New website launched for Primates Meeting 2016
A NEW website and Twitter feed were launched today ahead of next week’s gathering of Anglican Primates in Canterbury.
On the website the Archbishop of Canterbury appeals for prayer for the crunch meeting. As well as Primates from the 38 Anglican provinces around the world Archbishop Foley Beach (of the Anglican Church of North America) will attend for part of the meeting.
The summit was called by Archbishop Justin Welby last September, as speculation grew about the possibility of a Lambeth Conference this decade. Normally held every 10 years, the next one was expected in 2018. That would have meant that preparations would be starting soon. However, with divisions over human sexuality deepening, there was a question whether it would take place at all.
This meeting will be dominated by that issue, but it is only one of the topics under discussion. Other areas of concern to be addressed by Anglican leaders include religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults and the environment.
On the website, www.primates2016.org, Archbishop Welby says: “As we approach the Primates’ meeting we need to recognise that we’re going to be dealing with some very, very difficult issues – within the life of the Anglican Communion but also hugely difficult issues that are affecting the whole church of Christ and our whole world.
“What I would ask people to pray for more than anything else is wisdom and love. That the love of Christ for each of us, for each of us who are sinners, each of us who fail, will so overwhelm us that we are able to love each other as we should. And wisdom that we may know the call and purpose of God and in love and wisdom serve his world in the way he calls us to.”
The Canterbury meeting, running from 11-16 January, will be closely watched in view of the deep divisions between the Gafcon primates and The Episcopal Church in particular.
The GAFCON website: here (Sign up for prayer updates!)
Uganda will walk out of Primates Meeting, if "godly order" not restored
Vatican loans Church of England ancient relics ahead of vital gathering A relic leant to the Church of England by the Vatican is to go on display at Canterbury Cathedral next week.
The ivory handle of a crozier used by St Gregory, who helped establish Christianity in England in the 6th century, was due to arrive yesterday [Friday 8].
The ancient crozier head is venerated by the monks of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome as that of St Gregory who was an abbot at the monastery prior to becoming Pope...
From The Economist: The Church of England: Resurrection? Parts of the established church are learning from their immigrant brethren TO SEE the future of Christianity in Britain, go on a Sunday morning to an old Welsh Congregational chapel off the Pentonville Road in Islington. The building has been bought by a Pentecostal Ethiopian church; the congregation raises its hands in a show of unEnglish ecstasy to praise God in Amharic. A few hours later, something unexpected happens. A congregation of mainly white members of the Church of England start their service. This group, known as King’s Cross Church, or KXC, has grown from a handful in 2010 to 500 now.
The first service reflects a well-documented phenomenon: an immigrant-led surge in London churchgoing. Weekly participation in Christian services in the capital has grown by 16% since 2005. Most devout Londoners (88%) worship outside the ranks of the established church whose spires pierce the skyline; about a third are Pentecostal. But the second service shows that even some Anglican churches are bucking the downward trend in membership. London is one of several dioceses within the Church of England that are growing, if only a little...
Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden: Must Canterbury Fall?
...The current power struggle is about redefining and recasting the faith of the historic Anglican Communion. Post-colonial Great Britain’s influence declined rapidly after second world war but it took longer for the dominant influence of Canterbury to wane. And it has now waned in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has tried to occupy that centre of influence in order to shape the communion according to its vision of the Christian faith, untethered from the authority of scripture. Canterbury under the previous leadership allowed TEC space and even support with its Communion Changing agenda. We expect the present incumbent to resist that agenda and pressure and to restore the role of Canterbury in leadership of the Communion. The battle is not primarily about a theological or ethical issue. It is really about resistance to a section of the western church who are redefining the faith of the Communion in order to be relevant in their context and acting like those who wish to erase and rewrite history; they are reinventing the faith that was protected and preserved historically so that it might be drawn on for the flourishing of the Church and its public witness.
Our call is to Canterbury to recognise that it still has a historic role and, rather than preside over endless confusion, to take a firm stand and move forward. The leadership of the Communion cannot deal with this challenge as a political issue in the way politicians might address it. We are a Church, the Body of Christ that is both part of history and also transcends history. The Church has sought to live out transcendent realities in history and offer to every historical context these realities as its public witness. It cannot allow culture to replace its historical witness. The leaders of the Church must act prophetically, not politically. They must uphold what has been tested in history as their public witness.
The temptation for the African, Asian and Latin American Churches will be to cut themselves adrift from what they sometimes read as an embarrassing past and a compromised present. There is the real possibility that the Communion could split between TEC and its dependencies (often financial) and allies, and the churches of the Global South unwilling to have what they see as TEC’s heresies thrust upon them. The result will be chaos, the end of the communion, and increasing independency among the churches. This temptation must be resisted. Global South churches have long since come to terms with their colonial heritage and built on it faithfully and successfully as churches fully welcome in their own cultures, not as relics of the past...