On March 21st delegates from around Scotland will gather in Glasgow to exchange ideas on how to strengthen Companion Links with Dioceses overseas, building on relationships developed at the Lambeth Conference.
Before last year’s Lambeth Conference quite a number of overseas bishops and their spouses visited our dioceses in Scotland before travelling to Canterbury. Many were from our Companion Dioceses and this time shared was clearly appreciated by our visitors. Sharing in the life of other dioceses enabled many within our congregations to feel a closer link with our Companion Dioceses. But where did that lead us? The need to keep such conversations going has to be a high priority.
With that in mind the Provincial Overseas Committee will host a one day conference on 21st March 2009 in Glasgow to examine how we in Scotland can develop our Companion Links with Dioceses overseas. Chaired by Rev.Canon Duncan McCosh, convener of the Overseas Committee of the SEC the conference will be opened by our Primus, Bishop Idris Jones. In reflecting on Lambeth 2008 Bishop Idris said ‘First and foremost Lambeth was an experience as a result of which we felt ourselves to be part of a living and lively community that was of great relevance in the world at large. Ongoing dialogue is of the utmost importance to the future of the Anglican Communion. Mutual sharing and support increases the sense of partnership with dioceses that are far from us in physical distance and reduces emotional and theological distance too. Also we must not forget the needs of the poor as expressed through the walk of witness that bishops and spouses shared together through the centre of London and the commitment of the Communion to support those agencies working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.’
Bishop Idris will open the discussion with a scriptural introduction to companion linkages and a reflection on what he has brought back from his overseas experiences, and a discussion exploring what global links are for.
Other speakers will include Rev Canon Edgar Ruddock, Director of the International Relations Team at USPG: Anglicans in World Mission. He will speak about how mission works in practice in today’s world and how has it changed. Rev Canon Stephen Lyon, currently the General Secretary of PWM (Partnership for World Mission), will offer some practical advice for making Companion Links work and lead a discussion on what can we do to respond to the agendas.
A number of speakers from within our own Province will also share their experiences of Companion Links in the Scottish context.
At the end of the day delegates can expect to have identified actions building on the value of the pre Lambeth Hospitality Initiative to develop and deepen the quality of Diocesan Link relationships and workings. These are expected to include ways in which we can:
• Seriously engage with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Five Marks of Mission
• Live out the challenge of the Lambeth Conference of “listening and learning”.
• Renew and refresh relationships
• Develop stronger more informed prayer links
• Build on successes – by sharing stories
Item from: The Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness