The Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is just one of 23 dioceses within the Anglican Church of Australia that serve the over 3 million Australians who identify as Anglicans. Representatives of each diocese meet for the ACA’s General Synod every three years to discuss matters of mutual concern and to pass national legislation. You can read more about the Anglican Church of Australia here.
The ACA is led by a Primate, who is the President of the General Synod and the Standing Committee, which is responsible for the affairs of the General Synod between sessions. The current Primate is Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier. The Primate may offer support and guidance to the bishops and archbishops of each Australian diocese, but does not possess the legal power to compel bishops or dioceses to act in certain ways. The Primate is also the face of the ACA internationally, meeting regularly with other Primates at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury as part of the Anglican Communion. To learn more about Dr Philip Freier, the current Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, click here.
The Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is the name given to the reciprocal relationship between the 39 autonomous national and regional churches, plus six extra-provincial churches and dioceses that serve an estimated 85 million Christians worldwide.
While there is no central authority such as a pope, the spiritual head of the Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury. Each church in the Communion makes its own decisions in its own way, but is guided by recommendations from the Lambeth Conference, Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Meeting and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Anglican Communion aims to help Anglicans and Episcopalians work and worship across national borders and support one another in their lives and ministry. Such cooperation has ensured members of the Communion are able to share insight, experience and wisdom as the world changes around them. From time to time members have significant disagreements certain issues, but the longstanding dedication to maintaining the relationship between our international churches is testament to the cooperative and supportive nature of the Communion.
The Anglican Church of Australia participates in the life of the Communion through a number of the Communion’s instruments, including: