Anglican mission agency leaders recommit to collaboration

By ACNS staff and Janice Price
Posted Mar 19, 2013

[Anglican Communion News Service] Chief executives from 10 leading Anglican mission agencies this week recommitted to work together “in joint action and reflection within the framework of the Five Marks of Mission.

Partnership for World Mission agency leaders gathered for their annual residential meeting at the home of the Church Army, the Wilson Carlile Centre, in Sheffield March 13-14.

They represented Church Mission Society, Us, SPCK, Intercontinental Church society, Churches Ministry Among Jewish People, Church Army, Church Pastoral Aid Society, Mothers’ Union, Mission to Seafarers and Crosslinks.

Several new chief executives were welcomed to the meeting. Philip Mounstephen of CMS, Andrew Wright of Mission to Seafarers and Richard Bromley of Intercontinental Church Society were all attending their first meeting and reflected afterwards that all 10 full-member societies represented a vast range of work concerned with mission at home and internationally.

“As a new CEO it was enormously encouraging to be part of such a gathering where we can all bring our distinctiveness and work in partnership,” said Janette O’Neill, CEO of Us. “We are part of the church not just alongside it and we all want to play our part in discerning God’s mission in the world.”

The meeting reflected on the Covenant of Common Mission, which was signed by all 10 chief executives and the archbishop of Canterbury in 2003. It described a commitment to work together in joint action and reflection within the framework of the Five Marks of Mission. All of the chief executives reaffirmed their commitment to the 2003 Covenant of Common Mission a decade on.

Just a week before the historic enthronement of the new archbishop of Canterbury, all of the chief executives committed themselves to pray for and work with Archbishop Justin Welby in his future ministry. Mark Russell, CEO of Church Army, said, “As leaders of the mission agencies we will be praying for Archbishop Justin and we look forward to meeting him and sharing with him now and in the future and together keeping mission at the heart of the church.”

Looking forward to the 2013 Partnership for World Mission Conference, the chief executives agreed that a focus on mission as both local and global should form the heart of the gathering with a special focus on the changing shape of mission in Europe.

Partnership for World Mission comprises the 10 full-member mission agencies together with 21 associate member agencies and the diocesan companion links. It provides a platform for sharing on all aspects of world mission and a link between the Church of England’s General Synod and the mission agencies.

— Janice Price is Partnership for World Mission coordinator.