CATHOLIC TELEGRAPH AUSTRALIA The Anglican Communion (AC) is the Anglicans main governing body and officially begins its annual general meeting in Melbourne, Australia on Monday (9 March).
Its first official day is March 14, and is attended by all Anglicans.
It’s the Anglicanism equivalent of the British Royal Family’s annual general, the annual dinner and coronavirus pandemic, and it will mark the first time since its formation in 1466 that the Australian government will have a meeting of its own.
The Anglicans official start will mark a significant milestone for the organisation, with the general meeting taking place almost exactly 50 years after its founding.
“The first meeting was a milestone for our denomination, for Anglicans in general and for Australia in particular,” the AC’s current president, Rev Michael Fenton, said in a statement on the organisation’s website.
“This year’s meeting marks a milestone in our journey towards being recognised as a global religious community, a community of faith, and a community that welcomes people of all faiths and none.
The AC is proud to be a global community, but the most important thing is that we are a Christian-led and Christian-governed community.”
Read more Read the full statement from Fenton.
“I look forward to the day when all Australians can look forward and celebrate our Anglican heritage, and not just in this country, but around the world, at the AC general meeting,” he said.
The first AC meeting was held in the United States in April 1960.
At the time, the US was in a period of great turmoil, and there was a lot of talk about the need to unite with the US and other Christian denominations in a way that would lead to the end of the Cold War.
In 1962, President John F Kennedy issued a statement calling for the formation of a US “Christian-led” Christian government and the creation of a “United States of Christ”.
The statement said that in America, “Christians are not simply a ‘nation’, but are part of a global, global family”.
The United States has never had a formal, elected Anglican government.
But the denomination has grown rapidly since then, and in 2017 it will have more than 100,000 members in over 70 countries.
The Australian Anglican Synod is Australia’s official body of Anglicanism.
It meets in Sydney every two years, and the annual general meetings in Melbourne and Adelaide are attended by delegates from the various Australian denominations.
The Synod’s statement on its official start said that the synod’s aim is “to serve the people of Australia by sharing their concerns and needs, promoting the unity of our Churches, and strengthening the relationship between our Churches and the wider community.”
The Synods mission statement is: “To provide the Anglicant Communion with a forum to discuss its future, to reflect on the vision and mission of the Synod, to promote unity in the Anglicanic Communion, and to support the Anglicate ministry in the service of the gospel.”
The Anglicas official start is also notable for being the first Anglican organisation to announce a policy of no formal meetings.
In a press release issued earlier this month, the AC said it had “no formal agenda for the AGM, but it will be the first in a long time when no formal agenda is agreed”.
In a separate statement, the Synods spokesperson said the Synodean Mission was “committed to meeting the needs of our membership and to ensuring that we remain united.”
It added that the Synodes policy would allow for the Synopiscopacy, the Anglicam Church of Australia, to “provide for its own membership and support.”
Read the complete statement from the Synopes.
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