Singapore’s Role in the Global South
The Anglican Global South comprises of 25 provinces of the Anglican Communion, plus the Anglican Church in North American as the 26th member. Conceived in Brisbane in 1986 at a meeting of mission agencies, the first South-South Encounter held its first gathering in Limuru, Kenya, in February 1994.
The 6th Global South Conference took place in synodic fashion (with Bishops, Priests and Lay Persons representing their respective provinces) in Cairo in October 2016. A Global South Primates meeting, also in Cairo, in September 2017, followed. In the Primates’ Communiqué (9th September 2017), we get a sense of the diverse context of Global South Provinces:
We shared together the challenges and blessings that we are experiencing in our provinces. We noticed common themes across our fellowship. For many of us, natural disasters and political unrest have created new waves of refugees, yet at the same time this instability is being accompanied by an extraordinary outpouring of God’s Spirit. We heard testimonies form areas in our provinces where people are coming to Christ in thousands, new schools and hospitals are being built to care for the poor, and new provinces and dioceses are emerging. We pray that God will provide more labourers to disciple these new believers that He is bringing into His kingdom, and pray that He will provide us with the resources to share His love with all in our communities.
"It is our privilege that our Diocese is in active support of the mission and ministry of several provinces and dioceses in the Global South, including the Province of Myanmar, the Diocese of Egypt, the Diocese of Jos (Nigeria), a Diocese in Madagascar, the Diocese of Malaita (Solomon Islands) and the Diocese of Bolivia. We are of course very glad to have Rt Revd Raphael Samuel serve as Bishop of Bolivia and Revd Mok Wai Mung serve as Priest in the Diocese of Egypt. They are there on the field with their wives Michelle Samuel and Deborah Mok, and we thank God for their obedience to God’s call and their sacrificial service," said Bishop Rennis Ponniah.
Another aspect of the Primates’ Communiqué addresses the need for the Global South Churches to develop the needful Ecclesial Structure and Responsibility to function as a coherent, unified, global body that can handle ‘faith and order’ issues as well as collaborate and support one another in our common mission to the nations:
As faithful members of the Anglican Communion, we are working on a new structure for the Global South to ensure fellowship in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the advancement of the kingdom of God, with emphasis on Ministry Formation, Economic Empowerment, Mission Partnerships, Discipleship and Youth Ministry. Under the chairmanship of Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the Structure Committee will convene its work in Singapore at the end of October 2017.
The members of this Joint Global South Anglicans and GAFCON Study Group are Bishop Rennis Ponniah (Chairman); Canon Phil Ashey, ACNA; Archbishop Bob Duncan, ACNA; Bishop David Onuoha (Diocese of Okigwe, South Nigeria; Bishop Samy Shehata (Area Bishop in the Diocese of Egypt); and Canon Michael Poon (Diocese of Singapore). Please pray for this Study Group who are scheduled to finalize their findings and recommendations by June 2018.