Name of Anglican Church to change

Johannesburg, South Africa - The formal name of the Anglican Church is to change, the Provincial Synod, its highest legislative body, announced on Monday.

Previously known as the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, it will now be known as the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said the decision was taken by the Synod on Sunday because of confusion arising from the word province.

"We are an ecclesiastical province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, but we also have nine provinces in South Africa and provinces in other parts of our region such as Mozambique and Angola. So the word 'province' confuses people," said the Archbishop.

"The name change has a lot to do with clarifying our identity," he said.

"The name change will not come in to effect immediately because it changes the constitution of the Anglican Church. It will only be finalised at the next session of the Provincial Synod in three years' time," Ndungane added.