Lambeth 2022 Day 6: Living Stones, welcoming the stranger and Anglican identity
The Lambeth Conference is currently taking place with Anglican bishops from throughout the Anglican Communion gathering in Canterbury. The once in a decade conference brings together bishops from across the globe for prayer and reflection, fellowship, and dialogue on church and world affairs. Archbishop Michael Jackson is attending and will report back to Dublin & Glendalough. Below is his report from Day 6 of Lambeth 2022.
Day 6 began with a celebration of Holy Communion led by members of la Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America. The early morning Eucharists give a chance to centre oneself and the community of the Conference on God ahead of a busy day.
The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke on 1 Peter 2.1–12, telling us that living stones are not yet quarried; they are still being shaped by the elements and still acquiring sediment. They are therefore still ‘ecologically live.’ The archbishop’s addresses are enlivened by voices from across the Communion. Today those voices spoke of what it means to be holy. An important perspective was that holiness is not performative piety but is a movement of invitation on the part of God that leads to transformation.
An enriching session on Anglican identity, led by three archbishops from Australia, Tanzania and Jerusalem took up themes such as the following: We in Australia have become comfortable with who we are and we need help from other parts of the Communion. Few in Ireland could gainsay this. From Tanzania we were encouraged to: Mind the Gap and Mind the Gift. The advice was to work to ensure solidarity across the Communion and to recognize holiness as a gift of God. From Jerusalem we were reminded that the Christians of The Land of the Holy One are the living stones among the dead stones of buildings that are millennia old. This confidence and joy in the present is something that many from Dublin and Glendalough will have experienced first hand on pilgrimage and through our diocesan link. It is a marvel of the Christian world and a gift of grace.
An excellent yet devastating seminar on ‘Welcoming the Stranger: The Church response to migration and modern day slavery’ began with perspectives from the bishops of Guatemala and San Joaquim whose dioceses lie on the borders between the Southern and Northern parts of America. We next moved to an equally powerful account of contemporary slavery in the UK and the use of the tool and put down: ‘Don’t tell anyone …’ designed to lock those trafficked into their enslavement.
The day concluded with discussion of a four–part Lambeth Call on Anglican Identity. The Call, perhaps to the surprize of many, did not meet with significant positivity in any of its parts. This was a very interesting outcome on which many will ruminate for a long time to come.
You can see more of what is happening at the Lambeth Conference here: