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Explanatory note: The Anglican Consultative Council

ACNS 3949
[Episcopal News Service]  In reference to the Primates Meeting communiqué, 24 February 2005:

There are four instruments of unity that serve the world wide family of Anglican/Episcopal churches. They are: The Lambeth Conference (meets every 10 years, for bishops); the Primates Meetings (regular meetings for the senior archbishops and bishops of the 38 Provinces); the Anglican Consultative Council (meeting every 3 years or so, includes laity, bishops, priests, deacons); and the Archbishop of Canterbury in his international role as primus inter pares.

The communiqué issued 24 February mentions the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in particular and its meeting set for June 2005 in England. (The meetings are held in different parts of the Anglican Communion, the last meeting in 2002 was in Hong Kong.)

Among the ACC functions are:

1. Sharing information about developments in the provinces and to serve as an instrument of common action, often by resolutions or initiating programs.

2. Advising on inter-Anglican relationships and formations of new provinces.

3. Sharing resources of all kinds and support for the mission of the global church.

4. To engage in important ecumenical dialogues and interfaith work on an international level.

5. Each province pays toward the inter Anglican budget for the ongoing work set forth by the ACC and the other instruments of unity as required.

The ACC membership includes from one to three persons from each province. Both the USA and Canada have three members each.

The ACC staff includes directors of finance and administration, mission and evangelism, ecumenical and theological studies and communication. The Secretary General serves as the secretary of the ACC meetings and the Archbishop of Canterbury is the president.

The current chairman of the ACC is the Rt. Revd John Paterson, Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand.

The Secretary General is the Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon.