(Anglican Ink) Next Lambeth Conference cancelled?

The 2018 Lambeth Conference has been cancelled. The precarious state of the Anglican Communion has led the Archbishop of Canterbury to postpone indefinitely the every ten year meeting of the bishops of the Anglican Communion.

A spokesman for Archbishop Justin Welby told Anglican Ink that as the archbishop had not yet met with each of the primates of the communion, he would not be commenting on the news. Since his installation last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury has travelled extensively and plans on visiting the 37 other provinces of the Anglican Communion within the first 18 months of his term of office.

News of the cancellation was made public by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori on 23 Sept 2014. In response to a question from the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, who asked if money was being set aside to fund the Episcopal Church’s participation in the 2018 meeting, the Presiding Bishop told the Fall Meeting of the House of Bishops gathered in Taipei, Taiwan, that she had been told by Archbishop Welby the meeting had been cancelled.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

43 comments on “(Anglican Ink) Next Lambeth Conference cancelled?

  1. Luke says:

    And, it’s taken a week to show up?

  2. Undergroundpewster says:

    A week to show up? – Intel failure.

  3. Katherine says:

    At least this recognizes the reality that the previous +ABC blew up the “instruments of communion.”

  4. MotherViolet says:

    This does not sound true. A third hand rumor. Perhaps KJS meant to say that TEC was not invited to Lambeth. Or she spent all the travel funds on a trip to Taiwan?

  5. Luke says:

    It’s true. Check out George Conger’s comments about ++Welby desiring to talk to all Anglican Primates before thinking about holding a Lambeth.

    The last thing ++Welby wants is to repeat +Rowan’s Lambeth fiasco of 2008.

  6. CSeitz-ACI says:

    Is the LC cancelled or is this an article that lays that claim at the feet of the TEC PB?

  7. Hursley says:

    Well, TEC got what it has always wanted: its own “communion.” I hope it enjoys the ride down from here. If true, at least the Archbishop had the good sense to avoid the pathetic charade of the last Lambeth.

  8. Pb says:

    What do you do after you have done indaba?

  9. The Rev. Father Brian Vander Wel says:

    I have to confess that — if true — I think that this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time vis a vis Anglican Communion relationships. It is at least a concrete action which the ABC can take that indicates that he knows that we cannot go on as we have. When the house is on fire, you need to begin with the admission that the house is on fire.

    I’m grateful for the work of GAFCON and its primates, especially for their indication that they seek and pray for the reformation of Anglicanism. But this action by the ABC demonstrates to me how seriously he knows the problem to be. Rowan did not appear to have this ability.

  10. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Without funding, without theology, without leadership, and row/row/rowan the boat down the inadaba stream of consciousness of TEc, Welby has no way to hold a lambast conference. No doubt PB Kate reminded him of those things before he felt the need to “talk to each of the Primates” other than her.

  11. Tory says:

    #6, I think that is the question about this article. More likely postponed than cancelled. Regarding LC, the timing is more important than the time. And the agenda and purpose of LC even more important than that. Alot to be sorted.

  12. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    The signs have been there for some time that this would happen. Following the financial shambles of the previous Lambeth Conference, caused by the spending of money earmarked for it on the Anglican Communion Office St Andrew’s House instead, the Anglican Communion Office under Canon Kenneth Kearon was instructed to reserve funds each year from the money contributed by provinces for Lambeth 2018. I noticed a while back that they were not making an effort to do any such thing.

    Instead the ACO has been spending its time trying to raise funds from TEC and Trinity Wall Street for off balance sheet activities [outside the Provincial quota asked] which favor the TEC agenda such as the ‘Bible in the Life of the Church project’ and ‘Continuing Indaba’.

    Justin Welby has meanwhile spent his time:
    flying round the Provinces instead of calling the Primates Meeting for 2015 the Global South Primates Meeting in Cairo asked him to call; and
    taking money for the Coventry Meeting of African, TEC and Anglican Church of Canada bishop from Trinity Wall Street to promote living with diversity, i.e. the TEC/ACoC agenda.

