THE diocese of North West Australia has declared itself in
communion with the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), and has
recognised it as a member Church of the Anglican Communion.
The diocese - the largest diocese in Australia by size, but with
a population of only 150,000 - also welcomed the forthcoming
investiture of Dr Foley Beach as the Archbishop of ACNA (News, 27
June) in a resolution passed by its synod last weekend.
The motion came to the synod in response to reported comments by
the Archbishop of Canterbury that ACNA was not a member of the
Anglican Communion, but a separate Church, the Bishop of North West
Australia, the Rt Revd Gary Nelson, said.
His diocese "does not hold the view that membership of the
Anglican Communion is a function of communion with Canterbury, or
requires recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury", Bishop
The Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, Canon Mark
Thompson, has labelled Archbishop Welby's comments "a gigantic slap
in the face to the Primates who represent the vast bulk of
practising Anglicans around the world, and who, meeting in London
in April 2009, recognised the Anglican Church in North America 'as
Canon Thompson said: "We must deny categorically, and in the
strongest possible terms, that communion with the see of Canterbury
is the determining factor when it comes to Anglican identity. It is
not, and never can be."