Provincial Notices Provincial Standing Committee

PSC Resolutions declaring Israel an apartheid state and on pilgrimages to the Holy Land

The following resolutions were approved by Provincial Standing Committee at its 2023 meeting on Wednesday.

A statement on the decisions by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is available on his blog >>


1. Whereas:

a. Many global human rights bodies including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have now declared Israel an apartheid state;

b. The SACC National Executive Committee has now also declared Israel an apartheid state;

c. The Dutch Reformed Church Western Cape synod has now also expressed its opinion that Israel should be declared an apartheid state and has asked its church’s National synod to consider this at its October 2023 Synod;

d. Most Palestinian civil rights bodies consider this to be true;

2. This PSC Resolves to:

a. Endorse the position taken by the SACC national executive committee declaring Israel an apartheid state;

b. Respectfully request the Archbishop to inform the Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East of this decision;

c. Pray for our Anglican brothers and sisters in Palestine and to express our solidarity with them;

d. Express support for the upcoming global anti-apartheid conference on Palestine to be held in Tshwane in November 2023.


1. Whereas:

a. the definition of Israel as an apartheid State has become more widely used, including by the National Executive of the South African Council of Churches;

b. the Archbishop’s Lent Course 2023 on The Bible and the Land Called Holy helped significantly in raising awareness in ACSA about the plight of the Palestinians and that there was a strong interest expressed in continuing this focus;

c. One of the possible actions emanating from this course is to promote solidarity visits to Israel-Palestine;

2. PSC Recognises that:

a. In the Provincial Synod Resolution of 2019 “Many Christian pilgrimages to the current state of Israel often ignore the Christians living in Palestine”;

b. Visits to the Christians of Palestine to hear their stories are often not on the programme of these pilgrimages and, furthermore, the word “Palestine” is never or hardly ever used in the marketing material or in the preparation for the pilgrimage;

c. The military occupation of Palestine is hardly ever talked about or discussed in these pilgrimages and the similarities to apartheid South Africa seldom discussed.

3. Affirming that:

In respect of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land it is desirable to:

a. include an interfaith (or at the very least “Abrahamic”) component and a discussion regarding the current situation of Christians in the Holy Land;

b. have an Anglican priest (or one approved by ACSA) as chaplain to accompany the group of pilgrims (which may be comprised of both Anglicans and Christians of various denominations);

c. include meetings with Palestinian Christians if possible, including visits to their homes;

d. includes meetings with The Bishop of Jerusalem or senior clergy in Palestine and Israel whenever possible; and

e. visits all the sites of the most important parts of the life of Jesus (his birth at ethlehem, his baptism in the River Jordan, his first sermon at Capernaum, the last Supper, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension sites).

4. Resolves to:

Adopt the principle of ACSA-approved Pilgrimages to the Holy Land;

a. respectfully request the Archbishop to inform the Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East about this resolution

b. encourage that the first ACSA-approved pilgrimage takes place around Pentecost 2024 and to advertise the same on the ACSA website.

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Covid Advisory Team eases vaccination advice

New advice from ACSA’s Covid Advisory Team:

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An Appeal: African Anglicans urged to share health needs

An appeal for clergy and lay Anglicans from the Anglican Health & Community Network and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa:

Provincial Notices Provincial Standing Committee

Agenda for 2023 Provincial Standing Committee meeting

The Agenda Book for the PSC meeting to be held from 27-29 September can be read and downloaded below. The file has been compressed for display on this website. A higher-resolution file can also be downloaded here >>

(Note: This latest version of the Agenda below was added on August 2, and replaces that loaded here on July 27]

Provincial Notices Synod of Bishops


Issued after the Bishops’ meeting in Gauteng from 27th February – 3rd March 2023.

