The press materials from the Lambeth Launch reveal the organizational teams and plans for the bishops and spouses who will be attending Lambeth 2008. Some interesting bits gleaned from the materials:
In addition to the Bishops' Planning Group which The Lead noted included Archbishop Ernest of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa CAPA, the Spouses' Planning Group includes Mrs. Alice Nzimbi, the wife of Kenyan Archbishop Nzimbi (who has said he may not attend). Others on the committee led by Mrs Jane Williams, Church of England are Mrs Maria Okrofi, Province of West Africa; Mrs Bronwyn Fryar, Anglican Church of Australia; Mrs Margaret Sentamu, Church of England; Mrs Judy Venner, Church of England [from the Diocese of Canterbury]; Mrs M Whalon, The Episcopal Church; and Mrs Rhody Yin Mya, Province of Myanmar. From the document on finances, while is it expected that bishops and spouses will pay their own way or that their Province will offer support:
It is the expressed intention of the conference planners that no bishop or spouse should be prevented from attending the conference because they do not have the financial resources to enable them to do so. The estimate is that around 42% of conference participants will require some external financial assistance in order to attend the conference.And what is is expected to cost? Note - not including travel:
Bishops’ Conference - £4.4 million + travel costs ($8.59 million in USD) Spouses’ Conference - £1.2 million + travel costs ($2.3 million)From the document on Hospitality it is noted that nearly 70% of the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference will be doing so for the first time.
Partnerships for World Mission secretary Stephen Lyon said: “For around five days, each delegate will be invited to share in the life of a British diocese. They will have the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of our countries and cultures. They will bring with them the joys and challenges of their own ministries and share these with our dioceses and parishes. They will begin to develop a sense of what it means to be a global communion before beginning the business of the conference in Canterbury.”
The days will also give delegates the chance to relax and unwind, providing a breathing space from the hectic round of diocesan responsibilities and the pace of the Lambeth Conference. It will provide time to get over jetlag and the pressures of international travel.
The theme of the Spouses’ Conference 2008 is “God’s People for God’s Mission”. The Rev Jackie Cray, England (wife of the Bishop of Maidstone, The Rt Revd Graham Cray) will be chaplain to the group - a new experience for some of the bishops' spouses who live in dioceses where women cannot be ordained priests.
The principal aim is to equip bishops' spouses for their varying roles and contexts.
This will be approached from four angles:
• Who is ‘the bishops’ spouse’? How to be effective in that role
• Who is our family? Upholding close relationships
• Our world and context: the leadership challenges facing us
• Our own and others’ health and personal development
Running throughout the conference as a foundational methodology will be the sharing of stories. Also central will be prayer and worship together, which will happen each day.
From the release about the Lambeth Conference "The purpose of the Lambeth Conference 2008 is to enable the Bishops of the Anglican Communion to discern and share more deeply their Anglican identity, and to become even better equipped for their Christ-given task of being leaders in God’s mission." This purpose will be accomplished through retreat time, small group Bible studies, workshops on aspects of episcopal ministry, and larger group gatherings on topics of mutual concern.
Youth from around the Anglican Communion are being recruited to be present at the Conference and to steward the events. There will also be a Marketplace and Fringe events.
For more information and to read complete press releases go to the Lambeth Conference web site.
The Archbishop of Canterbury office announces a new web site which can be found here.
See Lambeth Conference Alive and Well here.