Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: another English perspective

This one is from the Bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill.

Read the transcript of his audio interview in this PDF file: Lambeth Conference 2008 Mark Rudall talks to Bishop Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford.

The audio itself is linked from this page.


Lambeth: one English perspective

Updated Thursday evening

Today, the Bishop of Winchester has published a lengthy article, The Lambeth Conference 2008 – and the future of the Anglican Communion A Report to the Diocese of Winchester although I cannot at present find it on the Winchester diocesan website, but only on the Global South Anglican website, and, in part, on the Anglican Mainstream website.

Anyway you can read it all here.

Jonathan Wynne-Jones has written about this letter, see Senior bishop predicts Anglican battle ahead.


Lambeth Conference funding

The Church of England issued this press release today:

Lambeth Conference: Funding
11 August 2008

The Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners, and the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England have both met within the past few days to discuss an approach from the Lambeth Conference Company* for financial help. The Board met this morning (August 11th) and the Council on Thursday August 7th.

The Company has assured the Board and the Council that it is continuing to make further approaches throughout the Anglican Communion to meet the full cost of this year’s Conference. It cannot, however, be confident that these will generate funds sufficiently quickly for it to meet all of its obligations as they fall due over the coming weeks and months.

The Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners and the Archbishops’ Council have therefore each agreed to make available to the Company up to £600k as required to enable the Company to honour its commitments while fundraising efforts continue. At this stage both bodies regard these amounts as interest free loan facilities.

They will be considering these matters again at their September meetings when they expect a further report from the Company about the progress of its fundraising efforts.


There has already been generous support from the Church of England for the Lambeth Conference. Parishes and dioceses have made donations towards the costs of overseas bishops attending and the Church Commissioners have met the fees of the English bishops and their wives attending the Lambeth Conference, the costs of some of the conference organising staff, and some of the hospitality offered by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

More information about the Lambeth Conference is available at

*The Lambeth Conference Company is the body given responsibility for managing the finances and administration of the Lambeth Conference 2008.


Lambeth: two American perspectives

Katie Sherrod has written on her own blog, That Wild Uncontrollable Force.

Watching Lambeth unfold was like watching one of those foreground/background optical illusions where, as you stare at the picture, either the profile of a beautiful young woman moves to the foreground or the image of an old woman moves forward while the young woman’s image disappears. It is almost impossible to see them both at the same time.

Lambeth was the same-there were two Lambeths occurring simultaneously, one out in front, the other in the background.

The Lambeth of the Indaba and Bible Study groups was the one in the foreground most of the time. But at key points, the Lambeth of the Windsor Continuation Group [WCG] and the group writing the Reflections documents moved out of the background into sight…

Jim Naughton has written at Comment is free The archbishop’s hands are tied, not ours.

The politics of the church make Rowan Williams act against his beliefs on gay marriage. We don’t have to do the same.

Extensive research has proven that I am not the Archbishop of Canterbury. Neither, in all likelihood, are you. These facts, in hand for some time now, acquired new significance yesterday with the revelation that Rowan Williams, who is the Archbishop of Canterbury, believes, what a great many Anglicans believe, namely: “that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might … reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.”


What about Resolution 19?

Bishop David Rossdale asks this question: If resolution 1.10 is important, what about resolution 19?

The more I read the final Lambeth Document, “Capturing Conversations and Reflections”, the more I rejoice that we did not go down the road of resolutions and votes. To have a ’snapshot’ of the engagement between the Bishops is probably of far more worth, than adding to the fossilised remains of earlier conferences, which leave skeletal resolutions disconnected from the tissue of conversation lying behind them as some sort of guide to the heart and mind of the church.

Much has been made of Resolution 1.10 from the 1998 Conference, as though this is an enduring and unerring piece of truth. It has become almost a test for orthodoxy. But if this resolution has such enduring status, then all resolutions of the Lambeth Conference must be given the same status. So what about Resolution 67 from 1908? Very importantly it states…


Lambeth: some other stories

Updated Sunday morning

Daniel Burke of Religion News Service interviewed Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland. The Washington Post carries this story at Raising Issues Of Race in Anglican Rift.

The Times had interviews with seven bishops by Bess Twiston Davies in The Anglican balancing act, in a church near you.

The Los Angeles Times had an unsigned opinion article, Adding to division.

Martin Beckford reports in the Telegraph that Archbishop may be forced to do fundraising tour to solve £1m Lambeth financial crisis.

Related to this is the ACNS press release, Finances and the Lambeth Conference 2008.

The webcast press conference held by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Mark Sisk is reported for Episcopal Life Online by Solange de Santis here.

Sunday morning update

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote for Comment is free The road from Lambeth.

I wrote a second column for Wardman Wire Lambeth Conference: Sex or Power?

More about the Lambeth financial deficit in the first few minutes of the BBC Sunday programme, listen here (URL for one week only). See also this BBC report, Church considers £1.2m shortfall.


Lambeth: more Church Times Reports

Here are more Lambeth Conference news items from last week’s Church Times that were only available to subscribers until today.

Williams urges generous love
Lawyers see 1662 as still able to unite
Bishops tackle extremism and ‘daily business of dialogue’
Spouses aim to build good faith
Step up moral pressure over climate, Conference is told
Millennium Goals must be met, say Lambeth walkers
Ecumenical participants grapple
Murphy-O’Connor warns of ‘ecumenical shadow’


Jim Naughton on the British press

Jim Naughton wrote the Church Times press column last week. It is now available online at What I ‘learnt’ at Lambeth.

FOR AN American church flak like me, learning to work with the British news media has been similar to learning to drive on British roads. The enterprises are fundamentally similar, and yet one’s reflexes need reconditioning to avoid accidents.

