THE Anglican Communion “must forge a new vision of Anglicanism that is equipped to respond to the needs of a 21st century”, as its representatives prepare for the Lambeth Conference in 2022, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Archbishop Welby was introducing a new “prayer journey” — a series of weekly prayers and videos from bishops, clergy, and laity from around the Communion — in preparation for the Lambeth Conference, which will address ongoing issues such as the pandemic, climate crisis, poverty and economic injustice, conflict, and inequality.
The Conference was due to take place in Canterbury last year, but has been twice postponed owing to the coronavirus (News, 10 July 2020). In October, Archbishop Welby promised a longer “conference journey, that runs in phases before, during, and beyond the face-to-face gathering” with online content (News, 23 October 2020).
LAMBETH PALACESome of the contributors to the global ‘prayer journey’
In a video message about the initiative, the Archbishop said that the Conference would “seek to grapple with many . . . world issues as well as matters of common interest in the life of our Anglican Communion.
“Journeying together, we must forge a new vision of Anglicanism that is equipped to respond to the needs of a 21st-century world — a much changed world: changed by crisis and by the advances of science. And we must invite the wider Anglican world to share wisdom and insights with us along the way.”
This journey must begin with prayer, he said. “In such difficult times — and with our world facing such challenges — we need to listen to God; to be alert to the needs of the world, and to love one another as we share our prayers and our needs.”
The period of prayer will include prayers from, among others, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell; the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry; and the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba.
Dozens of bishops, clerics, and lay representatives have already contributed video messages and prayers on the theme of hope for the first week of the initiative, which began on Sunday. New videos will be uploaded to the website each week. The focuses over the next four weeks will include: Good News, pandemic response, and people and planet.