Note: The Addendum referred to on page 2 can be found here >>

Provincial Notices Synod of Bishops

Statement on Human Dignity and Marriage – March 2023

The addendum to the Communiqué from the Synod of Bishops, issued after their meeting of 27th February – 3rd March 2023

Provincial Notices Provincial Standing Committee

Minutes of 2022 Provincial Standing Committee

CLICK HERE to read and download a copy of the Minutes of the 2022 meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee [LARGE FILE]

News Provincial Standing Committee

Church report suggests how to create jobs for young people

A report presented to Provincial Standing Committee has made suggestions for how parishes could combat youth unemployment in countries of the Province.

The report was presented by Bishop Vicentia Kgabe of Lesotho, who was appointed by the Archbishop to chair a Commission on Youth Unemployment in response to a resolution from the 2021 Provincial Synod.

Among suggestions made by the commission were:

  • Establishing a database recording the personnel resources available among church members:
  • Using the database to set up mentors to provide guidance to young people needing work;
  • Budgetting to employ more young people in parishes and dioceses;
  • Organising workshops to help young people write their C.V.s and develop their skills; and
  • Making church-owned land available for business ventures.

The full report presented by Bishop Kgabe follows:

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC report gives advice to parishes on including people with disabilities

Parishes are being encouraged to include people living with disability fully in the lives of their congregations, for example by welcoming those who use wheelchairs by providing ramps to enable them to access churches easily.

Both this year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee and the September meeting of the Synod of Bishops heard reports from the Revd Dr Andrew Warmback of the Diocese of Natal, who was asked by the Archbishop to convene a Disability Advisory Group after the last Provincial Synod.

The Synod committed ACSA “to becoming a fully accessible church to people with disabilities, creating an environment in which all members can offer their gifts and talents in the life, leadership and service of the church.”

The Advisory Group’s report to PSC 2022 appears below, and the 2021 Provincial Synod resolution below that.

Resolution approved at Provincial Synod 2021


This Provincial Synod,

Noting that:

  1. Within our churches there is a significant number of people who have physical, emotional, sensory, developmental and intellectual disabilities; some disabilities being visible and some not;
  2. Many of us will experience disability at some stage in our lives;

Acknowledging that:

2.1. People with disabilities often experience marginalisation due to discriminatory social attitudes and practices;

2.2. Physical and communication barriers, such as steps to the altar and lack of large print prayer books as well as attitudinal barriers, can prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in church;

Affirming that:

  1. Everyone is made in God’s image and has inherent dignity and worth and is tobe equally respected;
  2. Disability is part of the diversity of humankind created by God, and we all need the insights of those who have experience of disability in fully understanding the nature of God and our Christian faith;
  3. Jesus sought out people with disabilities and challenged oppressive and dehumanising systems and structures that led to their stigmatisation and marginalisation in society;
  4. The Body of Christ has many members and to be whole all must be welcomed and included regardless of level of ability;

Resolves to:

  1. Commit to becoming a fully accessible church to people with disabilities, creating an environment in which all members can offer their gifts and talents in the life, leadership and service of the church;
  2. Respectfully request the Archbishop to appoint a Disability Advisory Group, led by and comprising mostly people with disabilities, whose responsibilities would include the raising of awareness about issues of disability and engaging in educational and advocacy work, including in the following ways within ACSA:

2.1. In collaboration with the South African Anglican Theological Commission (SAATC) to work on adopting a Theology of Disability, which could assist in theological education and formation;

2.2. Offer support to Provincial and Diocesan guilds, groups, institutions and ministries to assist them with the full participation of people with disabilities within their organisations, events and services;

2.3. Liaise with those engaged in Gender work as well as those responsible for safeguarding to highlight the link between disability and gender-based violence;

2.4. Assist the Liturgical Committee in their revision of the Prayer Book by the needs of those with disabilities in respect of services and sacraments, and providing additional resources for celebrating “People with disabilities” as contained in our Lectionary;

2.5. Work with the Canon Law Council in respect of amendments that may need to be made to the Constitution and Canons in the light of this motion;

2.6. Advocate that the governments in the Province of ACSA to enact legislation and policies that ensure the same rights for people with disabilities that are guaranteed to all other people in our societies;

  1. Encourage all Dioceses to pass motions similar to this one.
News Synod of Bishops

Communique from the Synod of Bishops – September 2022

Issued by the Synod of Bishops after its September 2022 meeting:

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC asks parishes to highlight the plight of Palestinians

Provincial Standing Committee, the church’s top decision-making body between Provincial Synods, has requested parishes to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people at annual observances.

