In advance of the Lambeth Conference, the seven Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church arrived in Canterbury.
The Call on Human Dignity Amended
Following objections being raised against the text of the Call on Human Dignity, which asked bishops to reaffirm the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution I.10 defining marriage as permissible only between a man and woman, the Lambeth Calls Sub-group chaired by Bishop Tim Thornton announced on Tuesday evening that the text of that Call would be amended to more accurately reflect the diversity of understandings of Marriage held across the Communion. The details of that amendment, as well as the College of Bishops’ response can be found here.
The Bishops reflect on the Calls Process and arriving in Canterbury
Referring to the Lambeth Calls process, the Rt Rev Andrew Swift, Bishop of Brechin, wrote a piece on his blog reflecting personally on the surprise and difficulty the Call process had caused him. You can read this here. Bishop Andrew said: “I will travel to Lambeth determined to engage well with the matters in the ‘Calls’, in respectful, gracious dialogue. And I am determined, with my Scottish colleagues, to work to amend the ‘Human Dignity’ Call to something we can all prayerfully live with.”
The Primus, the Most Rev Mark Strange reflected on the difference between the 2008 conference and this year, and subsequently on conversations and meetings with fellow Bishops since arriving in Canterbury. He reflected on arriving in the city: “It was a great afternoon! People came and spoke, and we caught up with others. We spoke about all sorts of things, some difficult issues other memories, as well as directions to the shops. Then we heard that the review of the Call on Human Dignity had been amended and we wouldn’t be forced into making relationship breaking decisions, at least that is the hope now of many.”
The Rt Rev Anne Dyer wrote in a blog after arriving in Canterbury that: “Walking through the campus, bishops were waiving to each other, smiling, and saying ‘hello’ … We were sister and brother shaking hands. The greeting in the name of the Lord was deep and sincere. I asked after his diocese and Bishop Gabriel smiled – Jesus was with them, ever present. But they knew hardship and war. There is an internal displacement of people, so many refugees. It will be humbling to pray along side Bishop Gabriel this week.” You can read Bishop Anne’s blog here.
The Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Rev Dr John Armes began considering the question: “How else can we play our part in the evolving life of the Anglican Communion?” in a Facebook post as he arrived.
‘Aberdeen Bishops’ share fellowship in Aberdeen & Orkney
In advance of the Conference, the Rt Rev Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, had hosted a group of Bishops from the Episcopal Church in America. The group have called themselves the ‘Aberdeen Bishops’ because their recent consecrations, which during the pandemic had taken place under lockdown restrictions, reminded Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the consecration of Samuel Seabury in 1784 in Aberdeen.
Media Coverage of the SEC at Lambeth
- The Church Times: Lambeth Resolution 1.10 ‘was not discussed’ in human dignity drafting group
- Anglican Ink: Scottish bishops will not support Lambeth call on Human Dignity if it includes references to Lambeth 98 resolution 1.10
- Christian Today: ‘Revisions’ to be made to Lambeth Call on Human Dignity
The programme for 27 July is a series of welcome events for all Bishops attending the Conference.