Annual General Meeting 2022 — Report

Posted on June 23, 2022 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

The Annual General Meeting of Anglican Church League was held at St Andrew’s Cathedral School on 16 June 2022. Here’s a report.

Bible reading and Prayer

ACL President the Rev Andrew Bruce shared from God’s word on Acts 14:1–20. He encouraged us that in this passage, the gospel of Christ is preached in all its saving power. Nevertheless, the preacher is (shockingly and appallingly) bashed and left for dead. We saw that as the gospel goes forward, opposition arises. We prayed for encouragement and perseverance as the gospel goes forward in our own circumstances.

Presidential Address

Rev Bruce noted that this was his last address as President, having served in this role for seven years. He reflected that during the time of his presidency, the ACL had restructured its operations to better achieve its aim of having “the right people in the right places doing the right things”. The restructuring had resulted in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the Council and greater engagement with members.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer spoke to the financial reports. He noted the surplus over the last couple of years is related to the lower than usual expenses due to reduced activity during the COVID pandemic.

Vice-Presidents’ Reports

Reports from two Vice-Presidents were interspersed with elections (see below for election results).

The ACL and the Sydney Diocese

ACL Vice President the Rev Canon Phil Colgan spoke on the vital work of the ACL in promoting Christ and the reformed evangelical Protestant faith through the structures of the Sydney Diocese. He noted that we see ourselves as servants of the Synod. While the COVID pandemic has meant that Sydney Synod had not been able to meet recently, there have been elections, and the ACL has nominated good candidates who have won those elections.

A significant challenge facing the Synod is that it is becoming harder to find and raise up lay people for important roles on boards and committees. This is especially important in our schools, where the key issues of gender and sexuality are at the fore. Members of the ACL have a vital role in finding excellent lay candidates for the Council to recommend.

General Synod and The Line in the Sand

ACL Vice President Dr Claire Smith spoke on the recent General Synod in May 2022. She noted that there were many reasons to be thankful to God, including the godly leadership of Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, and that many good motions were discussed graciously and passed. She commended the excellent daily email updates for ACL members written by ACL Council member the Rev Kate Haggar.

Dr Smith noted with sadness the decision of 12 out of 24 Bishops (plus two abstentions) to defy the will of the General Synod by rejecting a key motion on marriage and human sexuality. Members of the ACL will be familiar with the book The Line in the Sand, published jointly by the ACL and the Australian Church Record and available for free download, that addressed the issue in detail. Dr Smith also commended the ABC Religion & Ethics article by ACL Vice-President the Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson, “I contend that twelve bishops did defy the will of the General Synod over human sexuality: A response to Matthew Anstey”. Thankfully, the General Synod passed other motions and statements affirming the biblical understanding of marriage.

Election results

New ACL President The Rev. Roger Cunningham

The following office-bearers were elected:

President: The Rev Roger Cunningham
Chairman: Dr Robert Tong AM
Treasurer: Mr Ned Teuben
Secretary: The Rev Mike Leite
Elections Secretary: The Rev Andrew Bruce
Membership Secretary: The Rev Mike Taylor
Communications Secretary: The Rev Dr Lionel Windsor
Minutes Secretary: The Rev Matthew Whitfield

Vice Presidents:

Mr Clive Ellis
Dr Laurie Scandrett
Dr Claire Smith
The Rev Canon Phil Colgan
The Rt Rev Dr Gary Koo
The Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson


Ms Stephanie Adams
Mr Jeremy Freeman
Mr Edward Hannah
Mr Michael Latten
Mr Angus Martin
Mr Malcolm Purvis
Mr Henry Pascoe
Mr Phillip Witheridge
The Rev Dr Mark Earngey
The Rev Nigel Fortescue
The Rev Dr Raj Gupta
The Rev Kate Haggar
The Rev Canon Tom Harricks
The Rev Graeme Howells
The Rev Caitlin Orr
The Rev Gavin Parsons
The Rev Gavin Poole
The Rev Jason Ramsay
The Rev Craig Roberts
The Rev James Warren

Motions of thanks

A motion of thanks to the Rev Andrew Bruce for his faithful service as President over many years passed by acclamation.

A motion of thanks to Dr Laurie Scandrett for faithful service as Treasurer passed by acclamation.

The meeting closed in prayer, led by newly elected President the Rev Roger Cunningham.