    The 2018 Lambeth Conference is the second Instrument of Communion Welby has had a hand in dismantling. The first was the Primates Meeting at Dublin where Welby as Dean of Liverpool was a ‘Facilitator’ for the Indaba Delphi Technique Facilitated Conversation process which induced those attending to demote future meetings of the Primates Meeting to a council of advice to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This was at the cost of the role of the Primates Meeting in being the body charged by the Communion and the Windsor Report with dealing with the division in the Communion brought about by the actions of TEC and ACoC. It is looking very much as if the Dublin Primates Meeting dismantlement arrangements were put together with the involvement of Coventry/Welby, although he did not get the credit for it at the time.

    Welby is an arrogant and manipulative man – he believes that he can call meetings of the Instruments, or not, purely at his own whim and that the Provinces and Primates have no say in this. He has his own agenda for manipulation and Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings it appears have no place in this for the moment. Instead of the Primates Meeting, he has made arrangements for a meeting of the ACC in Africa.

    So it goes on – the arrogance, the manipulation, the disobedience to decisions previously made by the Instruments and the belief that everyone else is stupid and gullible and can have the wool pulled over their eyes. It is exactly how we lost an Empire and came very close to losing Scotland this month.

  13. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #11 Have you been appointed a spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury?

  14. Tory says:

    No, of course not Pageant master. Just agreeing with Chris and offering an opinion. Albeit different from yours.

  15. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    How disappointing.

  16. Katherine says:

    The fact that monies have not been set aside for the funding of a Lambeth gathering tells the tale. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

  17. rwkachur says:

    It’s a win-win-win. For TEC/ACOC, no awkward meetings where they would rightly be outnumbered and they lower the carbon footprint of the Anglican Communion by prevent all those air miles from being flown. The other leaders don’t have to waste time, treasure and breath talking to a wall. The Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t have to sit in a cross-fire.

  18. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I think it is very sad. This is the last working Instrument of Communion, and it too has been treated with contempt. It looks like the prediction of GAFCON that it is the only body capable of gathering in the Communion is being made true, not by GAFCON, but by the decisions of the Communion ‘managers’ themselves.

    What else is left of Communion governance or decision-making?

  19. Katherine says:

    Right, Pageantmaster. Why go through the charade of attending an ACC meeting? The whole structure of the official Communion is now a complete waste of time and money, and it has been made so by its leadership.

    Genuine communion is the fellowship of Christians who worship the Lord, follow His commandments and do His work. That remains.

  20. CSeitz-ACI says:

    To clarify, I just wondered whether the intent of this release was to show the TEC PB making declarations about things like Lambeth Conference’s future.
    I do think that if there is no Lambeth Conference planned, the majority of the Communion (the GS) might simply gather themselves. So I would wonder if +Schori’s claim isn’t a bit imprudent, strategically.

  21. Jill Woodliff says:

    I remember reading that a former Scottish primate was a member of Sea of Faith, as was a South African priest who was on the Anglican Communion Standing Committee, and a smattering clergy in the CoE and across the globe. The Sea of Faith does not believe that God is an external supernatural being, but an internal linguistic construct . . . or something like that. I remember the Presiding Bishop of TEC saying there are many vehicles to the Divine, or many paths . . . or something like that. I remember a TEC bishop including Jesus in the pantheon of Hindu deities . . . or something like that.
    There is no communion in the purest sense of the word if there is no common understanding of God. The Anglican “Communion” is becoming an Anglican historical association. Yes, Pageantmaster, the loss of a common understanding of God is indeed sad.

