Posts filed under ‘Lambeth’

Conference gets real

After a week on site here at Kent University campus it feels as if the debate is beginning to get down to the difficult issues which have so divided the Anglican Communion over the last 5 years. The first of the big “hearings” took place with several hundred bishops present as some were¬†speaking about their concerns and hopes for the way the Communion might be held together. And it becomes clear as we did this that both sides of the “argument” have deep seated and genuine convictions about what should be done.

How do we live with these differences? It remains to be seen what answer emerges, but what is already clear is that there is no way forward without being ready to listen to each other very carefully. After all it is only during my lifetime that it has become lawful for gay people to have sex. In many African countries it remains a serious offence. No wonder they have difficulties understanding how this can be permitted of a bishop in North America. Yet for the Americans the issue is about mission. How, they ask, can you be a credible church in the States, speaking effectively to young people when the church is seen to homophobic?

Interlaced with all this is an ongoing debate about the authority of scripture which has been running for many years.

My question is this. Is there something about the Anglican Communion worth preserving even when we disagree profoundly about so much? And at this point in the Conference the answer is clear. Yes we have something immensely precious here which would be tragic if it were to be dismantled.

Tomorrow the focus changes as we all make our way to London to march through Parliament Square on the way to Lambeth Palace to draw attention to the Millenium Development Goals and turn our attention to the world’s poor instead of to ourselves.

July 23, 2008 at 10:32 pm 1 comment


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