Located on the east coast of Ireland, the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough is one of 11 dioceses of the Church of Ireland. The dioceses consist of 78 parishes with a total of 105 active churches. Under the leadership of Archbishop Michael Jackson, the Dioceses are currently planning a series of events to explore the Lambeth Calls and how churches can engage with the shared life of the Anglican Communion around the world. The Lambeth Conference spoke to Reverend Canon Tom O-Brien (minister of St James’s Church, Crinken) about Being Anglican, Communion Life and how their churches are exploring the Lambeth Calls in their setting.
What excites you about being Anglican and part of a global Anglican Communion? How can Anglican churches worldwide work together to share the hope of the Gospel?
The Anglican Communion is known for its diversity in theology, worship styles, and cultural expressions of faith. Despite these varied approaches, there is a strong sense of unity among Anglicans worldwide, grounded in a common tradition and shared liturgy and commitment to the good of society wherever Anglicans are to be found and however persecuted they are.
Being part of the Anglican Communion means belonging to a global family of churches spanning different continents and cultures. This can be a source of great joy and enrichment as Anglicans learn from and support one another across geographical and cultural boundaries. We share a common liturgical tradition and core theological beliefs. This shared foundation provides continuity and connection that helps a deep spiritual bond among Anglicans worldwide.
What excites me most is that Anglican churches can work together on global issues, such as social justice, poverty alleviation, and environmental stewardship. The Anglican Communion’s commitment to social justice and advocacy for the marginalised provides a platform for collaboration in addressing pressing global challenges. This includes Interfaith Dialogue, where we see many opportunities for engaging with people of other faiths on a worldwide scale that allows for mutual understanding and the promotion of peace and harmony.
How can exploring the Lambeth Calls support Communion Life?
The fantastic thing about exploring the Lambeth Calls in our Dioceses is that it will help us come together to look at the same priorities innovatively. The Lambeth Calls’ priorities also encourage exchanges between Anglican communities worldwide to share experiences, challenges, and successes in spreading the Gospel and contributing to the common good. By combining resources and expertise, Anglican churches can have a more significant impact on the many challenges being experienced in the world today. By working together, Anglicans can extend our global reach and make a positive impact in areas where the Gospel is less known.
What plans does your diocese have for exploring the Lambeth Calls and how are your churches learning from one another in the process?
Under the leadership of Archbishop Michael Jackson, we have started engaging with our churches to explore how we can meet the challenges of the 10 Lambeth Calls. We’ve been asking members of parishes to discuss the Calls and questions like: ‘What are the ten calls?’; ‘What are we currently doing well that fits into these priorities?’, ‘How can we replicate good practice in churches with good projects?’ and ‘How do we see ourselves collectively influencing matters of concern as an Anglican Communion?’ This process has allowed parishes to become familiar with the Lambeth Calls and understand the vision for driving change locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
You have planned a webinar on the Lambeth Calls – how do you hope it helps people get involved?
We are hoping to inspire people to recognise that there are many opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally to be involved in models of good practice. We plan to showcase local and international projects to inspire people to be energised and get involved. The December webinar has a focus on three key themes of the Environment, Discipleship and Human Dignity. Our hope is to gather those interested from the United Dioceses and give real examples of how to implement projects aligned to the Lambeth Calls.
What are you learning through discussing the Lambeth Calls in your context?
We are learning that globally we share and experience similar issues/interests. We understand that the Anglican Community, as a collective force, can impact positively on matters of social justice, mission and the environment. But it is also clear that we can inspire each other spiritually when we reflect on what it means to be Anglican and explore what being a disciple is and how we can utilise our traditions and liturgy, etc.
The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson is the Archbishop of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. Speaking of the Lambeth Calls he said:
“Having attended two Lambeth Conferences to date, I am excited by the way in which the Lambeth Calls make the positive experiences of conversation, commitment and collegiality within Anglicanism open to all. The widening of the discourse locally and globally can only strengthen the witness of disciples to God and in the part Anglicans can play in God’s mission in the world”.
The steering group for the Lambeth Call discussions in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough project is made up of:
- Archbishop Michael Jackson
- Ms Lynn Glanville (Diocesan Communication Office).
- Ms Caoimhe Leppard, Project Manager and Researcher Office of the Archbishop
- Ms Ruth Burleigh, Secretary to the Archbishop
- Rev Alan Breen
- Canon Tom O’Brien
- Revd Canon Tom O’Brien worked in the Irish Health System in Ireland for 30 years before becoming a full-time Minister in September 2023. Tom worked in Palliative Care, Addiction, and Mental Health and coordinated Ireland’s National Youth Mental Health Policy and the national population mental health policy. Tom started as a self-supporting minister in the Church of Ireland in 2015.
- This article is part of our wider ‘Being Anglican’ series, where Anglicans from around the world share what the Lambeth Call on Anglican Identity means to them, and how this theme supports the life of the Anglican Communion. Find the ‘Being Anglican’ reflections shared so far here.
- For more information on our next webinar about Being Anglican and the Lambeth Call on Anglican Identity click here.