AT THE end of their meeting in January this year, the Primates of the Anglican Communion asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a task group, to “maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality, and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ”.
Last week, seven of the nine appointed members of the group began work on this agenda, at their first annual meeting, in London. The full group comprises seven Primates and three women, including the former vice-chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Elizabeth Paver, from England (News, 13 May).
The Primate of the Province of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, said that the group had been “able to be open and speak openly about our differences. . . And we all love our Communion — that is what binds us together.”
The Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Canon Rosemary Mbogo, said that the meeting had “gone well. We have covered a lot of ground on understanding each other and the people we represent. . . There is definitely hope — I am convinced of that.”
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, said: “Long-term solutions require long-term work. We are talking about relationships. You don’t build or renew or heal relationships overnight. So, we are going to take whatever time it takes — but we are going to do it.”
The Anglican Communion Office said that the Moderator of the Church of South India, Bishop Govada Dyvasirvadam, did not take part “because of allegations he is facing in India”.