In a resolution adopted today, PSC asked parishes:

— to highlight their plight on a Sunday late in November close to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29; and

— to co-host with other groups the annual commemoration on May 15 of the displacement of Palestinians during the conflict which occurred around the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948.

In debate on the resolution, the committee heard that there had been controversy over the church’s stand on the situation in Palestine at the recent assembly of the World Council of Churches in Germany. The WCC had been reluctant to criticise Israel, with German church and government officials particularly sensitive to being accused of anti-semitism.

The PSC resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of dioceses, with no votes against it and two abstentions.

The full text of the resolution reads:


Acknowledging that:

1. all human beings are created in the image of God, and that Christianity does not elevate one group of people over another;

2. Christian and Jewish Zionism are both undergirded by notions of supremacy and are forms of racism which have no place in the Christian faith;

3. the Palestinian people remain victims of attitudes in Europe for which they are not responsible. Their refugee situation is the longest running refugee situation in history;

4. support for Palestinian people and advocacy for their human dignity is in no way synonymous with anti-semitism;

5. the integrity and authenticity of the Christian faith is in grave danger if we do not stand with those who suffer.

Therefore, this PSC resolves to:

1. request all parishes in ACSA to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people on the Sunday before Advent yearly, in line with the International day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November;

2. respectfully request the Archbishop to re-commend the Bible Study series “The Bible and the Land Called Holy” for study and to commission the preparation and leading of an online study series during Lent 2023;

3. request local parishes in ACSA to co-host Nakba (or Catastrophe) day, yearly, on 15 May with others who host similar events;

4. respectfully request the Archbishop to send strong messages of support to Palestinian Christians and further respectfully requests the Archbishop to consider visiting Palestinian Christians and/or host a group in South Africa;

5. reflect on what the Bishops of Lambeth were able to resolve and to consider the implications of what they decided;

6. encourage engagement with Christians in other parts of the globe, particularly former colonial powers in Europe and USA and urge them to take stronger actions so that Israel is held accountable and that Palestinian rights are upheld.

Proposed by: The Rt Revd Charles May, Bishop of the Highveld

Seconder: The Revd Dr Andrew Warmback, Diocese of Natal

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC backs Communion-wide plan to “green” the world

ACSA’s highest decision-making body between meetings of Provincial Synod has pledged support for the “Communion Forest”, an environmental initiative in which Anglicans around the world will work to protect and enhance their environments.

In a resolution proposed by Bishop Vicentia Kgabe of Lesotho, this year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee encouraged dioceses and parishes to plant and grow trees and to remove invasive trees and plants in their areas.

PSC also called for the church to incorporate tree or plant growing as part of baptisms, marriages, funerals, patronal festivals, conferences and other events.

Launching the initiative at the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said it could become the “most widespread and diverse” environmental project in the world.

The full text of the PSC resolution:

The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations” Rev 22:2

This PSC notes:

  1. That the Communion Forest was launched at the Lambeth Conference
  1. The high levels of land degradation in Southern Africa
  1. The importance of creating green spaces to:
  • Create shade especially as temperatures rise due to climate change.
  • Create green spaces for rest and recreation
    increase biodiversity.
  • Offset carbon emissions and reduce air pollution.
  • Prevent erosion and limit flooding.

This PSC:

  1. Pledges its support to the Communion Forest and by requesting the Bishops to Include tree growing as part of the confirmation spirituality.
  1. Each Diocese and Parish
  • Commit to tree growing, not just planting – trees need to be watered and cared for.
  • Incorporate tree or plant growing as part of baptisms, marriages, funerals, patronal festivals, conferences and other events.
  1. Remove invasive trees and plants to improve biodiversity and save water
News Provincial Standing Committee

Dioceses urged to come alongside Anglican schools

Provincial Standing Committee has resolved that Dioceses should play an active role in engaging with church schools as they address the issue of discrimination.

