[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Anglican Consultative Council, meeting in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia, last week, has approved 45 resolutions on issues relating from intentional discipleship to the continuing detention of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi; and from gender-based violence to the environment.
They also addressed the need for churches to be safe places for children and vulnerable adults; and a call for an annual day of prayer for the Anglican Communion.
In a new move, that the planning team had begun to develop last year, this sixteenth meeting of the ACC (ACC-16) did not consider resolutions on a day-by-day basis; but in a marathon session on the penultimate day of their meeting on Monday; in a process overseen by solicitor Darren Oliver.
Instead of the usual debates and votes; members discussed issues in small table-groups and put forward resolutions to a representative Resolutions Committee, chaired by the Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba. This enabled discussion on the issues to continue throughout the ACC-16 meeting; before the final draft resolutions were put to the Council.
The Committee identified 35 resolutions which they believed could be passed by the council en bloc without debate. These “consent” resolutions were tabled before informal discussions within and across the table groups. Any ACC member who wanted to remove a resolution from the “consent” group could do so and seven such resolutions were removed in this way.
Those seven were added to the remaining motions and the Council were asked to give their individual assent.
One, which touched on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s report of the Primates’ Meeting, was removed by its proposer on the basis that it was, in effect, duplicated by another resolution. And another, which called for the “Five Marks of Mission” to be treated as one of the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Unity, did not receive the support of the Council.
Only one formal vote took place: in response to a resolution calling for the ACC to reduce its carbon footprint; a constitutional amendment was passed by the required two-thirds majority to enable the Standing Committee to conduct meetings electronically rather than face-to-face in person.
- The full list of resolutions adopted at ACC-16 can be found here.