  22. pendennis88 says:

    Lambeth (and Schori) may believe that they can better put the money they have to use in spreading TEC’s agenda by flying around and doing conferences off-book than by having a formal conference that would likely be an embarrassment and even less favored with attendance than the last one (where the 1/3 of bishops mentioned by Conger as not appearing understates the matter as they represented about 2/3 or more of Anglican membership, the richer countries just having lots more bishops and smaller diocese).

    They likely think they can out-spend and just wear the orthodox down. But I rather doubt it will work out like that. GAFCON seems likely to fill the void, and represent those Anglicans actually in communion with each other. And why wouldn’t it? It is filled with joy and hope in Christ in a way another Lambeth Conference would not, and could not, be. Predictably, I think this is going to result in further diminishment of the stature of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury as well. He can’t play primus inter pares with so many of his pares ceasing to have either a desire or need to recognize it.

  23. MotherViolet says:

    This story is not confirmed, ‘if your mother tells you she loves you check it out with another valid source’!

  24. driver8 says:

    My own Bishop said this at least a year ago. No money was set aside in the annual budget to pay for his trip to the Lambeth Conference. When asked why he said there would not be a 2018 Lambeth Conference.

  25. Luke says:

    23. Who has denied the story?

  26. robroy says:

    Quite an accomplishment. The revisionists must be very proud. They have crushed the third largest Christian communion.
    [blockquote]Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. [/blockquote]

  27. fishsticks says:

    Sigh… Y’all, please read more carefully.

    Neither the ABC nor anyone at Lambeth Palace speaking on behalf of the ABC has made any such announcement. Anglican Ink’s article is based [b]solely[/b] on one off-hand comment by the PB, which is hardly a reasonable basis for the article or the headline. I’m not say that no decision has been made, or that the 2018 Lambeth Conference won’t be postponed or canceled, only that the PB is most assuredly does NOT have the authority to make such a decision, nor would she ever be designated to make such an announcement. Seriously, a couple of minutes on Google would have shown all of you that Lambeth has said absolutely nothing on the subject, so perhaps all the upset, shock, disappointment, etc., is just a [i]bit[/i] premature…

    Welby has repeatedly spoken of the possibility of postponing it to 2019 or 2020, so the notion is hardly a surprising one. (Entirely aside from anything going on in the Anglican Communion, keep in mind that the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI is a much bigger deal on the Continent than it will be here, where no battles were fought, and 2018 is going to be quite full of memorial occasions.) But if such a decision is ultimately made, you can all rest assured that either the ABC or some spokesperson at Lambeth Palace will make the announcement; it will not be announced by the PB in passing in the course of a conversation on other topics.

  28. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #27. Thank you.

  29. SC blu cat lady says:

    Ummm #27, I would not so quickly dismiss George Conger’s+ article at Anglican Ink as “premature”. George is a experienced journalist who does not write gossip. PLEASE notice that George Conger+ mentions that this piece of news comes The Episcopal News Service (and reporter, The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg). SO if you want to blame anyone, I suggest writing Frances Schjonberg+. Notice the word “cancelled” in the article title is from the +KJS quote in the ENS article. Here is the information from the ENS article.
    [blockquote]”In response to a question from Rochester Bishop Prince Singh about budgeting for the next Lambeth Conference and speculation about when and if the gathering will be held, Jefferts Schori told the bishops that the conference will probably not happen in 2018, which would have fit the conference’s traditional 10-year cycle. No planning or fundraising has taken place for a 2018 meeting, she said.Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “has been very clear that he is not going to call a Lambeth [Conference] until he is reasonably certain that the vast majority of bishops would attend. It needs to be preceded by a primates meeting at which a vast majority of primates are present,” she said. “As he continues his visits around the communion to those primates it’s unlikely that he will call such a meeting at all until at least a year from now or probably 18 months from now. Therefore I think we are looking at 2019, more likely 2020, before a Lambeth Conference.”Whenever the next Lambeth Conference occurs “it will have a rather different format,” she predicted. For intstance, it is likely that spouses will not attend “simply because of scale issues and regional contextual issues. Bishops’ spouses fill very different roles in different parts of the communion and the feedback from the last one was that it did not serve the spouses particularly well,” Jefferts Schori explained.[/blockquote]

  30. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #29. The point is rather that Conger might not mind putting TEC PB on the spot.

