The seventeenth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council – ACC-17 – begins in a month in Hong Kong. The ACC, one of four Instruments of the Anglican Communion, includes Archbishops, bishops, priests, and laity from the 40 autonomous churches of the Anglican Communion. The draft agenda for the meeting has just been published. ACC members will be asked to approve the agenda as their first item of business.
The gathering begins on Sunday 28 April with a Presidential Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby at the main ACC-17 venue, the Gold Coast Hotel. It is followed by an opening service at St John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong. Both events will be live streamed on the Anglican Communion’s YouTube channel.
The report by the Anglican Communion’s Secretary General, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, on Monday 29 April will also be live streamed. Then ACC members will discuss the resolutions agreed at the last ACC meeting, in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2016, and hear an update on the progress of these and earlier resolutions.
Monday’s agenda also includes a session on the Women on the Front Line initiative – a training and support programme for bishops’ spouses in the developing world and Thy Kingdom Come, a global ecumenical prayer movement which began with a call to prayer for evangelism and mission to the clergy of the Church of England from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
The theme for ACC-17 is “Equipping God’s People: going deeper in Intentional Discipleship”; it follows a call from ACC-16 for a focus on intentional discipleship throughout the Anglican Communion. On Tuesday 30 April, ACC members will discuss intentional discipleship in local contexts around the Communion.
On Wednesday 1 May, the ACC will discuss ecumenical developments and resolutions related to its Unity, Faith and Order department. This will include new proposals for the way ecumenical texts are received by the Anglican Communion and its 40 Churches.
A significant item features on Wednesday afternoon, when the Safe Church Commission – established at ACC-16 – will present the result of its work. The Commission was set up to develop guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, within the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
Intentional Discipleship returns to the agenda on Thursday 2 May, when ACC members make visits to see intentional discipleship in practice across the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui – the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, which is hosting ACC-17.
The work of staff at the Anglican Communion Office will be then highlighted through the presentation of reports and proposals for future work. The ministry of official Networks of the Anglican Communion, on issues including women, environment and indigenous people, will also be discussed.
On Friday 3 May, several new members will be elected to the ACC’s Standing Committee. There will also be an update on the 2020 Lambeth Conference. And ACC-17 concludes on Sunday 5 May with another service at St John’s Cathedral, which will also be livestreamed on the Anglican Communion’s YouTube channel.