Communiqué from the Global South Primates Steering Committee meeting at Singapore, 6 Feb 06


1. We are gathered on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the formation of Province of South East Asia to give thanks for the ministry of Archbishop Yong Ping Chung and to rejoice in the installation of Bishop John Chew as the Third Archbishop.

2. We give thanks to God for the dedication and vision of this remarkable Province that not only includes the Dioceses of Kuching, Sabah, Singapore and West Malaysia but also has ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal.  Altogether these have a population of 450 million consisting of many races, languages, cultures, religions and customs.

3. We have come with 10 Anglican Primates (Archbishops or their representatives) and 20 Bishops from countries of ASEAN and Asia, Africa, Melanesia, England, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Together we represent over 50 million Anglican members in the world.

4. We valued the special opportunity to make acquaintance and build friendship with Mr Ye Xiaowen, Director General, State Administration for Religious Affairs, People’s Republic of China and Dr Jason Lase, Director General of the Dept of Religions, Indonesia.  In addition, we were also very encouraged to be introduced to senior church leaders from ASEAN countries and particularly with Presbyter Ji Jianhong, Chairman of the Three Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches of China and Revd Cao Shengjie, President of the China Christian Council.  A major highlight of our gathering was when we were welcomed by The President of Singapore, Mr S. R. Nathan, at the Istana where the two Chinese church leaders presented a commemorative Bible of the printing of the 40th million copy of the Bible in China.

5. We have met as the Global South Primates Steering Committee to implement the decisions reached during the third South South Encounter held in October 2005 in Ein al Sukhna by the Red Sea, Egypt. In particular, working committees have been formed to plan and organize the proposed Consultations on Economic Empowerment and Theological thinking and training.

6. We have noted with great appreciation proposals for an Anglican Covenant from a number of provinces and we have established a Committee to analyze each proposal and identify common themes as well as those contributions that are unique. The goal will be to develop a coherent proposal for an Anglican Covenant that represents the core convictions of the Global South Provinces as our contribution towards the development of an Anglican Covenant as requested in the Windsor Report.

7. We are very much aware of the crisis that confronts our beloved Communion. We continue to pray and hope that at the General Convention of ECUSA in June 2006 and the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in June 2007 there will be a positive response to the Windsor recommendations otherwise we fear this conflict will only worsen. In light of that we are concerned that the current design proposals for the Lambeth Conference in 2008 do not appear to fully recognize the seriousness of the crisis.

8. We are concerned about the continuing disarray within the Church of England regarding the Civil Partnership Act that we believe to be an act of confusion. We have addressed our concerns to Archbishop Rowan Williams.  We are encouraged by those bishops, especially the Rt Rev’d Michael Nazir Ali, the Rt Rev’d Peter Forster and the Rt Rev’d Wallace Benn, who have taken a stand against this deliberate departure from scriptural teaching and practice regarding Holy Matrimony.

9. We have noted with regret the continuing efforts of those within Episcopal Church of the USA to portray the Provinces of the Global South as of divided opinion regarding their actions. While we do minister in a wide variety of situations and cultures we are united in our commitment to the ‘faith once delivered to the Saints’ and will continue to oppose those who would seek to subvert it.

10. We are gathered here mindful of the many serious challenges confronting our world and particularly aware of the needs of those who are still struggling to rebuild their lives and communities after the devastation brought by the Tsunami, the earthquakes in Pakistan, the hurricanes in the USA.  We will continue our active support for works of redevelopment. We are grateful for all those who have reached out to help and given practical expression to God’s abiding love.

11. Finally, we are encouraged that the future of the Province of South East Asia and its enormous range of ministries is very bright. We promise our prayers and enthusiastic support for the new Primate, the Bishops, clergy and all of the laity. We are confident that God who has begun a great work will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ! (Philippians 1:6) Those present at the meeting: Primates present: The Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola (Church of Nigeria) – Chairman The Most Rev’d Elect John Chew (Diocese of Singapore) – Hon. Secretary The Right Rev’d Mouneer Anis (Egypt) – Hon Treasurer The Most Rev’d Bernard Malango (Central Africa) The Most Rev’d Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda) The Most Rev’d Yong Ping Chung (South East Asia) Primates absent with Apologies: The Most Rev’d Gregory Venables (Southern Cone) The Most Rev’d Drexel Gomez (West Indies)

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