Say it isn't so Ruth! Lambeth in Five years?

At the end of an otherwise unsurprising article on the financial crunch (not the world's but Anglican-Land's related to Lambeth) Ruth Gledhill of the Times of London wrote,

"Sources tell me also that plans are in hand for the next Lambeth Conference, not in ten years, but in five years time. To be fair, it will be a more informal meeting than the full conference. But quite where the money will come from to pay for it remains to be seen. Let's hope the value of property holdings in New York and London has zoomed back up by then!"

Say it isn't so!

The money troubles of this one were enough. The prospects of getting additional monies to fund something in five years seems problematical.

Why such a Conference? Well, if an Anglican Covenant is put in place as the litmus test for being part of the Anglican Communion, and dioceses are able to "buy on" to the Covenant separate from Provinces, this would be a fine time to gather the remnants. Of course Dioceses were not the big givers re the Lambeth expenses and general Anglican Consultative Council work, it was the Provinces (National Churches, Regional Churches) that were.

The Episcopal Church paid to be bashed in 1998, paid for ACC expenses although invited to not participate, and paid a hefty portion of the 2008 Lambeth expenses. Lambeth 2008 made no decisions, but its President did. The Archbishop of Canterbury kept the press on for moratoria and pointed the finger at The Episcopal Church as the source of the problems in the Communion. In suggesting that dioceses separately from their provinces might take the pledge in support of an Anglican Covenant the game was changed.

It will be hard to explain just why the Episcopal Church should keep this project afloat when the reason for a meeting in five years seems likely to involved distinguishing dioceses that are very very good from dioceses that are horrid within the Episcopal Church and treating them differently.

Actually, it may be impossible to explain.


  1. Mark,

    I tend to agree with your sentiments that Lambeth meeting every five years is a bad idea - and why WOULD the Episcopal Church (TEC) want to foot most of the bill for such a thing is beyond me. It seems that new wineskins are needed for how the Anglican Communion comes together, and the money spent on Lambeth has gotten quite insane ... Lord knows we need some original thinking about how people in the communion might come together (and not just the purple shirts!)

    Rev. Peter Carey

  2. Robert Dodd17/10/08 5:33 PM

    Our diocesan harps on the notion that dioceses will be able to sign on to the notional covenant independently. E. Radner is pushing this too. Is this just wishful thinking by folks who want to be in TEC but not of it, or might it really come to pass?

  3. Exactly; well said. I thought we should have closed the chequebook about three years ago and let the Global South make up the differece.

    I am reminded of Krystalnacht and the aftermath when the victims (the Jews) were forced to pay for the cleanup and blamed for the event in the first place.

    Your post yesterday was spot on; TEC has no clue how to fight. We prefer to be gentlepeople suffer (well, let some TEC members suffer for the "good of the Communion").

  4. My first thought, as I read this, was that this is totally in line with Archbishop Rowan's intention to make of the episcopate the ultimate decision making body of the [eventual but not yet] Anglican Church, so we can be just like all the other "nations" (see
    1 Samuel).

  5. Mark,
    your proposal would leave the field free for GAFCON-type conferences to take the place of Lambeth. Freed from the sigma of being an alternative to Lambeth, a possible next GAFCON could draw a larger attendance.
    While personally I would be pleased at that outcome, I wonder if you need to take that possibility into account as you formulate your position.
    Peter Carey, Gafcon involved laity and clergy as well as the purple shirts. While it may not reflect your taste, it is a new wineskin.
    Of course others may be suggested as well.

    Obadiah Slope

  6. Hmmm.

    Sounds like somebodies are planning to move on without old North America.

    The claims of strength and importance of TEC & AC of C sound like Python's Knight passing off his weakened condition as mere flesh wounds.

    While the knight hopped around on one leg, the others just moved past him.

  7. Obadiah Slope--Just saying. I think quite a few of the laity involved in that conference were married to "the shirts."

    Hi Mark--Still the broken record here on this issue. Opposed to paying for abuse. There has to be a solution to this that doesn't involve paying someone to abuse us.

  8. Obadia-slope,

    Are you arguing that GAFCON empowers the laity more than other parts of the Anglican Communion? Hmmmm....?


