By Mark Michael
LUSAKA, Zambia — The Anglican Consultative Council has chosen a diverse slate of leaders for its standing committee.
The Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, the ACC’s chairman, reminded members of their constitutional mandate to consider “the desirability of achieving (so far as practicable) appropriate regional diversity and a balance of representation between clergy and laity and between the genders.”
Delegates chose a new vice chairwoman and five standing committee members from provinces that represent the Communion’s worldwide mission as well as a diversity of positions on the issues testing the stability of its union. In most cases, members of the standing committee serve for six years.
ACC’s seven members on the standing committee work with five members elected by the Primates’ Meeting to guide the Communion’s life and work between ACC meetings, which are held every two to three years. The chairman and vice chairwoman of the ACC also lead the standing committee.
Maggie Swinson, a lay canon of Liverpool Cathedral, was the only candidate for vice chair. She succeeds Canon Elizabeth Paver, a lay delegate from the Church of England.
Swinson has wide experience in church governance, and has served on the Church of England’s General Synod for more than 30 years. She is currently chairwoman of the church’s Appointments Committee, and helped open the episcopate to women. Swinson worked closely with Archbishop Welby during his tenure as dean of Liverpool Cathedral.
Delegates elected five new members to the ACC’s standing committee:
- The Rt. Rev. Jane Alexander, Bishop of Edmonton, Anglican Church of Canada
- Alistair Dinnie, lay delegate from the Episcopal Church of Scotland
- Jehoram Melendez, lay delegate from Costa Rica in the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America
- The Rev. Nigel Pope of the Church of North India
- The Rt. Rev. Joel Waweru, Bishop of Nairobi, Anglican Church of Kenya
Dinnie was among the leaders of the Episcopal Church of Scotland’s Cascade Conversation on human sexuality, which led to a 2015 decision favoring same-sex marriage.
Pope, 39, is among the youngest delegates at the ACC meeting, and described his spiritual vision as “shaped by a context of extreme poverty, divisions of religion and caste, institutionalized patriarchy minorities, and ever-increasing violence.”
The new members will join the newly elected ACC chairman, the Most Rev. Paul Kwong of Hong Kong, as well as continuing members, the Rt. Rev. Eraste Bigirimana of Burundi and lay delegate Louisa Lette-Mojela of the Province of Southern Africa.
Earlier this year primates elected these members of the standing committee:
- The Most Rev. Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East
- The Most Rev. Richard Clarke of Ireland
- The Most Rev. Philip Frier of Australia
- The Most Rev. John Holder of the West Indies
- The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa
Archbishop Anis declined to participate in the most recent meeting of the standing committee and the ACC, but the other four primates participated. The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is the standing committee’s president.