In the week following Sunday 24 July, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Anglican Communion will begin to gather at the University of Kent in Canterbury at the invitation of Archbishop Justin Welby. Although Lambeth Conferences are normally held every ten years, this one for various reasons, not least the pandemic, is taking place fourteen years after its predecessor, which I attended in 2008.
The first week will be spent in prayer and retreat, during which bishops will also have many opportunities to meet one another informally or renew acquaintance before the main sessions start.
The overarching headline for the conference is God’s Church for God’s World. Rooted in intensive daily study of the First Epistle of Peter, already begun over the past year and continued every morning of the conference, we shall discuss both strategic and urgent matters of Church affairs and the life of God’s creation. We shall share stories from our multiple cultures and from the gamut of Anglican Christian expressions.
At the suggestion of the Archbishop of Canterbury this Lambeth Conference is likely to develop and issue a series of Calls, to Church and world, rather than formally debate motions and pass resolutions. They are expected to result from hard work in the plenary sessions and seminars that will form the bulk of each day’s programme, on mission and evangelism, communion as the hallmark of the life of faith, reconciliation, Christian unity, discipleship, and the decade ahead.
I shall be present both as Primate of the Province of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East and as diocesan bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf. What I shall bring to the conference, contribute within it, and take from it will be informed by the wonderfully rich warp and weft of the people, parishes, and chaplaincies that I have served for the last fifteen years. Please pray for the conference as a whole, and for me.
In Christ our Lord.
Click for the Lambeth Conference Prayer Guide