It is almost exactly a year since the Anglican Consultative Council met for ACC-16 in Lusaka, Zambia. So much has been happening across our Communion since then. Let me tell you about just a few things to give you a taste of how active and lively our Communion has been in the last few months.
On the personal level, I preached at a Dedication Service of a new church in Guangzhou, China, in January. The church, seating 3,000 people, was one of the new and big churches built in China in recent years.
In February, during the visit of the Presiding Bishop of TEC to Hong Kong, several Primates of neighbouring provinces in this region including Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, came and spent a day together to worship, share and discuss the matters of concern.
Among those areas that the Primates agreed upon was a commitment to walk together and serve closely together to make our Communion more relevant to the world in which they are called to serve. The Primates also suggested some topics for discussion at the forthcoming Primates’ meeting in the autumn.
Hong Kong is to receive some distinguished visitors from the Communion next month. Jeroham Melendez – a member of the ACC Standing Committee -- will visit with his wife for few days and the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Richard Clarke, will be here to meet clergy and lay leaders of the Church. And David White, the newly-appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Anglican Communion Office, is coming to lunch with me. He is responsible for managing the ACO and keeping the members of ACC informed of its ministries.
Looking further ahead, the first Standing Committee meeting of ACC will take place in September in London. But before that I will continue to have regular telephone calls with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General, not only stay in touch but to update, discuss and share about the situation and development of our Communion.
On the wider level of the Communion, the Anglican Communion Pilgrimage to The Holy Land is to take in June. The aim of which is to bring people of respective provinces closer for prayers, worship and reflections on the mission of the Communion.
And, in July, the Communion will give birth to a new Province, the Church of Sudan. It will become our 39th province. This is a very exciting and encouraging event as it demonstrates the vitality and growth of the Communion in mission.
May I wish you all a very blessed Holy Week and a Joyous Easter.
Archbishop Paul Kwong is the chair of the Anglican Consultative Council and Primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui