*** DEBUG END ***

Lambeth Calls: Anglican Identity

19 August 2022

Read the full Call and how it was received at the Lambeth Conference

Neil Turner/Lambeth Palace

Anglican Identity: the Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy, speaks during the plenary session

Anglican Identity: the Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy, speaks during the plenary session


THE Anglican tradition has its roots in a shared history committed to Catholicity, reform, international mission, and intercultural witness. Our unity, and hope for deeper unity, is expressed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral:

(i) The holy scripture of the Old and New Testaments, as “containing all things necessary to salvation”, and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith;
(ii) The Apostles’ Creed, as the baptismal symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith;
(iii) The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself — baptism, and the supper of the Lord ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution, and of the elements ordained by him;
(iv) The historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church.

Governed by scripture, Anglicans belong to a tradition that seeks faithfulness to God in richly diverse cultures, distinct human experiences, and deep disagreements. In communion with the see of Canterbury, the Anglican Communion has grown into a family of interdependent churches and Provinces in over 165 countries. Anglicans, therefore, believe in the visible and institutional form of the Church. Each Province of the Anglican Communion is autonomous and called to live interdependently. 

Four Instruments of Communion exist and express Anglican interdependence. These Instruments are:

(i) The Archbishop of Canterbury
(ii) The Lambeth Conference
(iii) The Anglican Consultative Council
(iv) The Primates’ Meeting.

Member Churches of the Anglican Communion are defined in relation to their fellowship with each other and with the Instruments of Communion.

Our common baptism calls us to a life of service in the Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm
a common ordained ministry according to the threefold order of deacons, priests
(presbyters), and bishops. Fed by word and sacrament, we turn outwards as witnesses to the Lordship of Christ in the world.



Plan for an Anglican Congress Meeting in the global South:

In an era marked by authoritarianisms, the vulnerability and activism of indigenous peoples; interreligious co-operation and conflict; mass migration; pluralism; the climate crisis and enormous changes in science and technology — it is time for the broad Anglican family to renew its vision and practice of Christian mission. In doing so, priority must be given to the voices of indigenous leaders, women, young people, and the laity.

We call on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council to set up an exploratory group to present a feasibility study on an Anglican Congress. This Congress would meet to discern afresh the mission of God amid a celebration of the diversity and artistry of our many cultures. An initial report, establishing the frame of reference for the feasibility study, should be presented by the Secretary General at ACC-18 meeting in 2023. The final feasibility study should be presented by the exploratory group to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council by the end of 2024. If appropriate, the Secretary General, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, would then call for a Congress and set up a design group. The Congress should take place before the next Lambeth Conference.

Neil Turner/Lambeth PalaceAnglican Identity: the official group photo of the Anglican bishops and ecumenical guests at the Lambeth Conference

Revitalise Anglicanism’s Marks of Mission:

In preparation for an Anglican Congress and as part of an Anglican Congress, the Five Marks of Mission should be reviewed. This review should pay particular attention to the Anglican balance of word and sacrament, missional priorities discerned by the Provinces, diverse cultural expressions of the gospel, ecumenical commitments, and interfaith co-operation. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, in consultation with appropriate Communion networks and departments, should be tasked with convening an international group of Anglican missiologists to prepare an initial report for ACC-18 meeting in 2023.

Review the Instruments of Communion:

We call for a review of the current Instruments of Communion. We ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to set up an independent review group on the Instruments of Communion with special attention to Anglican polity and deepening a sense of synodality for the whole people of God in the Anglican Communion. To what extent are the Instruments fit for purpose? To what extent might some (or all) of the Instruments be reconfigured to serve the Communion of today and the future? This review should be presented to ACC19 at its meeting in 2026.

3.4 Study the possibility of a new instrument of Communion alongside reviewing the Instruments of Communion (3.3), we call on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council to establish a design group to envision a new Instrument of Communion centring those voices too often marginalised: indigenous leaders, the laity, women, and young people. This design group should complete its work and report to the Anglican Consultative Council by the end of 2025.

[Editor’s note: the suggestion of a new “instrument of Communion” to add to the existing four (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting) received little enthusiasm from the bishops in Canterbury.]


‘Mind the gap’

IN A plenary session preceding the Lambeth Call on Anglican Identity, the conference heard voices from across the Communion reflect on what being Anglican meant to them, and how differences were addressed in various contexts, writes Francis Martin.

In video clips, young people from Provinces around the world explained why they were proud to be Anglicans. One highlighted the combination of Anglicanism’s global reach with its direct involvement in local communities.

Another said that its openness to ideological differences, which created space for open conversation.

Three archbishops addressed the plenary session, and reflected on issues around Anglican identity in their provinces.

The Primate of Tanzania, the Most Revd Maimbo Mndolwa, outlined the historical divisions within his Church between Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical traditions. “Agreements on issues has not always been easy,” he said. The Archbishop, who is also Bishop of Tanga in Tanzania, endorsed Anglicanism as a vehicle for unity, though suggested that to make it possible requires “sacrifices”.

We need to remember the announcement in train stations and “mind the gap” between us, he said.

The Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy, spoke about the challenges of being Anglican in Australia, which includes the process of redress for the Church’s historical part in the abuse of first-nations groups.

Archbishop Goldsworthy also spoke of the challenge of maintaining congregations when the Church was so often in receiving negative news coverage regarding abuse cases and LGBTQ+ issues. (In May, the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Revd Kanishka Raffel, had criticised Archbishop Goldsworthy for ordaining and licensing ministers who are in same-sex relationships.) (News, 6 May)

The Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Revd Hosam Naoum, was the third Archbishop to address the plenary session. He spoke about the religious diversity in his diocese, and what a privilege it was to walk “literally, as well as metaphorically, in the footsteps of Christ”.

The unity of the Communion was not, he said, the responsibility of any one person but of all its individual members. Archbishop Naoum concluded by quoting St Paul: “You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)