Barnett-Cowan to fill senior Communion position

The Secretary General, Canon Kenneth Kearon, has announced the appointment of Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan as Director for Unity, Faith and Order at the Anglican Communion Office. The post is a new one in the Communion, and arose after some restructuring following the election of Canon Gregory Cameron, formally Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Deputy Secretary General, as Bishop of St Asaph in the Church in Wales.

Canon Barnett-Cowan is currently Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, a post she has held since 1995. She has wide experience of the life of the Anglican Communion, having been a member of the Lambeth Commission on Communion (2003-2004) and of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (2000-2008). She is currently a consultant to the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, and has been a member of the Plenary Commission, Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches.

On hearing of her appointment Canon Barnett-Cowan said “It is a great privilege to be asked to take on this job, which is complex and demanding. I am looking forward to continuing to serve the wonderful and complicated family that is the Anglican Communion, and the ecumenical movement of which it is a part.”

“This is a crucial and demanding post in the Anglican Communion”, said Canon Kearon, “Alyson brings a profound knowledge and experience of both ecumenical and doctrinal issues to this role, and I look forward to having her as a colleague.” Her Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz said “We, in the Anglican Church of Canada, are enormously grateful for the outstanding service Alyson has given to our Church as Director of Faith Worship and Ministry. While we shall miss her we rejoice in her new appointment. I am confident the Communion will be well served through her leadership, one which is marked by integrity, passion and a deep love for the Church”.

Alyson is married to Bruce, who is also a priest, and they have three grown children. It is expected that she will take up her post later in the year.

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