  31. SC blu cat lady says:

    Truthfully, I am glad that the Lambeth Conference is postponed indefinitely. That gives the Global South and GAFCON more time to make it known that they *are* the Anglican Communion in the truest sense of the word. The revisionist western provinces are no longer considered Anglican by the majority of provinces around the world. TEC and its allies can have its own “communion” but the true descendant of the Anglican Communion is indeed the Global South and GAFCON. They will be the ones to reform the Anglican Communion.

  32. SC blu cat lady says:

    #30. I don’t think George+ has any motives in reporting this news. If anyone put +KJS on the spot, it was their own ENS reporter, The Rev. Frances Schjonberg. Perhaps this shows how TEC’s PB is bit of a rumor mongerer herself. IF she was indeed told by Archbishop Welby that Lambeth Conference was postponed, *why* did she say it publicly in a meeting where she knew there was a reporter? Did she *want* the news to be reported/announced first at the TEC house of bishop’s meeting? This sort of “announcement” by +KJS instead of ++Welby does seem a bit odd. It is as if +KJS is trying to make herself seem very important because she gets news directly from Welby but all other bishops get the information from her. Maybe she had permission from ++Welby to make the announcement? I don’t know. I think the announcement at this meeting by +KJS was deliberate …..just don’t know why.

  33. George Conger says:

    How did this story come about? Why did it appear when it did?

    This story has been out there for some time. But it was not ripe, from a news perspective, for me to run with it. For several years the financial statements of the various church bodies have shown that contrary to the recommendations of the committee convened to sort out the mess of the last Lambeth Conference (financial mess — let’s set aside the political/spiritual mess) no money has been accrued for the next conference. No one has been hired to begin the planning. The political atmosphere has not changed within the communion sufficiently to see a return of the boycotting bishops to the conference table. And off the record conversations with sources report the archbishop has been working to rebuild relations and avoid a snub.

    All of this is akin to an argument from silence — I had off the record comments and could draw negative inferences, but nothing hard.

    The ENS report provided the hard affirmative statement I needed to run with the story. Since my report other outlets have picked up the story as well.

    That the person speaking was Katharine Jefferts Schori was immaterial — that it was printed by ENS was important. Though I do not share the president bishop’s views, and have made joking remarks about her, I have no agenda other than reporting the news — I have an obligation to tell the truth. I should note that Katharine Jefferts Schori (along with Chuck Murphy and Gene Robinson) have been assets to my work in the way that Bill Clinton helped propel Rush Limbaugh to prominence.

    As an aside, I have not, to my knowledge, ever been shown to be wrong on a story of substance like this. Yes, I make mistakes all the time — dates, names, and such. But not mistakes such as some have suggested. In 2003 I was pilloried for reporting that Peter Akinola refused to receive communion at the same altar as Frank Griswold at the emergency primates meeting at Lambeth Palace. was libeled by an individual who claimed my reports about the implosion of the AMiA were fabrications. I was denounced for reporting that the presiding bishop had mispoken when she said she had received the consent of the three senior bishops of the HoB to suspend Bishop Cox, when two of the three bishops told me that same day they had not consulted. And I was denounced when I reported that although the ACC claimed it had received approval from its member churches, several churches told me they had never been asked (Uganda, Southern Cone) while others such as the Episcopal Church reported taking no formal action to endorse the change. People are quick to scream foul, but their cries have not hurt me yet, while the tens of thousands of extra hits these controversies generate do push up what can be charged for advertising.

    As an aside, Anglicans are passive little lambs when it comes to diatribes on stories they dislike. When I wrote for the Jerusalem Post the vitriol from unhappy readers was ten times worse.

