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New Director of Unity, Faith and Order appointed for the Anglican Communion

The Revd Dr Will Adam with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in India yesterday.
Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace

The Ecumenical Adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr William Adam, is to be the new Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion. His new role, which he takes on with immediate effect, will be held alongside his role at Lambeth Palace, which he has held since 2017. He succeeds the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, who was appointed to the post in 2014 and held it until earlier this year, when he became President, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Canada’s Thorneloe University.

Will Adam was ordained in the Church of England in 1994 and held parish appointments until taking up his post advising the Archbishop of Canterbury. From 2017 until now he has also served as Ecumenical Officer in the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity. He has experience of ecumenical dialogue at national and international level.

Anglican Church of Canada elects its first female primate – Bishop Linda Nicholls

Bishop Linda Nicholls of the Diocese of Huron was elected as the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada at the General Synod in Vancouver on July 13, 2019

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has elected Linda Nicholls, the Bishop of the Diocese of Huron, as its next primate. She will become the first woman to hold this position in the ACoC and only the second female primate in the Anglican Communion.

The election, held during the Church’s General Synod at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver on 13 July, began with five nominees. Bishop Linda was elected on the fourth ballot, with 64 per cent of lay votes and 71 per cent of votes among the clergy.

Speaking shortly after the election, Bishop Linda said: “you have bestowed on me an honour that I can hardly imagine, and it is terrifying. But it is also a gift, to be able to walk with the whole of the Anglican Church of Canada from coast to coast to coast.”

Covenant for “historical cousins” – the Methodist Church and the Church of England – moves forward

Bishop Christopher Cocksworth addresses the Church of England's General Synod. Photo: Church of England

Despite an amendment to slow down the process, the Church of England’s General Synod has agreed a series of motions to take forward its Covenant with the Methodist Church in Britain to allow interchangeability of ministries and intercommunion between the two Churches.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told the General Synod: “I for one am profoundly committed to moving forward in this matter, for the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of the Church and for the sake of the world we are sent to serve.”

Four Churches Gather to Renew Ecumenical Covenant

Archbishop Donald Bolen (Archdiocese of Regina), Bishop Sid Haugen (ELCIC Saskatchewan Synod), Bishop Robert Hardwick (Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle) and Fr. Vasyl Tymishak (St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church) after the Covenant Vespers on Sunday, May 26. Photo: Nicholas Jesson

Lutherans and Ukrainian Catholics in Regina, Saskatchewan joined the annual celebration of the Anglican and Roman Catholic ecumenical Covenant on Sunday afternoon, May 26. The Covenant began in 2011 between the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina. In recent years, the Covenant partners have been working towards a renewed covenant which will include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. This year’s annual covenant service was an opportunity to give thanks to God for drawing the four churches towards this renewed relationship.

Former Archbishop of the Indian Ocean appointed Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome

Archbishop Ian Ernest

The Bishop of Mauritius, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, has been appointed Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Representative to the Holy See. Archbishop Ian, who served as Primate of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean for 11 years until 2017, will take up his new role towards the end of 2019. One of his last duties as Bishop of Mauritius will be to welcome Pope Francis to the island when he makes an official visit in September.

“I feel deeply honoured and humbled by this appointment. It is a calling from God which I accept with all humility”, Archbishop Ian said. “I will try my best to honour this calling and to honour the office. I look forward to working in close collaboration with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Board of Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome.”

Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue:
Online resource centre for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations

Welcome to the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) website, an online resource centre for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.

Highlights of the fonds

21 study papers from the 1967-1975 Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on the Theology of Marriage, including:

Mixed Marriage: Status Quaestionis ~ ARCJPC-MM-2
• John Macquarrie, On the Nature of the Marriage Bond (Vinculum Conjugale) ~ ARCCM-17
• Aloysius M. Ambrozic, Indissolubility of Marriage in the New Testament: Law or Ideal? ~ ARCCM-19
• Prof. G.R. Dunstan, The Anglican Understanding of Natural and Sacramental Marriage ~ ARCCM-23


IARCCUM is a commission established by the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church as an official joint commission. IARCCUM exists in parallel with the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, the theological commission known as ARCIC. IARCCUM’s purpose is:

Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby pause to pray at the chair of St Gregory the Great, following the vespers and commissioning of the IARCCUM bishops on October 5, 2016. Photo: Rev Amanda Currie
Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby pause to pray at the chair of St Gregory the Great, following the vespers and commissioning of the IARCCUM bishops on October 5, 2016. Photo: Rev Amanda Currie

In 2000, Archbishop George Carey, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, then President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, convoked a conference of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops at Mississauga in Canada to discern the progress made in theological conversations since the 1960s, and whether closer co-operation could be developed between the two traditions. The result was IARCCUM, which has been meeting since 2001. In February 2007, it published the first fruit of its work, the report Growing Together in Unity and Mission, accompanied by two commentaries. IARCCUM’s work continues under the co-presidency of Archbishop Donald Bolen and Bishop David Hamid.

In October of 2016, IARCCUM gathered 19 pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Canterbury and Rome for an 8-day pilgrimage. This gathering was an opportunity to study and pray together at the tombs of Saints Peter, Paul, Augustine of Canterbury, and Thomas à Becket. The bishop-pairs were commissioned by Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby at vespers at San Gregorio al Celio. On the site where St Gregory the Great commissioned St Augustine to evangelise the English, these bishops were commissioned to promote the growth in communion between these two churches and the reception of the agreements reached in the theological dialogues.