia Doctor, John Rea, Ken Gray, Garth Blake, Delene Mark and Jamie Callaway. We thank also Claudette Kigeme who represented the We Will Speak Out Coalition.
Above all we give glory and praise to God for many gifts of grace through all this time.
A Letter to the Churches of the Anglican Communion from the Primates of
the Anglican Communion following their Primates’ Meeting in Dublin, Ireland,
between 24 and 30 January 2011
During our meeting we discussed the nature and prevalence of gender based violence.¹ Building on consideration of the issue during the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) conference of bishops in 2010, we shared stories of violence against women and girls from both the southern and northern hemispheres, including an account of unremitting sexual violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a legacy of conflict, and of domestic and many other forms of abuse in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. We acknowledged with grief that gender based violence is a global phenomenon and that all but a very small percentage of such violence is perpetrated by men against women, with devastating effects on individuals, families and society.
In considering the pervasive nature of violence against women and girls, our churches must accept responsibility for our own part in perpetuating oppressive attitudes towards women. In penitence and faith we must move forward in such a way that our churches truly become a living witness to our belief that both women and men are made in the image of God. To think and behave in ways that do not live out this belief but disempower and marginalise, is to mar the divine image and therefore to offend humanity and God.
In recent years we have seen a growing resolve in the Anglican Communion to engage with the eradication of gender based violence. In 2009 the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) resolved to support the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls and encouraged all Provinces to participate in programmes and events that promote the rights and welfare of women, particularly as expressed in the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals. The ACC also called on the churches to take appropriate steps to assist the healing of indigenous families, including the protection of women and children from violence and human trafficking.² The bishops gathered at the Lambeth Conferences of 1998 and 2008 considered violence within and beyond the Church and asked the churches to engage in raising public awareness about the victimisation and exploitation of women and children. We noted that several of the official Anglican Networks have raised violence against women and girls as a priority issue for their own memberships and for the broader Communion.
We were heartened to know that there is an increasing amount of work being undertaken in the Communion as churches engage with awareness raising, advocacy, changing attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence, the care and reintegration into society of victims/survivors of violence, and work with perpetrators of violence. We thank God for these efforts and rejoice in them, and we commit to strengthening our mission and ministry in these areas.
1 Defined by the United Nations in 1993 as ‘…violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’
2 ACC Resolutions 14.33: International Anglican Women’s Network, and 14.19: Anglican Indigenous Network
To this end we have asked the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, in association with the Networks and the Anglican Alliance, to continue to map activities already responding to gender based violence, and to identify theological and practical resources and consider how these might be made broadly available for reference and adaptation in other local contexts.
As individual Primates we are committed, in each of our Provinces, to raise the profile of Millennium Development Goal 3 (‘Promote gender equality and empower women’); to affirm and pray for God’s blessing on initiatives already in place in our dioceses and parishes in response to violence against women and girls; to gather other church and faith leaders together to discern what we might say and do together; and to attend to the training of clergy and pastors so that they are aware of the nature and dynamics of gendered violence and how certain attitudes and behaviours can be challenged and transformed. We are also committed to ensuring the development and accessibility of local, contextual and accessible resources, including liturgies, for example, for 25 November which is the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as well as White Ribbon Day,³ and the first day of the global ‘16 Days Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women’. Furthermore, through teaching and example, we will work with our young people so that our boys and girls, young men and young women, are enabled to honour themselves and one another as human beings cherished equally by God, and empowered to be agents of change among their peers.
3 White Ribbon is a movement of men and boys against violence against women and girls.