As a former journalist, I was struck first by the difference in the ways that American and British journalists attribute (or don’t attribute) the information in their stories. The British press is freer in its use of anonymous sources than its American counterpart. One is constantly reading that a paper “has learnt” something. Well, how, exactly?

Perhaps this wink-and-nod approach makes a certain sense in the cosy world of the Anglican Communion, but it’s open to abuse. A friend of mine recently found her fondest hopes transformed into the hidden agenda of the Episcopal Church by a reporter who assumed that my friend had much more influence that she has…


Lambeth: the Economist weighs in

The Economist has several articles about the Lambeth Conference:

The high price of togetherness
The bishops got on fine for a while—but was it only a holiday romance?

Anyone for Schadenfreude?
What Roman Catholics fear from an Anglican split.

Leader: United we fall
The writhings of worldwide Anglicanism are another reason to disestablish the Church of England.


What Bishop Cathy Roskam said

I linked last week to three reports in London newspapers about what Bishop Cathy Roskam was alleged to have said about husbands beating their wives.

These reports all referred to the Lambeth Witness as the source of the quotes, rather than to any Episcopal Church news briefing.

The relevant issue of the Witness is available as a PDF here.

Bishop Roskam’s own response to the press reports can be found on her blog (scroll down to item 9) and is reproduced in full below the fold here (emphasis added).



Lambeth: catching up on reports

The BBC Northern Ireland radio programme Sunday Sequence can be listened to via the BBC iPlayer. Last week’s programme hosted by William Crawley can be heard here, until next Sunday.

There is a segment on blogging at the conference, about 24 minutes in that lasts about 6 minutes. It includes contributions from Bishop David Chillingworth, and also from me.

Another article that I wrote on Saturday can be read at Wardman Wire titled Lambeth Conference – Touching Base: Guest Column by Simon Sarmiento.


Lambeth: three more items

First, Tony Sadler formerly the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments, writes to The Times Arch appointment.

Second, Priyamvada Gopal who teaches postcolonial studies at Cambridge University, writes for Comment is free about Orombi: a child of empire?

Third, Will Self, columnist at the Evening Standard, writes It’s your job to stand up to the bigots, Archbishop.


Lambeth: Tuesday after reports

Updated Tuesday evening

Robert Pigott of the BBC has published his final entry in Lambeth Diary. Read DARING THE EXTREMES TO LEAVE.

Anglican TV has Archbishop Orombi clarifies The Times letter.

The Living Church has What the Lambeth Conference Accomplished by Steve Waring.

Regarding the final press conference, there is now a transcript of it here (thank you Lichfield), and ENS has video recordings here (navigate by date to two segments dated 08/03/08).

ENS also has two further reports by Mary Frances Schjonberg:
Lengthy reflections document called ‘narrative’ of Lambeth experience and
Reactions to Lambeth Conference span the spectrum.

Tuesday evening additions

Yesterday’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 had a segment at 8.53, which includes both a report by Robert Pigott and an interview with Bishop Nick Baines.

And Premier Christian Radio has two segments: Lambeth Conference draws to a close and Anglican Church looks to the future. Those interviewed include Graham Kings and Rod Thomas.


Lambeth: yet more Monday news reports

The Telegraph added another article, this one by George Pitcher and headlined Archbishop of Canterbury upbeat after Lambeth Conference.

The New York Times which sent a war correspondent rather than a religion correspondent to cover the conference has Anglicans to Seek Pact to Prevent a Schism by John F Burns.

Rachel Zoll of Associated Press filed this from New York: Anglican Leader Seeks Moratorium On Gay Bishops.

The Washington Post filed this from London: Gay Bishop Dispute Dominates Conference by Karla Adam who concludes with:

Diarmaid MacCulloch, a professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, said many of Williams’s efforts to “prevent some from grandstanding,” like meeting in small groups, were “sensible in trying to keep the temperature as low as possible.”

MacCulloch predicted that the controversy about homosexuality would “rumble on because it can’t be resolved with two great cultural gaps” but that in time, the factions might learn to live with their differences.

“Overall, the conference did less damage than it could have,” he said, “and that’s something to be thankful for.”

Comment is free has an article by Theo Hobson titled The death of liberal Anglicanism.


Lambeth: Monday church press reports

Anglican Journal Marites Sison Bishops end conference with ‘wide agreement’ on moratoria for same-sex blessings, cross-border interventions, and ordination of gay bishops, says Williams

ENS Archbishop of Canterbury seeks ‘covenantal commitment’

Also, Lambeth bishops attend closing Eucharist; Martyred Melanesian brothers honored in Canterbury Cathedral and Bishops say Lambeth has equipped them for leadership in mission


Lambeth: Monday morning press reports

Guardian Riazat Butt
Lambeth conference: Archbishop blames liberals for church rift and
Healing the rift: how Williams kept his flock together

Guardian leader: Faith 1, Charity 0

The Times Ruth Gledhill
Dr Rowan Williams restores peace at the troubled Lambeth Conference and
Commentary: rebellion in the Church’s ranks

The Times leader last Saturday: Lambeth Conference: good news for Williams

Telegraph Martin Beckford
Lambeth Conference branded ‘exercise in futility’ and
Lambeth Conference Q&A: What has it achieved? and
Lambeth Conference by numbers

BBC Way ahead found in Church gay row


Lambeth: closing sermon

From ACNS comes Sermon given by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Concluding Eucharist of the Lambeth Conference.


Lambeth: final press conference

Audio of the entire press conference is now available here.


Lambeth: Third Presidential Address published

The full text of The Archbishop of Canterbury Concluding Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008 is now available online.

PDF copy also.


Lambeth: Reflections document published

The final version of the Reflections document is now available at Lambeth Indaba Reflections.

The Notes are separate as a PDF.

A PDF version of the main document is here.