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Five global regions to have reps on CNC for Archbishop Welby’s successor

22 November 2023


The Archbishop of Canterbury outside St Paul’s Cathedral after the confirmation of his election in February 2013

The Archbishop of Canterbury outside St Paul’s Cathedral after the confirmation of his election in February 2013

THE Anglican Communion Standing Committee has decided how it wishes to implement the Communion’s increased representation on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) for the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

After a consultation, the Synod voted to reduce the diocesan representatives for the CNC for the see of Canterbury from six to three, and to increase the number of representatives of the Anglican Communion from one to five (News, 9 July 2022). Usually the Communion representative has been a Primate.

The decision to change the CNC’s composition was taken on the grounds that the Archbishop’s ministry was now a significantly global one.

Under the new rules, agreed at the Standing Committee’s meeting in London this month, the global representatives will come from each of five regions: Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. There will be one Primate, one priest or deacon, and one member of the laity. At least two will be male, and two should be female, and a majority should be people of global-majority heritage.

The Standing Committee agreed that the five should be current and immediately past members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), and should include a youth representative and an indigenous person. Primates from each region will be asked to nominate a slate of people, from which a Standing Committee group will make a selection.

At the same meeting, the members accepted the findings of a working group on strengthening their own committee. The working group, chaired by the Rt Revd Philip Richardson, a former Primate of New Zealand, was set up after the 2020 Primates’ Meeting, and has been disbanded since the discussion of its report. The current Standing Committee has eight bishops, three clergy, and four lay people. The ACC has a markedly higher proportion of lay members. The Richardson report recommended that that the voice of the laity be preserved.

The Standing Committee observed that changes to the Standing Committee were related to the continuing work of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order. A more detailed proposal on the committee’s make-up will be presented to the ACC in 2026.

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