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ACC-16 is a chance to foster growth and better relations says Primate of Hong Kong

Posted on: April 9, 2016 7:50 AM
The Primate of Hong Kongg, the Most Revd Paul Kwong, at ACC-16 in Lusaka
Photo Credit: Bellah Zulu / ACNS

[ACNS, by Bellah Zulu] The Primate and Archbishop of Hong Kong, the Most Revd Paul Kwong, has emphasised that the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-16) is an important platform which can help “foster growth and better relationships within the Anglican Communion.”

“We should not focus on the differences but rather concentrate on our commonalities especially in the area of mission and evangelism,” he said. “Despite our differences we should continue to reflect deeply and ask questions on how we can remain relevant to the fast changing world that we live in.”

Archbishop Kwong said this in an interview with ACNS. He is among the participants drawn from the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion taking part in ACC-16, currently underway in the Zambia capital Lusaka.

The Chairperson of the Anglican Consultative Council, Bishop James Tengatenga also reiterated the importance of the ACC when he said: “Even though we don’t always see it, all Anglicans are part of something bigger and the ACC-16 will help us experience that aspect of communion life. For Central Africa as a whole, it’s exciting to receive the universal church and an opportunity to showcase how we live our faith within our African context.”

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The Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Bishop James Tengatenga (left), chats with the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon at ACC-16 in Holy Cross Cathedral, Lusaka.
Photo: Bellah Zulu / ACNS

After a session reflecting on the ACC-15 held in New Zealand in 2012, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, gave his thoughts on the relevance of the Council. “The ACC and its resolutions gives us the framework and identity to do things together,” he said. “The fact that we’re meeting now in Lusaka is an indication that we’re still able to work together despite the challenges and differences that we have.”

Issues of the environment also come out prominent during the interviews conducted with a number of participants. Archbishop Makgoba explained how a resolution on the environment from ACC-15 helped the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to become more eco-friendly.

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The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, at ACC-16.
Photo: Bellah Zulu / ACNS

“After ACC-15, we came up with the vibrant Green Anglicans because we now take the environment very seriously in our province,” he said. “We have since taken synodical decisions to encourage eco-congregations and also actively participated in the recent climate conference, the COP-21.”

The Primate of Hong Kong also explained how important issues of the environment are to his province. “We have set up a task force to help promote environmental protection,” he said. “We also discourage the use of too many papers but instead promote recycling to avoid creating unnecessary garbage.”

The youth have not been left out in ACC-16. Cathrine Ngangira, the President of the Zimbabwe Anglican Youth Association appreciates the fact that she will be interacting with various senior members of the church including Bishops and Archbishops. “This will certainly impact me positively and help me grow spiritually,” she said.

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Cathrine Ngangira from the Diocese of Harare is a youth delegate to ACC-16.
Photo: Bellah Zulu / ACNS

She added: “The message from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on working together despite our differences has challenged me not to look down on others but instead accommodate everyone in an effort to evangelise and make disciples even in this world of differences.”

ACC-16 began yesterday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia and continues until Tuesday 19 April. It will discuss various issues including the environment and reconciliation among many others.