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Unity plea for Lambeth 2020

Anglican bishops called to "lay aside old recriminations" ahead of global gathering

Canterbury Cathedral

June 20 2019African Primates have joined bishops from the Episcopal Church to set out a vision for next year’s Lambeth Conference and articulate “those things held largely in common” — including, they argue, teaching on marriage, the Church Times reports.

The letter, signed by 10 people, a mixture of Primates and bishops, calls on Anglican bishops, who have been invited to attend the Lambeth Conference, to “lay aside old recriminations” and to see the  Anglican Communion as “not primarily a problem but rather a remarkable, though fragile, gift — a sign of the Church catholic”.

The letter emanates from the office of the Bishop of Dallas, Dr George R. Sumner. It suggests that “harsh disagreement ought not to be the dominant note the world hears from us. This multi-lingual letter lifts high those things held largely in common in order to build up and encourage.” At the recent Anglican Consultative Council, criticism was voiced, not least by the Archbishop of Canterbury, that proceedings were conducted in English.

The letter continues: “Though our provincial Books of Common Prayer show many variations, they all witness to the creedal centre of our faith: the triune God, the divinity of Christ, his atoning death for the forgiveness of our sins, his bodily resurrection and ascension, and the Holy Spirit’s work in the scriptures and the Church’s life. There is agreement, furthermore, in most of the Communion about the received, traditional teaching concerning the nature of marriage, which is in accord with scripture. It found expression at Lambeth 1998 in Resolution 1.10.

“Finally, we Anglicans share a common history, for example the See of Canterbury itself, which is a symbol of our apostolic roots and common life. We hope for a Lambeth Conference where we take this common inheritance of truth seriously and seek to build upon it for the sake of witness and teaching.”

Read the full report here.