  9. bonnie and peter;
    Gafcon had 1100 to 1200 participants, of which 280 were bishops including 230 from churches within the Anglican Communion.
    The conference model, while far from perfect included laity, young people, and a more representative racial balance than the Lambeth conference. So it would be reasonable to reply positively with Peter's question about empowering laity more than (some) other parts of the anglican Communion. Admittedly that would not be difficult.


  10. I, too, object to the fact that we North Americans have footed much of the bill for a handful of angry men to bash us.

    But the institution needs to be greater than it's members. So, a modest proposal.

    1. The two legitimate North American provinces establish a Lambeth Deficit Appeal to raise the shortfall.

    2. The two legitimate North American primates, Dr. Hilz and Dr. Jefferts Schori be named as the patrons of this project.

    3. That the Bishop of New Hampshire, Dr. Robinson, be named the chair of this appeal.

    4. That, having raised sufficient moneys to cover the shortfall, the two provinces declare that any future giving to the work of the ACC, the ACO, future Lambeths and cetera will be donated on a line item, initiative specific basis.

  11. The last time that I fired up the tubes on the living room radio I heard something about the internet.

    Lambeth '13 could be a video conference preceded and ended by lots of regional work. Everybody stay home. Works for multi-million dollar corporations. But, we'd have to give up the pro-" " advocates haunting the dorms and camping outside of the gates. No loss there.

    Say...that would work for the Executive Council, too. And IF...foolish heart....IF 815 was REALLY concerned about saving money and being a "National" Church, they would have moved out of Manhattan to a more worthy part of the country. Well, I tried. What with TV and radio networks all over that Island I'm sure that no one can tear away long enough to consider that Manhattan isn't the center of the world anymore than Lambeth is.

    Technology. It shows who believes in what.

  12. No, no, no to a Lambeth in five years, and an especially loud NO to TEC's funding it.

  13. ObadiahSlope, I seriously doubt that there was more racial balance at GAFCON than Lambeth. The world is made of more than just folks of white European and black African descent. Do you have evidence of sufficient numbers of folks from Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Island, and Indigenous American decent to make such a claim?

    Father Malcolm, please think a bit more inclusively. I know what you meant, but you did not really say it. North America extends southward to the isthmus of Panama and includes the islands of the Caribbean and the central western Atlantic, and there are 5 legitimate North American provinces in that territory, each with primates; ACofC, TEC, the Anglican Church of Mexico, the Anglican Church in the Central Region of America, and the Church in the Province of the West Indies.

    In the future you might say the two northern most legitimate North American provinces, or something to that effect.

    Allen, did you intentionally say the saints of Manhattan and NYC were unworthy?!?! You sound to be a racist Virginia hick, with statements such as that.

    BTW, TEC is not a "National" church, because it is bigger than just the USA, which is why the name was changed. It used to include those of us in Mexico and still includes dioceses in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Taiwan, Venezuela and also includes the Convocation of American Churches in Europe.

  14. BTW, TEC is not a "National" church, because it is bigger than just the USA, which is why the name was changed.

    In the name of pedantry and resistance to change, let me point out that the name was NOT changed. Instead, GC recognized that the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (or, for that matter, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America) all point to the same body. Not only would we have a big legal problem if the name were changed, but it would piss off those (like myself) who believe that any change is, in fact, evil. Thank you.

  15. David |Dah • veed|,:

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpe.

  16. As I have suggested on Rev Elizabeth's blog, we should move the funds now intended for ACC to two line items. One to support seminarians the other to facilitate study of whatever the covenant design group eventually publishes.

    I am sure the ABC can fund both another bishops only event and his staff with the generous support of the uber-orthodox.


  17. David,
    You are quite right: Lambeth had a greater spread of races than Gafcon. I checked with a Gafcon participant and he confirmed your point that Gafcon was mostly African and Caucasian. He made the point though that this is a first conference and that should there be other Gafcons, this will be addressed.

  18. A most gracious response ObadiahSlope, thank you.

    Folks tend to forget my brown face, which is mestizo; European Spanish and American Indigenous, just as they often forget that I am not Estadounidense or Episcopalian! But I will not let you lot forget.

    Actually we are Anglicans in Mexico by government intervention. At the time of our autonomy from TEC as a province, the Mexican government would not except our petition for official recognition as the Episcopal Church of Mexico or the Mexican Episcopal Church. The government claimed that it could be confused for the national Episcopal Conference of the Roman church. So we are the Anglican Church of Mexico.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.