The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced revised dates for the 15th Lambeth Conference. Hosted in Canterbury, Kent, the face-to-face conference will be planned for the 26th July – 8th August 2022 (with the official conference ending on the 7th August and departures on the 8th August).
The conference has been rescheduled from the original 2020 dates due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference organisers will continue to monitor the implications of COVID-19 and follow official health guidance in the months ahead.
With the theme of ‘God’s Church for God’s World – walking, listening and witnessing together’ the conference will focus on what it means for the Anglican Communion – shaped by the Five Marks of Mission – to be responsive to the needs and challenges of a fast changing world in the 21st Century.
This will be the first Lambeth Conference to meet both face-to-face and virtually. As well as the meeting in Canterbury in 2022, the Lambeth Conference will now be planned as a conference journey, that runs in phases before, during and beyond the face-to-face gathering.
Starting in 2021 the focus of phase one will be on introducing some of the major themes and strategic pillars of the conference programme. The conference community of bishops and spouses – and wider Anglican audiences – will be invited to take part in the Lambeth conversation in different ways. This will be facilitated through a combination of online, regional and intraregional meetings and supporting resources.
With bishops and spouses invited from 165 countries of the Anglican Communion, the conference community represents a diversity of cultures and Christian tradition. The virtual phase of the conference will give more time to meet one another, start to discuss conference topics and have greater opportunity to share insights and experiences from their provinces and church communities.
It will also ensure that the use of conference resources and planning for future outcomes in the life of the Anglican Communion can be as effective as possible.
A working group is being appointed to shape the conference journey, comprised by representatives from around the communion. These are the Bishop of Penrith, The Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson (who also serves as a member of the conference Design Group); the Right Revd Bishop Anthony Poggo, (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs); the Revd Prof Joseph D Galgalo (Vice Chancellor and associate professor of Theology at St. Pauls University in Kenya) and the Bishop of Amritsar, The Right Revd Pradeep Samantaroy (The Church of North India – United, also member of the Lambeth Conference Design Group). The group will work with the Archbishop of Canterbury and wider conference teams to construct an engaging programme relevant to key issues in the world and the life of the Communion.
Phil George, the CEO of the Lambeth Conference Company, said:
With the message of ‘God’s Church for God’s World’, it’s vital that planning for our meeting of bishops and spouses responds to the new world we find ourselves in since COVID-19. Despite the challenges and disruption that the pandemic has caused, we’ve also seen huge creativity and adaptability as churches have started to meet virtually. The opportunities that technology provides for online meeting and engagement, have opened up new ways for us to connect, pray and be community for one another. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the Working Group to help develop and deliver the Lambeth Conference conversation.
The timetable and further details for the pre-conference programme will be released in 2021.
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