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Introducing CWAG

First published on: 19th March 2024

As a UK-registered and based charity that partners with churches across the world, USPG values diverse global voices to accompany, advise and inform our service to Christ and the Anglican Communion. That’s where our Communion-Wide Advisory Group (or CWAG) come in.

Comprising of church leaders and representatives from across the Anglican Communion, the newly appointed CWAG met together for the first time in Kuching, Malaysia in March 2024. Hosted by the Bishop of Kuching, the Rt Revd Danald Jute, the meeting offered members the opportunity to get to know each other, familiarise themselves with USPG’s strategic plans for the next five years, share expectations, and discern ways in which the CWAG can continue effectively accompany USPG’s work in the coming years. 

The Communion Wide Advisory Group aims to support the work of USPG by:  

  • Providing advice and guidance to the USPG Trustees and leadership;  
  • Engaging critically and constructively with USPG’s vision, mission, strategy and policy; and  
  • Acting as ambassadors for USPG within their regions and churches.  

CWAG members are selected from across the Anglican Communion, taking into consideration regional balances and are appointed with the endorsement and support of their respective provinces.  

Meet the group

(From left to right starting on the top row)

Rt Rev'd Prof. David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, The Church of England and incoming USPG Chair of Trustees

Rev'd Dr Duncan Dormor, General Secretary USPG

Most Rev'd Dr Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, Archbishop of The Church of the Province of West Africa 

Rt Rev'd Danald Jute, Bishop of Kuching, The Church of the Province of South East Asia 

Rt Rev'd Metlhayotlhe Beleme, Bishop of Botswana, The Church of the Province of Central Africa 

Rev'd Canon Dr Peniel Rajkumar, Director of Global Mission

Rt Rev'd John Perumbalath, Bishop of Liverpool, The Church of England 

Rev'd Sonja Hunter, The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

Rev'd Lopa Mudra Mistry, The Church of North India

Anita Gittens, The Anglican Church of Canada 

Essie Pato, The Anglican Church of Southern Africa 

Not pictured: Revd Wadie Far, Diocese of Jerusalem and Rt Revd Phillip Wright, Bishop of Belize 

The choice of Kuching as the location for the inaugural CWAG meeting of this incumbent group was especially significant because of the historical links of USPG with the Diocese of Kuching - from as early as 1848 through the mission work of SPG (Society for Propagation of the Gospel).  The group had the opportunity to experience firsthand the mission of the diocese through visits to local churches and schools as well as encounters with local leaders. Members of the group visited and celebrated the eucharist with residents of the Po Ai longhouse Rumah Wilson in Sri Aman. They also had the opportunity to visit various local Christian communities as well as St Mary’s Girls Secondary School where they learnt more about the inculturation of Anglican Church in Sarawak and its influential ministry through education. CWAG were deeply touched by the rich and generous hospitality of the Diocese of Kuching. 

USPG CWAG with students from St Mary's Secondary School in different traditional dresses showing the different ethnic groups in Sarawak, including Ibam, Bidayuh, Orang ulu and Melanau.

Most notably, the group had a private audience with the Governor of Sarawak His Excellency Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar, and were later hosted for dinner by the Unit for Other Religions (UNIFOR) with Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, the Deputy Premier of Sarawak. These meetings offered the group an opportunity to understand the rich religious and racial diversity of Sarawak and the various efforts being undertaken to strengthen unity and harmony within the state.

Read more in the Borneo Post:

USPG CWAG courtesy call to the Governor of Sarawak His Excellency Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar

The week concluded with a commissioning eucharist service in the chapel of the Bishop’s house. 

The opportunity to be present with each other in Kuching, through the sharing of food, fellowship, stories and experiences strengthened the members for the journey ahead and inspired them to find new ways of continuing to live their lives in Christ, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, and abounding in thanksgiving (cf. Colossians 2: 6,7).  

Please join us in welcoming the new Communion-Wide Advisory Group and praying for God’s enabling grace as they take up their new role in service to Christ and His global Church. 

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