Archbishop Michael warmly welcomes news of the election of the Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum, as Vice-Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). Archbishop Hosam was elected to the post unopposed on 17 February, during the 18th plenary session of the Council (ACC-18) meeting in Accra, Ghana.
The 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.
Reporting from the meeting, the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) said there were loud cheers and sustained applause when the returning officer, Mr Darren Oliver, made the announcement.
The ACNS report continued: As Vice-Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop Hosam will also serve as Vice-Chair of 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, Vice-Chair, and seven members elected by members of the Council.
Elections for six other members of the Standing Committee were also held. 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 that 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, welcoming pilgrims from all over the world to the land of Jesus’s birth.
“I am absolutely delighted that I have the confidence of the ACC to be the Vice-Chair,” said Archbishop Hosam. “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.”
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 a 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.”
Archbishop Hosam will succeed as Vice-Chair Canon Maggie Swinson, who was elected unopposed as Chair of the ACC.
“I look forward to working closely with him and Canon Maggie,” said Bishop Anthony, “as together they will take forward the new Standing Committee and the ACC.”
Watch: new Chair and Vice-Chair address a press conference (1830 GMT on 17 February) https://youtu.be/iqhUMrHppig
Main photo: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby congratulates Archbishop Hosam; below left: Archbishop Hosam; below right (l-r): outgoing ACC Chair Archbishop Paul Kwong; ACC President Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby; ACC Vice-Chair-elect Archbishop in Jerusalem Hosam Naoum; ACC Vice-Chair and Chair-elect Canon Maggie Swinson; and Anglican Communion Secretary-General Bishop Anthony Poggo
Photo credit: ACNS