ACNS Special Report
Lambeth Conference 2008 Press Media Release no.01
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams has officially announced the Lambeth Conference dates in an Advent Letter to the 38 primates around the world. Archbishop Williams, at whose invitation the bishops come to the Conference, outlined his hopes for this global meeting of Anglican bishops. He spoke of the Conference as an opportunity for "individual Christian pastors to meet Jesus afresh, for our Church to be renewed in mission, for the world to hear good news."
The Conference, which meets every ten years, will take place at the University of Kent in Canterbury from 16 July to 3 August, 2008. Archbishop Rowan emphasised the enabling for ministry aspect of the Conference. He said, "The main focus I long to see at this Conference is the better equipping of bishops to fulfill their task as agents and enablers of mission, as co-workers with God's mission in Jesus Christ."
A Design Group for the 2008 Lambeth Conference, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and
comprised of one Archbishop, five bishops, one lay-woman and one priest from different churches throughout the Anglican Communion, met in London from 6 to 9 December 2005 with staff of the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace to continue planning for the Conference.
Under the Chairmanship of the Most Revd Sir Ellison Pogo, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, the Design Group made significant headway in helping the Archbishop of Canterbury to further articulate his hopes, aim, and shape for the 2008 international gathering of bishops.
Archbishop Ellison said, "We are working very hard to orient the Conference around God's mission of transformation and reconciliation, seeing the bishops themselves as primary resources in this task. Through experiences provided in small bible study and expanded conversation groups, we expect that the bishops will encounter God's word anew, be engaged with one another at a very deep level, and then empowered in their vocation as leaders in God's mission. In keeping with Archbishop Rowan's vision, the Conference process will be relational not confrontation in its approach with a minimum of resolutions."
Sue Parks, the Lambeth Conference Manager, expressed her own enthusiasm for the planning process. She said, "We are very excited by the planning and work of the Design Group so far. The Archbishop of Canterbury's desire for this next Lambeth Conference to be more responsive to the needs of the world for which Christ died and rose is inspiring. The Conference will be different and fresh as it serves this vision."
The Design Group will next meet in Canterbury to survey the venue at the University of Kent in April 2006.