On Friday 22 July, Bishop Rachel and Bishop Robert welcomed Bishop Prasana Samuel and his wife, Prof Esther Samuel, from our partner diocese in Karnataka Central, India, as they prepared to attend the 15th Lambeth Conference.
The Bishop of Gloucester and the Bishop of Tewkesbury are attending the Conference along with Bishop Samuel and two other representatives from our partner dioceses: Bishop Emmanuel Bwatta and Mrs Juslene Bwatta (Diocese of Western Tanganyika, Tanzania) and Bishop Kodirekka Padma Rao and the Revd Vijaya Padma Rao (Diocese of Dornakal, India).
While in Gloucester, ahead of the Conference, Bishop Samuel was given a tour of the Cathedral and an overview of our Diocese by the Revd Canon Dr Andrew Braddock. This was followed by a boat trip from the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester Quays.
On Sunday 24 July, Bishop Samuel attended the 10.15am Eucharist at the Cathedral before lunch in Sodbury Vale.
What is the Lambeth Conference?
The Lambeth Conference, held once a decade, is an opportunity for bishops to join together for prayer and reflection, fellowship and dialogue on church and world affairs, which helps shape the life of the Anglican Communion for the next decade.
Over 12 days, the Conference will host over 1,000 active bishops and spouses from across the Anglican Communion. Opening on 26 July, the Archbishop of Canterbury has initiated a new approach to the Conference called ‘Lambeth Calls’, which includes a full programme closing with a service on Sunday 7th August.
For 2022, the theme is ‘God’s Church for God’s World – walking, listening and witnessing together,’ with the Biblical focus being the book of 1 Peter. The conference will explore what it means for the Anglican Communion to be responsive to the needs of a 21st-century world.
Previous Lambeth Conferences have discussed church matters and issues of global concern, including: the persecuted church, refugees, faith and order issues, marriage, the family, human sexuality, the ministry of women, racism, war and peace, Christian ethics and the Christian way of life.
Alongside the full programme of prayer, Bible study, worship services and ceremonies at Canterbury Cathedral, the event also involves a number of guest speakers and dignitaries. Events have been attended by Her Majesty the Queen, and former Prime Ministers.
Why ‘Lambeth Calls’?
For the 2022 Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided that the bishops adopt a process called ‘Lambeth Calls’. This is the name being given to describe declarations, affirmations and common calls to the church shared by bishops that are taking part.
A ‘call’ is a decision of the Conference which comes as an appeal to each church of the Communion to consider carefully, and hopefully to follow it and respond to it in its own situation.
Bishops will discuss several themes through morning Bible Expositions on 1 Peter and plenary sessions.
The Conference opens on 26 July with a full programme across 12 days across venues at the University of Kent, Canterbury Cathedral and Lambeth Palace, closing with a service on Sunday 7 August.
You can read more about the Lambeth Conference 2022 here.