Archbishop of Canterbury to warn against exploitation of world’s poorest in first Lambeth Conference address

In the first of three keynote addresses to the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury this evening, the Archbishop will warn that new “empires of financial, economic, scientific and technological power” risk exploiting the world’s most vulnerable people.

He will condemn corruption, profiteering from climate change and using the poorest countries for their resources before discarding their people, and is expected to say:

“The rich gain the benefits of the new advances and they do as they choose. The poor are shut out of the gains and live as they can. The wealthy have choice, the poor suffer the consequences.”

In front of delegates from across the 165 countries of the global Anglican Communion, the Archbishop will also recall the “reluctance of the rich countries to share the advantages of the Covid vaccine. That will be repeated with many diseases, leaving the poor to live short lives serving the powerful.”

Speaking at the University of Kent Canterbury, the Archbishop will urge Anglican bishops to “look outwards” to a world facing crises of climate change, war, poverty, religious extremism, cultural change, and rapid scientific and technological development that risks leaving behind the world’s poorest people and urge the Anglican Communion to consider how the Church can serve the needs of the world in the 21st Century.

The Archbishop will set out his hopes for the Lambeth Conference:

“My prayer for this Conference is very simple. It is that everyone here, whoever you are, wherever you’ve come from, and whatever hopes and fears you may bring with you, may leave with a greater desire for friendship with Jesus Christ.

“To desire Jesus is to desire God. To desire Jesus is to desire to be filled with love for God and love for His people. Whatever else we do over the next two weeks, the one thing that is essential is that we learn afresh to hunger and thirst for God.”

The speech is set in the context of the First Epistle of Peter, which Archbishop Justin has chosen to be the text of the Lambeth Conference. The Archbishop is expected to say:

“Many of us come aware of what Peter calls the ‘roaring lions’; the sense – and often reality – of attack, hostility, danger and uncertainty. That is the main subject of this address. Although we can know joy and love Jesus Christ, the distractions and realities of our fallen world – the fears, apprehensions, pressures, and burdens we carry – can make the lions seem more important and powerful than the great and freely given love of God in Jesus Christ which we seek, desire, long for, and can find in these days together.”

The Archbishop will give three Keynote Addresses over the course of the Lambeth Conference. The first, this evening, will be a theological reflection on the world, thinking about the importance of wrestling with contemporary challenges and themes. The second will be an ecclesiological reflection on the Church, in which the Archbishop will consider what the Church is really for, what the Church is like in reality and what it historically has been. The final address will be a missiological reflection on the task of the Church, based around the Anglican 5 marks of mission (Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure), encouraging Anglicans to carry them out in their local contexts.

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• Speech to be delivered at 8pm UK time on Friday 29 July 2022
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