In the closest of votes, the Primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Bishop of Auckland, the Most Revd John Paterson was elected chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) during its 12th meeting in Hong Kong on 21 September 2002. The other nominee was Professor George Koshy of India, a lay person.
The vote was 34/33 in favour of Bishop John Paterson over Professor George Koshy. Both candidates have been long-serving ACC members with Bishop Paterson just completing his term as vice-chair. There was one spoiled ballot.
Principal nominations speeches were made by Archdeacon Winston Halapua for Bishop Paterson and by Bishop James Tengatenga for Prof Koshy.
Great care was taken by Mr John Rea, head of the nominations committee, to instruct ACC members in the voting mechanics. Voting was supervised by the ACC Legal Advisor, the Revd Canon John Rees.
Following the announcement of the election, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey led the assembly in prayer with both Bishop Paterson and Prof Koshy at his side.
The new chairman will be installed at the final Eucharist of the meeting on Wednesday, along with the new vice-chairman, to be elected early next week.
The ACC meeting continues until 26 September. On Sunday the 22nd the group will worship at Holy Trinity Parish, Kowloon, with Archbishop Carey preaching and the Archbishop of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui presiding. In the afternoon the ACC members will join local church members in dedicating a new home for the elderly, after which a Chinese Autumn Festival celebration will be held for the international guests.
An interview with the new Chairman of the ACC will be posted early next week.