    The issue of postpone v cancel is a quibble. It does give those who are unhappy with the news an avenue of complaint. But the title was chosen with care. The best headlines catch the reader’s eye and also offer elasticity of meaning. The article tells the story, not the cover. In this instance we ran with “Lambeth Conference cancelled” as it was a strong title, and as the singular was used (Conference) it was factually correct. The 2018 conference has been cancelled. The Lambeth Conferences have not been cancelled.

    And Lambeth Palace has not denied this story. They have said they won’t be commenting. That is very different. If they denied the story (they haven’t told me) and they then would have to address the inferences from silence listed above. Has not the ACC Standing Committee been told there is to be no Lambeth 2018? Have not a number of the primates been told? A denial would open the story up to a new level.

  34. Luke says:

    “The issue of postpone v cancel is a quibble.” Exactly. Semantics.

    “And Lambeth Palace has not denied this story.”

    Just my point above: #25.

    If the story is not true, people would be standing in line to deny it.

    Thank you, George+

  35. Sarah says:

    RE: “Welby has repeatedly spoken of the possibility of postponing it to 2019 or 2020, so the notion is hardly a surprising one.”

    Could somebody please point me to some links where Archbishop Welby has spoken of the postponement? Where? When?

    RE: “But if such a decision is ultimately made, you can all rest assured that either the ABC or some spokesperson at Lambeth Palace will make the announcement; it will not be announced by the PB in passing in the course of a conversation on other topics.”

    Oh we all are sure that the ABC or Lambeth spokesperson will state their decision whenever they deem it most convenient to do so.

    My read on the situation is that KJS said exactly the truth — and that truth has been communicated to multiple other Primates — and she short circuited Archbishop Welby’s ability to make the announcement at a more politically convenient time. Rather crude on her part — but we’re all used to that anyway.

  36. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the recounting of the multiple times your reporting has been denounced, Father Conger. I particularly recall this one right here: “was libeled by an individual who claimed my reports about the implosion of the AMiA were fabrications.” It was shocking. I’m sure there were many others.

  37. CSeitz-ACI says:

    The dynamic is exactly as Sarah states it. The PB of TEC wants to insinuate herself into “spokesperson for all things crucial in the AC.” This is precisely what she sought to do in Taiwan, one of the far-flung capitals of the TEC Communion.

  38. CSeitz-ACI says:

    The BBC Sunday Programme has Welby saying:
    1. the next Lambeth Conference is to be one collegially planned, with an agenda/character the Primates agree and not one imposed;
    2. He has not finished his meeting individually with them, but this is on schedule;
    3. When he finished, there will be a meeting of the primates regarding the character of LC;
    4. It is unlikely this can all move forward quickly enough for 2018.

  39. The Rev. Father Brian Vander Wel says:

    “The BBC Sunday Programme” to which Professor Seitz refers can be found [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04k7b6q]here[/url]. The interview begins around 30:45.

  40. fishsticks says:

    Shoot, [b]#40, CSeitz-ACI,[/b] you beat me to it! I was just coming here to share that very same link — and to tag [b]#29, SC blu cat lady[/b] and [b]#33, George Conger[/b], while I was at it.

  41. Br. Michael says:

    “the next Lambeth Conference is to be one collegially planned, with an agenda/character the Primates agree and not one imposed;”

    So what exactly does this mean? I see a lot of words, but if experience is indicative they don’t mean anything at all.

  42. CSeitz-ACI says:

    “The next Lambeth Conference needs to be called collegially by the primates, together with real ownership of the agenda and a real sense of what we’re trying to do with such a large effort, such cost. So when we meet as primates, which I hope we will do…with reasonable notice after the end of [the visits to all the primates], then we will decide together on the details.”

    “We just need to be very, very clear about this. There is no Anglican Pope. Decisions are made collectively and collegially and I am absolutely committed to not pre-empting what the primates choose to do.”