In the summer of 2020, over 1,000 Anglican bishops and spouses from across the globe will attend the fifteenth Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.
Convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference is a once-a-decade meeting of bishops and spouses. People will travel from over 165 countries of the Anglican Communion - one of the largest Christian communities in the world, with tens of millions of members.
‘The Big Hello’ is a large hospitality programme that will see dioceses and churches in England, Wales and Scotland hosting guests for up to a week in advance of the event. It is open to every active bishop and spouse invited to the Lambeth Conference in 2020.
The Big Hello will welcome attendees at airports when they arrive and accommodate delegates in church and community residential settings.
Following the hospitality period, the host diocese will transport delegates down to Canterbury for the start of the conference.
The Big Hello hospitality initiative will provide an important opportunity for church communities across the world to foster connections and relationship.
Across the Anglican Communion, many churches and dioceses already have special community connections in place called ‘Companion Links’.
Similar to the idea of ‘town twinning’ Companion Links enable churches around the world to enjoy fellowship, share resources, and learn from one another’s experiences of different cultures and ministry settings.
The Big Hello will match event attendees to their companion link diocese, or provide the opportunity for new ones to be started.
So far over 84% of bishops and spouses booked in to the Lambeth Conference are taking part in the Big Hello.
The Big Hello is being facilitated by dioceses in England, Wales and Scotland, in coordination with the Lambeth Conference Company.
Once delegates have booked into the conference, the Lambeth Conference Company matches up the visiting delegation with a host diocese.
From this point, the diocesan coordinator makes arrangements for the hospitality programme locally, organising volunteers and activities and communicating directly with the people that they will be hosting.
Arrival for the hospitality week: 15-17 July 2020
Travel to Canterbury: 22 July 2020