From the Worldwide Faith News archives

South Africa Synod Plans for Future Church

Date 06 May 1996 06:10:31

Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110
Fax 44 0171 620-1071

#730 ACC 

South Africa Synod Plans for Future Church

(CPSA-Church of the Province of Southern Africa) Black Anglicans in
the Province of Southern Africa achieved a significant breakthrough
when the Provincial Synod approved a key strategy for transforming
the Church.

The synod voted by a huge majority on 26 September to ask Archbishop
Desmond Tutu to set up urgently a "Transformation Commission" which
would prepare for a representative "Anglican Congress" in 1997.
There appeared to be only one dissenting vote.

The proposal arose from a Black Anglican Consultation held in the
Province earlier this year. It is designed to bring about changes to
Church structures and practice which would reduce the sense of
alienation from the Church felt by many black members.

A congress would be free of the procedural restraints and
complexities of a synod and could be structured to boost the numbers
of people from groups which are under-represented in synods.

Bishop Rubin Phillip of Natal, proposing the motion, said the
Transformation Commission would look at the existing structures of
the Church critically, evaluate them and propose changes so they
would serve the Church more effectively: "These systems are for the
most part outdated and need to be changed."

Representation at a congress would take into account factors such as
race, gender, diocese and age, he added.

The resolution asked the Metropolitan to establish a commission to
begin strategic planning aimed at:

1. A transformed Church for a transformed people who will be
responsive to God's mission in loving service under the guidance of
our Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit in the
year 2,000 and beyond;

2. Wider participation in ministry and leadership that reflects the
rich diversity of our membership;

3. Structures that operate more effectively, in a less cumbersome
manner, are representative of the demographic majority, and which
will make for participatory, transparent and consultative decision-

4. A caring Church that has visibility in community life and has
adequate provision for the well-being of its clergy and full-time
lay workers.

The commission will plan the Anglican Congress for June/July 1997
and it will "receive and, if thought fit, adopt" the commission's

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