Anglican Communion

Anglican Communion logoThe Anglican Church of Australia is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Episcopal family consists of an estimated 85 million Christians who are members of 44 different Churches. These make up 38 Member Churches (Provinces) and six other national or local churches known as Extra Provincials, spread around the world.

The Anglican Church of Australia is a Province of the Anglican Communion and participates in the life of the Communion through the engagement of its members with the Instruments of the Communion.


The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four Instruments of Communion Its role is to facilitate the co-operative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion, exchange information between the Provinces and churches, and help to co-ordinate common action. It advises on the organisation and structures of the Communion, and seeks to develop common policies with respect to the world mission of the Church, including ecumenical matters.

The ACC membership representation from each province and it meets approximately every 3 years. The 16th Session of the ACC met in Lusaka, Zambia, from 8-19 April 2016.

ACC16 RepresentativesThe Province of Australia was represented at the 16th Session of the ACC by:

The Right Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil - Diocese of Grafton
The Ven Arthur Copeman - Diocese of Newcastle
Mr Garth Blake SC -  Diocese of Sydney

The Primate, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, also attended as a representative of the Primates’ Meeting.

The 17th Session of the ACC is scheduled to be held in Hong Kong in May 2019.  Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy has replaced Bishop Sarah Macneil as the episcopal representative following Bishop Macneil’s retirement in 2017.


The Primates' Meeting was established in 1978 by Archbishop Donald Coggan (101st Archbishop of Canterbury) as an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation” and has met regularly since.

The last Primates’ Meeting was held in Canterbury, England in 2016 and was attended by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier.


Archbishop Philip Freier is a member of a task group established by the Archbishop of Canterbury to “maintain conversation” among the Primates of the Anglican Communion, as requested during the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting in January 2016. The Primates asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish the group as part of their commitment to “walk together” despite “deep differences”.


The Lambeth Conference of bishops from throughout the Communion meets every 10 years, at the personal invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The last conference was held in Canterbury in 2008 and the Archbishop of Canterbury has indicated he proposes to call the next Lambeth Conference in 2020. 


The Anglican Church of Australia actively engages with the following networks

Inter-Anglican Safe Church Commission and Anglican Communion Safe Church Network

Mr Garth Blake SC (Diocese of Sydney) has been appointed to be the representative of the Province of Australia on the Inter-Anglican Safe Church Commission.  It was established at the 16th Session of ACC and he has subsequently been appointed Chair.

International Anglican Womens’ Network (IAWN

Ms Ann Skamp (Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn) is the Provincial link to the IAWN.

The Province of Australia is invited each year to nominate a woman to join the Anglican delegation to the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women.

The Rev’d Dr Ruwan Palapathwala has been appointed as the regional representative on the Anglican Interfaith Commission.


The Anglican Alliance brings together Anglican churches and agencies who work in development, relief and advocacy to combat poverty and injustice. It is not a relief agency but works with relief agencies to coordinate and provide linkages.

Australia is represented on the Anglican Alliance Advisory Committee by:

The Rev’d John Deane, Executive Director, Anglican Board of Mission, Australia
Bishop Alison Taylor, Diocese of Brisbane
The Rev’d Brian Kirk is also involved as a representative of NATSIAC.