With two months to go until the start of the Lambeth Conference, the Church Times says that registrations are still rolling in.
On Wednesday, numbers stood at 620 of the possible 880 bishops in the Anglican Communion. Officials calculate that about ten per cent of sees are vacant. Nigeria has said that none of its 141 bishops will attend; nor will Uganda’s 31 bishops. This leaves fewer than 20 bishops unaccounted for.
The 15 bishops of the province of West Africa have come out in support of the Communion. In a statement posted on 2 May, the province said that it abhorred the acceptance and blessing of same-sex marriages and the ordination of open homosexuals and lesbians. But it also urged all members of the Communion to uphold it and its “instruments of unity”, one of which is the Lambeth Conference.
It appears that the only provinces that are staying away are the ones who have close relationships with leaders of the Anglican right from the United States such as Stephen Noll (Uganda) and Martyn Minns (Nigeria).
Archbishop Williams has cautioned Bishops about coming to the Conference with deep-seated assumptions about outcomes or agendas.
Dr Williams spoke out this week against any bishop who thought he or she could attend Lambeth while nursing split loyalties. In an open letter to all bishops to mark the feast of Pentecost, Dr Williams said that he had been in private discussions with some bishops to warn them of the need for unity.
"In circumstances where there has been divisive or controversial action, I have been discussing privately with some bishops the need to be wholeheartedly part of a shared vision and process in our time together," he wrote.
It was "essential" that the bishops who came to the Conference were genuinely willing to move towards unity as envisaged by the Windsor report and the Covenant process, he said.
Read the rest here.