Analyzing the appointments of Archbishop Beach

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A couple months ago, the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made some appointments to assist him in governing the Province. While I don’t see anything about Deans in the Canons of ACNA, they do say:

Section 5 – Concerning Officers of the Church

The Archbishop shall be the Presiding Officer of the Church, and the Presiding Officer of the Council. The Council shall appoint a Deputy Chair, a chancellor, a secretary, a treasurer, a registrar, and such other officers of the Church as it deems necessary. The Council shall define the duties of each officer of the Church.

Archbishop Beach appointed seven people to six roles; they are:

  • Bishop Ray Sutton as Dean of College Affairs and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
  • Bishop Terrell Glenn as Dean of College Affairs.
  • Bishop John Guernsey as Dean of Provincial Affairs
  • Bishop Bill Atwood as Dean of International Affairs
  • Bishop Don Harvey as Senior College Chaplain, assisted by Bishops Bena and Ackerman.

As noted in this post, Bishop Sutton came close to a victory in the Conclave before he voluntarily stepped aside. Bishop Guernsey was also thought to be a frontrunner for the job of Archbishop heading into the Conclave.With that in mind, these appointments look a bit like consolation prizes for these men. I am not asserting that they are, but it is a very status quo set of appointments.

The affiliation of these men and their position on women’s ordination are:

BishopAffiliationPosition on WO
AckermanACNA, FiFNAAgainst
SuttonRECAgainst
GlennACNAAgainst
GuernseyACNAFor
AtwoodACNAFor
HarveyANiCFor
BenaCANAFor

This group also skews Anglo-Catholic or charismatic, with only one Bishop being notably Augustinian in conviction (as far as I know). I don’t know how much to invest in these observations, but the convictions of these men may show up in policy in the years ahead. It also signals that as much as we thought the election of Archbishop Beach signaled the arrival of a new generation of leadership, there are a lot of holdovers from the last two decades still in power. This is neither good nor bad of necessity, but is simply the reality.