Thursday, July 3, 2008

If you read one thing before Lambeth, read this

In a previous post I made minor mention of a lecture by Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. With some encouragement I want to give it greater prominence, grateful to Ruth Gledhill for the initial hat-tip towards its existence.

Here a a couple of sample paragraphs:

"But the real strength of the ties between the Churches of Britain and Ireland and the Episcopal Church and all those Churches which derive from them lie in the very real personal and continuing bonds of study, friendship, identity, and mutual discipleship which still sustain the life of the Communion. It can still happen that an English emigré will be elected to a bishopric in Canada or in Africa; that Canadians can be elected in New Zealand and New Zealanders in Australia. Even members of the Church in Wales can find themselves appointed to all sorts of bishoprics within the Church of England. I really don't believe that this could happen if there wasn't a very real sense that people felt that essentially Anglicans from all over the world were members of the same Church."


"It should not be surprising therefore to discover that the twenty-first century has brought a growing impatience with the cultural and financial dominance of the NATO aspects of Communion life, and with it, a growing critique of the Churches of the West. Not only are we in the West shrinking in numbers unlike the growing Churches of the South; for many critics, the Churches of the West are losing a sense of their identity as they get lulled into the liberalism and relativism which are presumed to be the hallmarks of the modern Western society.

For many in the life of the Communion, therefore, it is high time that the Compass Rose swung away from the West and towards the South. A sign of this growing confidence can be seen in the establishment of the “Global South” as an Anglican Communion network. The network evolved from a series of “South to South Encounters” organised from 1994 onwards to empower the Anglican Churches of the developing nations in their mission and life. By the time of the Third South to South Encounter held in Cairo in 2005, the Anglican Communion had been hit by the crisis following the election of Bishop Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, and growing controversy about the Blessing of Same Sex Unions. These developments have catalysed the Global South into the powerful lobby that it is today, as they have articulated a clearer and clearer sense that they are the authentic heirs of the Anglican tradition, and upon whom the mantle falls to call the erring Churches of the West to a renewed faithfulness."

Make a coffee, crank up the computer, and absorb it all!

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