New ACC Chairman
A Tanzanian bishop who is a former Minister for Education in the Tanzanian Government is the new Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council.
The Right Reverend Simon Chiwanga, Bishop of Mpwapwa Diocese in the Anglican Province of Tanzania, was elected in the first round of balloting by representatives on 14 October.
With post graduate degrees in sociology and theology, Bishop Chiwanga brings a wide experience of Anglican Communion affairs to his role as Chairman. Presently Vice-Chair of the ACC, he has been a long-time member of the ACC and its Standing Committee. He has also been a member of the international Anglican Mission Agencies Working Group.
Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev Canon John L. Peterson said he was looking forward eagerly to working with his new Chairman and Vice-Chairman. "The election of these two outstanding leaders will bring breadth and vision to the work of the Anglican Consultative Council. Bishop Chiwanga comes from the African Continent where Anglican witness is courageous, lively and fast growing. He will bring that vibrancy of witness and his concern for mission and evangelism into the affairs of the Communion."
Bishop Mark Dyer, Episcopal representative from ECUSA on the ACC said "Simon Chiwanga's election is clearly representative of the growth of the Anglican Church in Africa, as well as indicating the Communion-wide perception of Africa's spiritual and theological maturity. I look forward to his leadership."
Bishop Chiwanga was formerly Assistant Chaplain to the University of Dar es Salaam (1965-1969); Member of Parliament and Minister of Education in the Tanzanian Government (1970-1975); Director of the National Institute for Rural Development, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (1976-1985); and Provincial Secretary of the Church of the Province of Tanzania from 1985 to 1991.
He was elected Bishop of Mpwapwa in 1991, and holds a number of Provincial positions. These include Chairman of the Provincial Development Committee and Chairman of the Development Committee of the Ecumenical Christian Council of Tanzania.
Bishop Chiwanga hopes to bring his strong calling to the ministry of evangelism and teaching into his role as ACC Chairman. "I will be working to develop a much stronger role for the ACC in the provinces of the Anglican Communion. This can be assisted by a more careful preparation for representatives prior to meetings. I would hope that the provinces will encourage their representatives in preparation for ACC meetings and in wide reporting where they can share their experiences with local churches when they return."
He said he hoped that the ACC might include more equal representation of women and youth, as well as clergy and lay people in the future.
Bishop Chiwanga is married to Gladys and they have three sons and two daughters. Bishop Chiwanga shares his passion for soccer with his sons. He is an experienced referee and is a coach and team advisor for his local District Team.
New ACC Vice-Chairman from the Pacific
The Right Reverend John Paterson, Bishop of Auckland in the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia was elected ACC Vice-Chairman in a series of closely contested ballots on 14 October.
Bishop Paterson is fluent in both English and Maori, and he intends to encourage the concerns of indigenous people throughout the Anglican Communion during his period of office. He will also work to bring the issues of Anglicans from Asian and Pacific communities into greater priority in the Communion.
Secretary-General, the Rev Canon John L. Peterson said "I welcome the election as Vice-Chairman of John Paterson, who I first knew as Provincial Secretary before he was elected Bishop. John will bring an important voice from Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia as well as from the Asia Pacific and Melanesian regions. But he will also bring, in a significant way, a global vision to the Communion as a whole in this position. I look forward to his contribution as Vice-Chairman."
Bishop Paterson has held a number of prominent positions in his Church, including Secretary/Administrator for the Maori Church (1978-1988) and Provincial/General Secretary (1986-1995).
He was elected Bishop of Auckland in 1995.