THE next Lambeth Conference has been scheduled for 27 July to 8 August 2022, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced this week.
The Conference was originally due to take place this year in Canterbury, but has twice been delayed by the coronavirus, to 2021 and then to 2022 (News, 10 July). The organisers said on Tuesday that they would “continue to monitor the implications” of Covid-19 over the next few months.
Bishops and spouses from 165 countries of the Anglican Communion are invited to the 2022 conference which, for the first time, will meet both face-to-face and online. The organisers explained: “As well as the meeting in Canterbury in 2022, the Lambeth Conference will now be planned as a conference journey, that runs in phases before, during and beyond the face-to-face gathering. . .
“The virtual phase of the conference will give more time to meet one another, start to discuss conference topics, and have greater opportunity to share insights and experiences from their provinces and church communities.”
The theme of the conference is “God’s Church for God’s World — walking, listening and witnessing together” and what this means for the Communion; how it can be responsive to the “fast-changing world” of the 21st century.
A working group has been appointed to work with Archbishop Welby and wider conference teams to construct a programme. Its members include the Bishop of Penrith, Dr Emma Ineson, who also serves as a member of the conference design group; the Archbishop’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs, the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo; the Vice-Chancellor and Associate Professor of Theology at St Paul’s University, Limuru, in Kenya, the Revd Professor Joseph D. Galgalo; and the Bishop of Amritsar (Church of North India), the Rt Revd Pradeep Samantaroy.
The chief executive of the Lambeth Conference Company, Phil George, said: “It’s vital that planning for our meeting of bishops and spouses responds to the new world we find ourselves in since Covid-19. . . I’m looking forward to collaborating with the Working Group to help develop and deliver the Lambeth Conference conversation.”
The timetable and further details for the pre-conference programme will be released in 2021.