[ACNS] The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN), has appointed a new Co-ordinator, Deacon Angela Morrison, who will be taking over from Dr Sally Thompson, recently retired from the role after a quarter of a century.
The role of the UK based Co-ordinator involves facilitating the exchange of news, information and resources among those within the worldwide Anglican Communion who have a passion for promoting the well-being of families and their communities.
Angela Morrison has worked as a primary school teacher for children with special educational needs and in family and community social services. Deacon Angela, originally a native of South Africa, has lived in Canada for a number of years but recently moved back to the UK: “I’m excited about this new role. There’s clearly a lot for me to learn. I am excited to be part of something in support of the structure of family well-being,” she said. “I enjoy connecting people to resources that are necessary to help support people in different situations on a global scale. Families need support so that children can grow up solid in their identity.”
The network sends out a newsletter two or three times a year and is also growing its social media profile, via Facebook. Dr Sally Thompson says over 25 years she has worked with a wide range of issues that have an impact on families, including human trafficking, homelessness, slavery and refugees as well as faith and the family. So what have been the more significant achievements? “Sowing the seed of importance about birth registration and being able to raise the profile of this issue. Also making progress to tackle gender violence, by empowering women. It’s been an amazing experience to see IAFN develop over the years.”
Deacon Angela says one priority will be to grow the social media aspect of the network, although the traditional printed newsletter still has its place, not least in parts of Africa where people request it: “It’s about sharing stories and making connections globally and learning from each other. For instance, as hard as it is to believe, birth registration is an issue in the USA in some communities – so we can take lessons from other places where progress has been made, like Uganda, and share the information in a constructive way. Raising awareness is vital.”
Working with those involved in the development and delivery of family ministries, IAFN engages across the Anglican Communion to celebrate the God-given potential of the family as a source of thriving relationships, identity, belonging, discipleship and reconciliation. The network also operates as an advocate for the family in the face of behaviours which diminish this potential, sharing stories of hope, promoting family care and sustaining the family as the cradle for human dignity.