Date set for Lambeth Conference

17 March 2017

ACNS/GUNN

Delegates: the final plenary session of the previous Lambeth Conference, on 3 August, 2008

Delegates: the final plenary session of the previous Lambeth Conference, on 3 August, 2008

PLANS for the Lambeth Conference due to take place in 2020 are under discussion. The theme, decided this month at a meeting of the Lambeth Design Group, will be “God’s Church for God’s world”.

Chaired by the Archbishop of Capetown, Dr Thabo Makgoba, the group met in London last week. It has agreed that the conference will take place in Canterbury in the last week of July 2020.

“We didn’t gloss over the issues before us, and we acknowledged we can only do it through the prayers of others, and through an interrogation of the missional issues before us,” Dr Makgoba told the Anglican Communion News Service. “I am humbled by the fact that, in spite of the challenges, there are people that are willing to celebrate the gift of the Anglican Communion.”

The Moderator of the Church of North India, the Most Revd Pradeep Samantaroy, another member, said that he hoped that the meeting would be a “celebration of our diversity”. Josephine Mujawiyera, the President of the Mothers’ Union in Rwanda and wife of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, said that the group hoped that it would produce “a strengthening of the Communion, despite our differences”.

ACNS reported that the part played by spouses at the meeting was being “examined, with the possibility of them being brought more into the mainstream of proceedings rather than having a parallel programme”. Dr Makgoba said that this would “reflect that we do ministry together, and that spouses help bishops to fulfill their ministry”.

The planning group includes two members of the Episcopal Church in the United States: the Bishop of Dallas, Dr George Sumner, and the director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, the Revd Dr Robert Heaney.

The conference will take place after the expiry of the “consequences” meted out to the Episcopal Church in a communiqué issued by the Primates’ Meeting last year, which stated that, while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, members should not take part in decision-making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity (News, 22 January 2016).

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