Lambeth Bishops enjoy ‘time out’ from Anglican Divisions

Written by CHRIS SUGDEN, General Secretary for Anglican Mainstream, for Evengelicals Now

August 26th, 2008 Posted in Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference |

From Evangelicals Now September 2008

Lambeth 2008 ended on a high. As the final service ended in Canterbury Cathedral, the names of nine members of an Anglican Mission Order in Melanesia martyred in 2003 were placed in the chapel of Martyrs of our Time. Their colleagues processed with their names, from the nave up the many steps to the quire screen, singing the most haunting refrain. They passed from sight through the quire screen. But they continued singing. The refrain echoed round the cathedral. It was as though we had seen the martyrs themselves pass into the nearer presence of God, yet their beautiful singing could still he heard. Strong men wept.
Bishops have been reporting back the great value of meeting with colleagues from round the world, with some of whom they disagree intensely, but building relationships of respect and growing understanding.

Predetermined outcome

If the purpose of the conference, attended by only 617 of the 850 bishops invited, was to prevent further division between those advancing a pro-gay agenda and those wanting Anglicanism to remain true to biblical orthodoxy, it succeeded for the sunny days in Canterbury. But one senior overseas primate thought it was only “time-out”. Divisions and issues remain the same. The £6 million pound gathering with a £2 million deficit came to no decisions.
Another senior archbishop noted that the conference culture was highly controlled and the pre-determined outcome was spelt out in an early conference document from the Windsor Continuation Group.
It called for a complete cessation of
(a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions,
(b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships and
(c) all cross-border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction
The group writes that “cessation of activity. .. applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future. “

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