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Maggie Swinson elected to chair Anglican Consultative Council

16 February 2023

A lay canon of Liverpool Cathedral, she has been the ACC’s vice-chair since 2016

Neil Turner for ACO

Maggie Swinson reacts after being elected as the new Chair of the ACC on the fifth day of the Anglican Consultative Conference in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday

Maggie Swinson reacts after being elected as the new Chair of the ACC on the fifth day of the Anglican Consultative Conference in Accra, Ghana, on Thu...

MAGGIE SWINSON is to succeed Dr Paul Kwong as chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), after an unopposed election at its meeting in Ghana, it was announced on Thursday.

Ms Swinson, a lay canon of Liverpool Cathedral, has been the vice-chair since the ACC’s 16th meeting in Zambia in 2016.

On Friday morning it was announced that the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Dr Hosam Naoum, had been elected unopposed as the next vice-chair.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he was “delighted” at Ms Swinson’s election, and paid tribute to her previous work in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

After her election, Ms Swinson outlined her vision for the ACC, saying that the “key challenges” that it faced lay “in taking forward the mission of the Communion to serve the Kingdom; developing a governance structure which better reflects the instruments whilst maintaining the key voices of laity and non-episcopal clergy; developing a financial model which reduces reliance on member contributions and increases sustainability; and enabling all Provinces to continue to find a place within the Communion in spite of their differences”.

As vice-chair of the ACC, Ms Swinson chaired the Inter Anglican Finance and Administration Committee, and chaired the panel that appointed the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, formerly Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, as the Communion’s secretary-general (News, 14 June).

Bishop Poggo said that Ms Swinson’s election was “recognition of and a vote of thanks for her work in her previous role”.

Dr Naoum’s election as vice-chair was met with similar praise from Archbishop Welby and Bishop Poggo. The former said that Dr Naoum’s “deep spirituality, his calmness, and his love for the Church around the world makes him eminently suitable for this position”.

Bishop Poggo added that Dr Naoum “brings with him a wealth of experience since he has been a member of the Standing Committee from 2019 to date”.

Speaking after the announcement, Dr Naoum said that it was “humbling” and a “great privilege” to take on the role.

In a statement from the diocese of Liverpool, the Bishop of Warrington, the Rt Revd Beverley Mason, expressed delight at the appointment of Ms Swinson: “She brings immense experience, wisdom and insight to the Anglican Communion, and is so well-placed to take on this extra responsibility. In these challenging days, Maggie will play a vital role in listening to and ensuring voices are heard across the Communion.”

Ms Swinson succeeds Dr Kwong, the former Archbishop of Hong Kong, from the conclusion of the current meeting.

Ms Swinson will chair both the ACC and the Communion’s Standing Committee, and will serve a term of two meetings. Elections for six new members of the committee will be held on Friday afternoon.

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