A CONFERENCE of leaders from the Global South has emphasised the
strength of the worldwide Anglican Church.
In a communiqué that focused on
mission, it was agreed that the strength of the Anglican Church lay
in its presence throughout the world, and its unity.
The final statement said: "The nature
of the global Anglican Church affords us an opportunity to serve,
work, and learn together. This is a gift from God to the world. . .
Our unity is both a witness and a conduit by which this work and
Delegates, including some from what
the communiqué describes as "orthodox Anglican churches in the
West", attended the five-day conference in Bangkok, on the theme of
mission and networking. They agreed "we can expect a resurgence of
traditional religious-cultural groups on the one hand, and hardened
secularism and materialism on the other. In the face of these
challenges, our greatest need is for discipleship to take root and
The conference statement said that the
Global South was committed to a "strong society marked by the rise
of a civil society, political stability, sustainable economy,
reduction of poverty, and the eradication of all forms of violence,
endemic diseases, and corruption".
The tone of the statement was
different from previous communiqués issued after Global South
conferences, which have attacked moves by the US Episcopal Church,
in particular, to ordain gay clergy.
A second, separate communiqué was
issued on behalf of the Primates of the Global South after the
conference, however, which, although also more muted than previous
statements, expressed "great sadness" at the authorisation of a
liturgy for same-sex blessings by the General Convention of the
Episcopal Church (
News, 20 July).
Primates said that the action
"confirms our disappointment that the Episcopal Church has no
regard for the concerns and convictions of the vast majority of
The statement suggested that no action
should be taken beyond "upholding in prayer and supporting in
fellowship" those who disagreed with the Episcopal Church's latest
The Primates' communiqué also
confirmed that they have written to the Crown Nominations
Commission "with principles for consideration as it nominates
candidates for the appointment of a new Archbishop of
Although no signatories were attached
to the Primates' communiqué, there was a list of those present,
including the Primate of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng, and the Primate of
the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest.
There were suggestions that some of
those named did not know of this second communiqué, and had not
A retired Bishop of Malaita, the Rt
Revd Terry Brown, said in a comment online that the Archbishop of
Melanesia, the Rt Revd David Vunagi, who had attended the
conference, knew nothing of the Primates' communiqué.