[ACNS, by Staff Writer] More than one thousand bishops and their spouses have so far registered to take part in the Lambeth Conference 2020, the decennial gathering of the bishops of the Anglican Communion. Bishops from 40 Anglican Communion Provinces and five Extra Provincial Areas have been invited to the event by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
The Lambeth Conference Company – the team organising the event in collaboration with Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office – announced on Wednesday (26 June) that registrations had topped 566 bishops and 435 spouses.
“At its heart, the hope for the Lambeth Conference 2020 is to have the full voice, diversity and experience of our global family represented”, Phil George, the CEO of the Lambeth Conference Company said. “We are delighted that so many of our international guests have already confirmed their attendance at this historic event and we look forward to welcoming more registrations in the weeks and months ahead.”
Under the theme of “God’s Church for God’s World”, Lambeth 2020 is held in Canterbury from the 23 July to 2 August 2020.
The programme will see participants meet together for prayer, Bible study, reflection, fellowship, worship and dialogue. The event will shape the priorities of the Anglican Communion for the decade ahead and make common commitments for how the church can address global issues and human need.
The announcement was made as the Lambeth Conference revealed details of the latest meeting of the international Design Group, who are charged with the task of building the programme for the conference. In a blog post on the Lambeth Conference website, several members of the design group speak of their hopes for the significant event.
The theme of next year’s Lambeth Conference is “God’s church for God’s world”, which “reminds us that the church does not exist for itself, the church does not exist alone,” the Primate of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town said. “It exists by mission.
“God is busy reconciling the world to himself. We are invited in to that space. So the theme rightfully locates us as an Anglican church to say – what are we going to do about a world that does not trust? What are we going to do about the youth – creating space for today’s generation and tomorrow’s church? What are we going to do about our disagreements? It’s not only about the church. . . God is always all the time sending us outside the church window, where God’s world is really longing for his love, comfort and embrace.”
Archbishop Thabo added: “We as Anglicans want to say to the world, we are there as bridge builders, there for peace, to address social needs, and in our brokenness to look at growth and rebuild trust in the world.”