The Turnbull Report
In 1994, a Commission was established by the Archbishops of
Canterbury and York 'to review the machinery for central policy and
resource direction in the Church of England, and to make
recommendations for improving its effectiveness in supporting the
ministry and mission of the Church to the nation as a whole'. The
following year, the Commission, chaired by the Rt Revd Michael
Turnbull, the then Bishop of Durham, produced a report entitled
Working Together as One Body '.
The need for change
The Commission looked at the constituent parts of the central
structures of the Church of England - essentially the Offices of
the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the House of Bishops, the
General Synod and its Boards and Councils, the Central Board of
Finance, the Church Commissioners and the Church of England
Pensions Board. Its conclusion was that more coherence and
coordination was needed in order to give the Church an enhanced
capacity to consider policy and resource issues together.
The Archbishops' Council
Amongst the Commission's recommendations was the establishment
of a new Council to provide a focus for leadership and executive
responsibility and a forum for strategic thinking and planning.
Within an overall vision for the Church set by the House of
Bishops, the Council would propose an ordering of priorities in
consultation with the House of Bishops and the General Synod and
take an overview of the Church's financial needs and resources. Not
all of the details of the Turnbull model were accepted, but the
General Synod endorsed the main thrust and agreed to the creation
of the Archbishops' Council. It came into being at the beginning of
1999 under the terms of the National Institutions Measure 1998.