The PSC decision followed the adoption of a comprehensive report drawn up by a task team appointed by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba arising from a PSC request in 2020. The request was made in response to public controversy over complaints of past and current racial discrimination at church schools.

The task team comprised bishops, priests and educational experts and was convened by Professor Mary Metcalfe, a former head of the Wits University School of Education. A resolution adopted by PSC today asked Diocesan Bishops to facilitate the distribution of and engagement with the task team’s report by schools.

Today’s resolution came after a finding by the commission that “It is clear that schools are ready and willing to take significant strides – and many have already done so. What schools are [now] asking for is the committed and sustained attention of the church to relationships of support.”

In his homily at the opening service of PSC, the Archbishop said Dioceses needed to come alongside our schools to support them.

The full text of the PSC resolution appears below.

(Since this report was first posted, the task team’s report and the text of a pastoral letter from the Anglican Board of Education have been added below the resolution.)

Today’s resolution read:

This Provincial Standing Committee


  1. The resolution on addressing discrimination in Diocesan schools passed by Provincial Standing Committee in September 2020;
  2. The Metropolitan’s appointment of a Provincial Task Team to make recommendations on how discrimination at our Diocesan Schools can best be addressed in partnership with the respective Dioceses and schools themselves.
  3. The work undertaken by the appointed Task Team, according to its brief, in engaging specifically with Diocesan Bishops, Heads of Schools, School Chaplain’s and the portfolio leads on Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion & Transformation in Diocesan schools;
  4. The Task Team’s submission of interim reports to the Synod of Bishops in February 2021 & Provincial Synod in September 2021;

Acknowledging that the Task Team’s work evolved into

  1. working with Anglican schools to develop a set of recommendations that would not be a conclusion, but a step in an ongoing journey within the Southern African Anglican community that reflect challenges in society as a whole;
  2. the realisation that addressing discrimination is not only a social responsibility in the pursuit of social justice, as envisaged in the South African Constitution, but an integral part of the mission and vision of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa;
  3. the realisation that the urgency of individual and collective journeys towards wholeness and towards healing is rooted in our individual and collective acknowledgement of discrimination, in our manifestation of contrition, in taking action, in establishing trust, and thus in finding forgiveness for self and others.

Resolves that:

  1. The report of the Provincial Task Team and it’s recommendations, as received by Provincial Standing Committee September 2022, be adopted;
  2. Diocesan Bishops facilitate, as the Report recommends, the distribution of and engagement with the report amongst their respective schools;
  3. ABESA [the Anglican Board of Education] consider and report back on the integration into its work, of the recommendations concerning it’s role, to the next Provincial Standing Committee or Provincial Synod.

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC seeks to strengthen Safe Church Commission’s work

Provincial Standing Committee has resolved to seek ways of strengthening the Province’s efforts to ensure that our parishes and institutions are safe spaces, free of abuse of any kind.

In a resolution approved at its annual meeting today, PSC asked the Synod of Bishops to appoint a task team to consider special fund-raising to finance the work of the Safe and Inclusive Church Commission.

The commission was established in 2019 as an advisory body to help the Province, dioceses, organisations and institutions to implement the Safe and Inclusive Church Charter adopted by the bishops earlier that year.

Today’s resolution reads:

This PSC:

  1. Commits itself to fulfilling our obligations set out in the Safe and Inclusive Church Charter as detailed in ACT XX of our Canons and Constitution
  2. Encourages ACSA’s commitment to making its churches, organisations and institutions places of safety and inclusion.
  3. Affirms the need for building a culture of safety and inclusion through ongoing training and development.

Respectfully requests the Synod of Bishops to:

Appoint a task team to consider the feasibility of a special fund-raising initiative to provide the funds to finance the activities of the Commission, including SIC education within ACSA for the next 3 to 5 years.

Provincial Standing Committee

For PSC – Financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2021