To be part of a worldwide Anglican Communion – a fellowship of churches, because we belong together in Jesus Christ – is the most extraordinary blessing and gift. We can all be extremely grateful for it. But if the Communion is a gift, then communication between us is part of that gift. This means sharing insights into what God is calling us to do, wherever we are. It means sharing our witness and our inspiration.
It also means sharing our suffering. St Paul told us that we are part of the body of Christ. If one part of our Communion is ‘paining’ (as is said in parts of Africa), that affects the entire body. But in order to know that a part of the body is in pain, we need to be in touch with each other. We need be ready to pray for each other in whatever situations God places us in.
We have seen in the past, and will surely see again, instances where communication among us has caused harm rather than healing. There have been times we have used communication as a tool to hurt each another. But we must remember that above all we are called to share the love of Christ with the world. That is our great task. So it is not just what we say, but how we say it, that is our message.
That means nothing less than communicating in a way that reflects Christ – a way that is loving and generous, patient and forgiving. On the launch of this new communication channel for our Communion, I pray that it comes to embody these Christ-like qualities.