Day One of the Lambeth Conference (27 July) was a welcome day for all attending the conference.
Bishop John Armes (Edinburgh) reported “a full day and a very happy one. Loads of very interesting people to meet and fascinating conversations to be had. Mostly, we talk on the move, walking the many paths across this sprawling campus.” You can read Bishop John’s blog here.
Also reflecting on relationships, Bishop Kevin Pearson (Glasgow & Galloway) said in a Facebook post on the Diocesan page that he had been “awakening old friendships and making new ones … which we hope will enable us all to draw closer to brothers and sisters in other parts of the Communion, understanding the challenges and opportunities we all face in bringing the faith of Christ Jesus alive in our own dioceses.”
Bishop Anne Dyer (Aberdeen & Orkney) spoke about the opening event where Bishops “gathered in the main venue, for an induction session in which we would be given our instructions concerning how we would live together through the conference.” In her daily report, available to read here the Rev Roger Dyer, Bishop Anne’s spouse writes about the Spouses conference and talking with fellow spouses about “a hope that climate change would be top of the agenda – the fact that we faced the possibility of making vast tracts of the earth uninhabitable within 50 years or even threaten the very existence of the human race. We wanted this to be front and centre – we believed Christians had something to say about this – and yet, at the same time, we realised that we had already met delegates from areas in such dire need.”
Bishop Ian Paton (St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane) spoke on social media about the set-up for conference, where Bishops are meeting in groups, his being “drawn from countries as different as Canada, USA, South Africa, South Sudan, and Scotland, agreed that we want these two weeks to be about dialogue not debate, and about understanding the difference between being in Communion and being in agreement.”
Bishop Mark Strange (Moray, Ross & Caithness; Primus) wrote about the conference, and meetings within Bishops groups, reflecting that: “you realise just how many people are there and just how many communities across the world are represented within the Anglican Communion. It is quite overwhelming to know what a community we belong to, and as always I consider just how many different views on everything must be present in the room.” He also spoke about “meeting with the primates of provinces who have also enabled the marriage or blessing of same gender relationships. We spoke about our concerns and our hopes for this conference”.
Bishop Andrew Swift (Brechin) met up with The Rt Rev Betsy Monnot, Bishop of Iowa, partner Diocese to the Diocese of Brechin, and welcomed being able to “connect after months of Zoom” in social media posts.
Video footage from 27 July
On July 28 the bishops and spouses will spend the day on retreat. The bishops will hear from: the Revd Prebendary Dr Isabelle Hamley, the Revd Dr Paul Swarup, and Dr Esther Mombo; the Spouses’ Retreat will hear from Mrs Caroline Welby and Canon Paula Gooder, among other session leaders and contributors.