Anglican primates in the Oceania region have committed themselves “to take concrete action, to be champions and advocates, and to support each other” in the fight against climate change and gender-based violence. The Primates and General Secretaries of the Anglican Church in Australia, the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, the Anglican Church of Melanesia, and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia made the commitments in a communiqué following their recent regional meeting, or Fono, in Fiji.
As part of its commitment to tackle climate change, the church leaders are encouraging investment into sustainable energy as a valid option for investment funds. They are also encouraging their various trust boards “to consider restructuring their investments to maximise returns from such innovative ideas.” And they want Anglican schools in the region’s four provinces to integrate “climate change topics into the current curricula.”
On gender-based violence, the primates and general secretaries welcomed the work of The House of Sarah – an initiative of the Diocese of Polynesia, which works to end violence against women and children. They say that they encourage and support “the zero tolerance for violence policy as promoted by the House of Sarah” and will look at ways that they can share their work in other Provinces. The also encouraged all provinces to adopt and implement the Anglican Consultative Council’s (ACC) “Safe Church charter”, and committed themselves to review and respond to the guidelines coming from the International Safe Church Commission – an inter-provincial body established at the last ACC meeting to develop Communion-wide approaches to protecting children and vulnerable adults.