Lambeth Conference Daily Themes
Monday 21 July: Celebrating Common Ground: the bishop and Anglican identity
Tuesday 22 July: Proclaiming the Good News: the bishop and evangelism
Wednesday 23 July: Transforming Society: the bishop and social injustice
Thursday 24 July: The bishops and their spouses are in London
Friday 25 July: Discerning our Shared Calling: the bishop, other churches and God’s mission
Saturday 26 July: Safeguarding Creation: the bishop and the environment
Sunday 27 July: Hospitality in local parishes or at the Cathedral
Monday 28 July: Engaging with a multi faith world: the bishop, other religions and Christian witness
Tuesday 29 July: Equality in God’s sight: when power is abused (jointly with the spouses)
Wednesday 30 July: Living under Scripture: the bishop and the Bible in Mission
Thursday 31 July: Listening to God and each other: the bishop and human sexuality
Friday 1 August & Saturday 2 August: Fostering our common life: the bishop, the Covenant and the Windsor Process.
A typical ‘working’ day at the Lambeth Conference will look like this:
Bible Study groups of 8 (Indaba groups)
Extended Indaba groups of 48 – including midday prayers
Self Select Sessions
Free time (fringe events)
The official press release
“Equipping Bishops for God’s Mission”
16 July to 4 August, 2008
University of Kent in Canterbury, England
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.
In particular, it is hoped that by the end of the Conference, as bishops we will:
• Be restored and refreshed spiritually
• Have a deeper knowledge of each other and the missionary challenges facing each of us in different places around the world
• Be more aware of the resources, both spiritual and physical, that God has given us to meet these challenges
• Have a greater understanding and appreciation of our life together in the Anglican Communion and our collegiality as Anglican bishops
• Continue to address the internal conflicts of recent years
• Discover a new level of trust in our common service to God’s mission
• Have a greater understanding of the special contribution that Anglicanism can make to the worldwide family of churches and the wider world
We seek to achieve this through a pattern of
• Retreat, Bible study and daily worship
• Small groups in which we can hear each others stories
• Larger groups in which we address questions of common interest and difference
• Workshops on particular aspects of episcopal ministry
• The many opportunities for encounter, fellowship and conversation that such a gathering provides
Attendance at The Lambeth Conference is by invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Rowan Williams. The focus of the 2008 Conference is Equipping Bishops for God’s Mission and will focus in various ways on how bishops can be better equipped for God’s mission in their churches. The conference will be held on the campus of the University of Kent at Canterbury.
Before the service in Canterbury Cathedral and the beginning of the working sessions of the conference, the bishops will be in retreat under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. On July 17 and 18 in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the 19 July on the campus of the University, they will reflect on God’s mission and a bishop’s discipleship.
Meeting in groups of 48 each morning, bishops will consider issues of evangelism, biblical interpretation, social justice, ecumenism, environmental issues, inter faith relationships and practice, violence, gender and abuse, human sexuality and the Anglican covenant.
Each afternoon their discussions will continue in a series of Self Select Groups where, drawing on their own and other professional experiences, bishops will have opportunities of sharing experiences, making connections and learning from each other. Sourced largely by the bishops themselves and various Anglican networks, these will enable an exchange of experiences from different provinces.
World wide, the church is practically involved in works of reconciliation, alleviating poverty, interfaith encounter and ecumenical engagement, environmental issues , the challenges of urban and rural ministry and in confronting sexual abuse. In most provinces it works with religious leaders of other Christian traditions and other world faiths. In some provinces global warming threatens whole Dioceses. In some provinces the church is a threatened minority in others it maintains a powerful political presence. These sessions will look at the particular role and responsibility of a bishop of the Anglican Communion
Prayer, Worship & Bible Study
At the heart of the Anglican Communion is common prayer and bible study. Each day will be marked with a pattern of worship with daily Eucharist and evening worship being celebrated in the Big Top, a marquee accommodating 1500 people. These services worship will be led by different provinces of the Anglican Communion each day. Midday prayer will be in the context of the extended Indaba groups and Compline, the night office will be in the Sacred Space, a focal centre for prayer, quiet and counselling in the University’s Senate House.
The chaplain to the Conference is Bishop Winston Halapua who combines episcopal ministry with his role as Dean of the College of the Diocese of Polynesia. He will be assisted by a number of priests. They will be supported by a community of Anglican Religious, monks and nuns, from Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, America and Europe under the leadership of Brother Samuel SSF. For the duration of the conference they will live the religious life, providing spiritual support to delegates and staff. They will be living in the Franciscan International Studies Centre adjacent to the University.
After breakfast, the bishops will gather in groups of eight for daily bible study in ‘Indaba’ groups, studying sections of the Gospel of St John. The material for the bible study groups has been prepared by an international group led by Professor Gerald West from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. As well as South Africa, the members of the group come from Tanzania, the United States, England, DR Congo, India and New Zealand. St John’s Gospel will provide the focus for the bible studies, discussing it around the themes of the I am Sayings of Jesus.
(Editor's note: next came the daily schedules, which appear above.)
Stewards for the two conferences are initially being recruited from the University of Kent in Canterbury and Christ Church University. In collaboration with the International Anglican Youth Network, each province of the communion is being invited to nominate a youth steward who will spend a month in Canterbury preparing for and stewarding the events.
Demand has exceeded accommodation; the original location of the marketplace (in the Small Sports Hall with a marquee extension) has already been oversubscribed and a second marquee is being planned to accommodate the waiting list of exhibitors. Already booked are commercial enterprises, Anglican, mission and related agencies, academic institutions.
Lunchtimes and evenings provide opportunities for more informal meetings: entertainment, hospitality, meetings of organisations, ex alumni groups as well as time for provincial and special interest meetings. International organisations can take the opportunity of the presence of their steering committees to convene international committees.