[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The provinces of the Anglican Communion have been invited to set aside the Sunday closest to the feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (26 May) as Anglican Communion Sunday, with a special focus of prayer for the Communion.
The invitation came in a resolution passed by assent at the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka (ACC-16). Similar requests have been made by previous ACC meetings but little progress has been made in designating a single day of focused prayer on the Communion from around the provinces.
The Sunday closest to the feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury has been chosen as the suggested date for Anglican Communion Sunday; because it was Saint Augustine who was sent by Pope Gregory to undertake the conversion of England. The conversion of England had already begun, of course, and there was Celtic Christianity in the British Isles before Augustine arrived; but it was Augustine who is recognised as the first Archbishop of Canterbury and who established his seat at what is now Canterbury Cathedral – the mother church of the Anglican Communion.
In addition to prayer, Resolution 16.37 also calls for Anglican Communion Sunday to be used for raising awareness of the Communion and for providing financial resources for the inter-Anglican budget.
It also asks every diocese in the Communion to begin budgeting for their participation in the forthcoming Lambeth Conference; and for all provinces to contribute financially to the budget of the Anglican Consultative Council. The Standing Committee are asked to consider reducing the number of days that ACC-17 meet in order to save costs.
ACC-17 is scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2019. The full details of the meeting have yet to be confirmed.