The Anglican Church of Canada has announced the names of four people who will respond to a request that the church make a presentation to the Anglican Consultative Council next month on actions the church has taken in the area of same-sex blessings.
As well as the four presenters, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has announced that he will attend at least part of the meeting of the Consultative Council in Nottingham, Eng., the week of June 19.
In addition, three regularly elected representatives of the Canadian Church to the Anglican Consultative Council will attend the meeting, although they have been instructed by the Council of General Synod not to participate in the proceedings.
The unusual measures are as a result of a statement issued last February following a meeting of the Primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion. After a discussion of tensions in the Communion arising principally from the election of a gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church and the decision by one Canadian diocese to bless committed same-sex unions, the Primates issued a communiqué asking the two North American churches to “voluntarily withdraw” from the June meeting.
In subsequent meetings, the governing councils of both the Canadian and U.S. churches voted to send their members to the Anglican Consultative Council, but only to observe.
In their communiqué, the Primates also invited the Canadian and U.S. churches to attend a special hearing of the Anglican Consultative Council “to set out the thinking behind the recent actions of their Provinces.”
The Canadian presenters to this special hearing will be:
The Very Rev. Peter Elliott, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver and prolocutor of General Synod.
Canon Robert Falby, Chancellor and lay canon of the Diocese of Toronto and a member of General Synod;
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews, President and Vice-Chancellor of Thorneloe University, member of General Synod for the Diocese of Algoma and a member of the Primate’s Theological Commission;
Ms. Maria Jane Highway, a member of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous partner to General Synod from the Diocese of Brandon and a member of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee of General Synod.
The Anglican Consultative Council meets every three years in a different part of the world. It consists of lay, clergy and episcopal members and is a forum where all Anglican Provinces can share and exchange information and coordinate common actions.
Attending the June meeting as elected members from the Canadian Church will be:
The Right Rev. Sue Moxley, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island;
The Rev. Canon Allen Box of the Diocese of Ottawa, and
Ms. Suzanne Lawson of the Diocese of Toronto, a member of the Financial Management and Development Committee.