For the first time in history worldwide members of the Anglican Communion are being asked to share their views on the ministry of the next archbishop of Canterbury, reports the Anglican Communion News Service, or ACNS.
ACNS nots that the Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England — the body that nominates the next archbishop of Canterbury — traditionally asks for the views of all primates and provincial secretaries of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion.
But that has changed this time, according to ACNS, as not only has a primate been invited to join the commission, “but a letter has also been sent to provinces to be read in Anglican Communion churches inviting everyone to share their thoughts about the ministry of the next archbishop.”
ACNS noted that its hoped clergy will receive the letter (translated in several languages) from their primate or bishop and read it “in church so Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world know of and can respond to the commission’s request.”
ACNS reported that the letter was sent by the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, on behalf of the commission, and states: “The archbishop of Canterbury exercises many roles — he is bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England, and focus of unity for the Anglican Communion.”
The letter continues: “The process of seeking the next archbishop is led by the Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England and extensive consultations within the U.K. have begun with various representatives of the Church of England, other Christian denominations, other faiths and wider church life. Members of the Church of England are also invited to share in this process.”
“The commission wishes to offer the same opportunity to other members of the Anglican Communion. It is seeking your views on the priorities for the ministry of the next archbishop to enable the members of the commission to have as rich a picture as possible as they begin their work.”