The Anglican Communion represents millions of Christians, churches and communities in over 165 countries. As a significant part of the world wide church, it’s global witness in sharing Good News and living out transformational hope is immense.
At such an unprecedented moment in world history, bringing Anglican Leaders together through the Lambeth Conference to explore what it means to be ‘God’s Church for God’s World’ feels more important than ever.
Globally: The world is grappling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial inequality and climate crisis. Fast paced changes in technology and science, have enabled a greater sense of global community and connection. Yet politically and economically, there is increasing polarity, inequality and division – impacting the vulnerable and marginalised of our societies the most.
In the life of the Anglican Communion: COVID-19 has caused huge upheaval to traditional church life. Internationally, Anglican churches have played a key role in consoling the bereaved, coordinating front line responses to the pandemic and finding new ways to worship and be community virtually.
Alongside this, a wide range of communion and world affairs must be explored, including topics of mission and evangelism, climate change, gender justice, modern day slavery, peace and reconciliation and more. The role and ethics of science and biotechnology and its growing impact on our world will be important in our discussions.
As the fifteenth Lambeth Conference prepares to meet, it joins the ranks of other Lambeth Conferences that have met after times of global crisis. The Lambeth Conference of 1920 was delayed from 1918 in the aftermath of World War One. The 1930 conference met in the wake of the Great Depression. And the 1948 conference met in the shadow of the Second World War.
Through each conference, bishops of the Anglican Communion had to rally together to address what the world was facing and what role the church could play in working for hope in the future.
The calling and responsibility on the fifteenth Lambeth Conference is no different. It’s time for a new church to emerge that will adapt to the challenges of a new age.
It is our heartfelt prayer that the conference will provide a vital space for Anglican leaders to respond to world affairs, loving and bringing people to salvation in Christ and discerning God’s vision of what it means to be the Anglican Communion for the decade ahead.
Walking, listening and witnessing together, may we grasp the historic and significant opportunity before us.