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Palestinian Archbishop elected unopposed as Vice Chair of Anglican Consultative Council

Posted on: February 17, 2023 11:37 AM
Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Vice Chair-Elect of the Anglican Consultative Council
Photo Credit: Neil Turner / Anglican Communion

The Anglican Episcopal Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Revd Hosam Naoum, will become the Vice Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council after being elected unopposed during the 18th plenary session of the Council (ACC-18), meeting in Accra, Ghana. The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of four “Instruments of Communion” or “Instruments of Unity” of the global Anglican Communion of 42 independent-yet-interdependent national, and regional Churches.

There were loud cheers and sustained applause at the plenary meeting when the returning officer, Mr Darren Oliver, made the announcement at 11.00 am GMT this morning (Friday).

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby congratulates the Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum, after his unopposed election as Vice Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).
: Neil Turner / Anglican Communion

As Vice Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop Hosam will also serve as Vice-Chair the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. This comprises the Archbishop of Canterbury, as president, five primates elected to represent the regions of the Anglican Communion, a Chair, and Vice Chair, and seven members elected by members of the Council.

Elections for six other members of the Standing Committee will take place this afternoon. The election had been planned for five members of the Standing Committee, but Archbishop Hosam’s election as Vice Chair creates an additional vacancy amongst the ordinary members.

Archbishop Hosam is the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, a diocese which covers five countries or territories: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It is part of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Later this year, Archbishop Hosam will become Primate of the Province when the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, Archbishop Michael Lewis, steps down. He is also Secretary of the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, the leading ecumenical group of senior Christian leaders in the Holy Land.

Archbishop Hosam is well known throughout the Anglican Communion. Prior to becoming Archbishop in Jerusalem he served as Dean of Saint George’s Anglican Cathedral in the city and welcomed pilgrims from all over the world to the land of Jesus’ birth.

“I am absolutely delighted that I have the confidence of the ACC to be the Vice Chair. This is a humbling, of course, opportunity as well as a great privilege to be able to serve and continue serving on the Standing Committee but in a different capacity. I will do all that I can as a person, as a bishop and as a member to foster unity within the Anglican Communion.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, commented: “Archbishop Hosam has been a friend for many years since he was Dean of Jerusalem. His deep spirituality, his calmness, and his love for the Church around the world makes him eminently suitable for this position. We are very blessed in the ACC that many who could have stood for this position would have received an equally warm welcome.”

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From L-R: The outgoing Chair of the ACC, Archbishop Paul Kwong; the President of the ACC, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; the Vice Chair-Elect of the ACC, Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum; the Vice Chair and Chair-Elect of the ACC, Cannon Maggie Swinson; and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, at the Marriott Hotel in Accra, Ghana, where the 18th plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-18) is taking place.
: Neil Turner / Anglican Communion

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, said: “I am thrilled that Archbishop Hosam Naoum has been elected as Vice Chair of the ACC. He brings with him a wealth of experience since he has been a member of the Standing Committee from 2019 to date.

“During this time, he was a member of the Committee that reviewed the Anglican Communion Office. He was also on the recruitment panel for the new Secretary General. He was a member of the Sub-committee that planned for ACC-18 and is Chair of the Resolutions Committee.

“He brings with him wealth of experiences to this role from his current position as Archbishop in Jerusalem, a place where he has worked closely with other ecumenical partners in the Holy Land. Archbishop Hosam’s diocese spreads across five countries with a ministry that is multicultural and multi-faith, such an experience will be very useful in his role as Vice Chair.

“I look forward to working closely with him and Canon Maggie, as together they will take forward the new Standing Committee and the ACC.”

He will succeed Canon Maggie Swinson as Vice Chair. Yesterday, she was elected unopposed as Chair of the ACC.

Watch the new Chair and Vice Chair in a press conference at 6.30 pm GMT on Friday 17 February: