31 May 2023

Young members of Anglican representative body need longer terms: delegate

The Reverend Heidin Kunoo (front right) with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and others at ACC 18. Photo: Neil Turner

Maya Pilbrow

3 April 2023

Term limits for youth delegates to the peak global Anglican representative body need to be revised, a delegate at the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council said.

Oceania youth delegate and St Paul’s East Kew assistant priest the Reverend Heidin Kunoo said allowing younger attendees to serve longer terms would help create continuity within the council.

Ms Kunoo said attending the past two sessions had helped her gain a mature understanding of the diversity of ways the Anglican communion served God.

At each plenary session, ACC members put forth resolutions to be voted on and developed into common policy across the global Anglican community.

At this year’s session in Accra, Ghana, several resolutions relating to youth in the church community were proposed. These included resolutions aimed at safeguarding youth livelihoods and increasing young people’s engagement in peace building and involvement in the life of the church.

Ms Kunoo said she felt empowered to share her perspective as a youth delegate, but said she wished she could attend future sessions.

“Last session was my first time and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I listened to and observed a lot of things,” she said. “But this year, I felt more comfortable, more confident, and able to get involved in a lot of conversations that we had and share ideas.”

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Ms Kunoo said this year marked the end of her term as a youth delegate.

One of the resolutions at this year’s council session requested changes to the delegate appointment system that would allow youth delegates to serve additional terms.

Ms Kunoo said she and her cohort were all appointed at the same time with no opportunity to provide guidance to the incoming crop of youth delegates.

“It would be nice to have some overlap there, to get the chance to be a mentor to the new delegates,” she said.

This is the second council session to include youth delegates following the 17th plenary session in Hong Kong in 2019.

Ms Kunoo said the ACC provided a powerful opportunity to be exposed to other perspectives from the global Anglican community.

“It’s been amazing and eye-opening to be able to listen, to understand and respect the priorities of others,” she said.

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