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.