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Christians outside of England given greater voting power in choosing future Archbishops of Canterbury

by Sophie Drew
Lambeth Palace.jpg - Banner image
Lambeth Palace

The Global Anglican Communion will be given a greater voice in choosing future Archbishops of Canterbury.

The changes have been approved by the Church of England's General Synod. 

Previously, the Anglican Communion outside of England equated to just one of the 16 members of the Crown Nominations Commission for the See of Canterbury, meaning their individual votes had very little say in the overall outcome. 

However, the General Synod has agreed to introduce four further representatives; bishops across the globe will now be represented by five people - one each from Africa; the Americas; Middle East and Asia; Oceania and Europe.

The number of representatives from the Diocese of Canterbury will be reduced from six to three, meaning the Canterbury CNC will now have a total of 17 voting members. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "From the richest to the poorest nations, the Anglican Communion spans a hugely diverse tapestry of societies, cultures and human experience.

"Anglicans worldwide have a profound and historic relationship with the See of Canterbury, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has the great privilege of serving as a focus of unity for Anglican churches across the globe.

"It is only right that this international family of churches is given a voice in the process of selecting the 'first among equals' of the bishops of our global communion. 

"That is why I am pleased that General Synod has voted to increase the representation of Anglicans from around the Communion in the process of choosing future Archbishops of Canterbury.

"This small but important step will ensure that the Crown Nominations Commission for the See of Canterbury has balanced and diverse representation from the entire Anglican Communion.

"I also want to thank the Diocese of Canterbury for giving up three seats on the Canterbury CNC to enable this change. 

"I pray that this significant step will bind us more closely together as disciples of Jesus Christ, called to share his good news with a world in need."

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