Mission - Commissions - MISSIO

Executive Summary

MISSIO, the Anglican Communion’s Standing Commission on Mission, was established by ACC-9 in Cape Town in 1993 as the successor to MISAG II, with its members appointed for its first five years term.  MISSIO has met four times between 1993 and 1999. This report, is respectfully submitted to ACC-11, meeting in Edinburgh in September 1999. 

The main substance of this report is contained in chapters 4 through 7.  Chapter 4 contains the report’s major theological reflections on mission.  Chapter 5 is a preliminary review of the Decade of Evangelism, with suggestions for the way forward.  Chapter 6 contains a discussion of leadership training as this pertains to the mission work of the church, and Chapter 7 is a major review of international mission structures throughout our Communion.  Chapter 8 is a case study of one church’s struggle to deal with its historical legacy of cross-cultural mission, with pertinent reflections from 3 partner churches.  Towards the end of most chapters, questions for discussion and reflection have been included, in the hopes that the report will be widely circulated and prove useful and informative to Anglicans throughout the breadth of our Communion. 

The specific recommendations, on which ACC-11 is requested to act, are as follows:


  • A New Way of Meeting.  MISSIO chose, as a matter of policy, to hold each of its meetings in a different part of the Communion, and took time to experience the life and witness of the local church in its own context. This was a good decision, enabling the Commission to increase its understanding of the mission challenges and tasks around the Communion.  The context in which one does mission contributes in no small measure to the theology of mission and the agenda for mission.  MISSIO therefore recommends this way of working to those who will serve on the Commission in the future, and draws to the attention of ACC-11 and other committees, commissions and networks of the Communion, this model of working.

  • An Anglican Congress.  MISSIO warmly welcomed the 1995 proposal of the Joint Standing Committee of ACC and the Primates to hold an Anglican Congress.  At its final meeting in Harare in April 1999, MISSIO continued to envisage such a Congress, now contemplated for the year 2003.  MISSIO’s specific suggestions re a Fourth Anglican Congress are contained in a memorandum to the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council (see Appendix A).

  • A Meeting of Mission Agencies.  MISSIO is proposing a meeting of Synodical, Provincial and Voluntary Mission Agencies in the year 2001 (see Appendix A).  This meeting will reflect on the roles and responsibilities of the mission agencies, as well as promote networking and mutual understanding among the older agencies and newer expressions of mission structures. MISSIO hopes the planners of the Anglican Congress will see the outcome of the mission agencies conference as informing and enriching the Fourth Anglican Congress.

  • A Review of Leadership Training.  MISSIO, recognising that its surveys of the progress of the Decade of Evangelism within dioceses and provinces have highlighted the importance and problems of leadership training and clergy formation, therefore requests ACC-11 to initiate a review within the Communion of leadership training and clergy formation to identify trends, needs and problems, and how they might be addressed.

  • The Decade of Evangelism.  At the time of MISSIO’s final meeting, the Decade of Evangelism was still in progress.  Many voices from around the Communion say that the Decade has added great momentum to the on going witness of Anglicans world-wide which will continue beyond the official end of the Decade.  In most provinces much effort has been expended on empowering the laity, There was a new drive to include evangelism and mission into the curricula of many seminaries and theological colleges and an increase in persons participating in mission and evangelism training.  Many provinces have expressed the need for deeper and wider training in mission and evangelism for both the laity and clergy.  MISSIO  recommend therefore:
    • that the provinces and dioceses of the Communion evaluate the lessons learnt during the Decade in their situation in order to continue and build on the momentum the Decade has achieved and to keep evangelism as a high profile in the church’s mission.
    • that in particular the provinces, dioceses and parishes develop and expand appropriate training to equip individuals and congregations for effective work in mission and evangelism

  • Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Senior-Level Mission & Evangelism Staff Officer.  In response to the Lambeth Conference Resolution 2:2e on “Mission and the Structures of the Anglican Communion”, and having heard of the proposed recommendations of the ACC Joint Standing Committees’ Priorities Working Group, MISSIO:
    • Endorses the proposal of the Priorities Working Group to continue a Standing Commission on Mission;
    • Recommends that it be called the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission;
    • Recommends that the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission have functions and membership as detailed on pp.58-59;
    • Recommends that a senior-level Mission & Evangelism Staff Officer be appointed to the Anglican Communion Office;
    • Recommends that the Mission & Evangelism Officer be responsible for the functions listed on p.60.

  • Proposal for a Network of Anglicans in Mission and Evangelism (NAME).  In response to a referral from the Primates’ Meeting, MISSIO met with the organisers of a group known as the Network of Anglicans in Mission and Evangelism (NAME).  Following the meeting, MISSIO discussed the group’s proposal at length.  Believing that a commitment to the mission of God should be recognised as an expression of our unity, and wanting to encourage new expressions of mission, MISSIO recommends that the Anglican Consultative Council, on completion of the following steps, recognise NAME as a network of the Anglican Communion:
    • A positive review of the proposal by the Provinces and major mission agencies, to be facilitated by the Anglican Communion Office (ACO).
    • Formation of a secretariat, or staff, and program committee by NAME that inspires confidence in the network’s intentions.
    • Clarification of the membership of NAME, particularly the question of whether the network is open to people or organisations other than individual bishops and institutions/agencies.
    • The working out of a mutually acceptable reporting accountability to the Anglican Consultative Council. (MISSIO recommends that NAME liaise with the ACO staff officer for mission and evangelism.)
    • The establishment of a mutually acceptable working relationship with MISSIO, which takes account of MISSIO’s mandate while enabling NAME to operate effectively and efficiently.
    • Further details of MISSIO’s recommendation concerning NAME are found in Appendix B.