The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams spoke today the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting of his hopes for the forthcoming conference. He said that he was concerned that the gathering will help bishops be "better equipped for mission" and to focus on "training and devleopment" for the participants. Archbishop Williams also said he would like to see the bishops and the bishops' spouses meet together and that the regional meetings should "identify actuals areas of need".
The Archbishop said this "did not mean avoiding the issues" but did not want such to dominate the gathering. He spoke of a "broad and flexible" format leading a proper celebratory atmosphere of our common faith and worship. Planning committee member Fung Yi Wong told the ACC that the meeting would cover three weekends and two full weeks and would be in mid July 2008. "Invitations will be sent at the end of 2007", said Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi, also on the committee. Lambeth Conference Manager Sue Parks led the ACC in a discussion. Plenary responses were clear in support of Archbishop Williams' initial plans. Bishop Samson Mwaluda of Kenya spoke of the real need for "leadership training and continuing theological education" for bishops. The essence of the committee's work centres on the enabling the bishops in their work in "reconciliation and serving God's mission" and Bishop Tengatenga said they were "soliciting ideas" from all for the conference programme. The planning committee is headed by the Archbishop of Melanesia, the Most Revd Sir Ellison Pogo.