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Alex Baker / ACNS
2020 primates meeting.jpg
Alex Baker / ACNS
Church News

'Baggage' of same-sex marriage conflict left behind in new Anglican Primates Meeting

by Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that there were "grown up" discussions between the archbishops that attended the Anglican Primates Meeting this week.

There were 33 archbishops from around the world in attendance at the meeting which wrapped up on Thursday.

Various topics such as Christian persecution, climate change and conflict were addressed.

Most Rev Justin Welby said due to having twelve new primates, the past issues of gay marriage in the Church in 2016's and 2017's meetings did not linger this year.

"I think it was very healthy, actually, because people didn't come with the sort of sense of bringing along with them some of the baggage of previous meetings, and they gave a very fresh approach to it, and I think it was very helpful.

"I think we only had about seven or eight primates from 2016. So we had a huge number in at the end of '17. And we had another huge number of new primates this time, and quite a lot retiring over the next six months to a year. I think the turnover, helps in a sense of healing past wounds."

Three African primates did not attend the meeting this year to show their opposition to a perceived liberalisation of the Church on the issue of sexuality.

The meeting was a time for the primates to plan for the Lambeth Conference which will take place in Canterbury this summer. 

Archbishop Justin said there are two main objectives of the conference.

"[The first is] enabling us to, by the grace of God, to draw a line under some of the inward looking pressures of the past, and secondly, to focus on those things which affect the world - being climate change, conflict, the need for the Church to be confident in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and carrying it out into the world, how we act in reconciliation, safeguarding in the church."

More than 650 bishops representing 165 countries will be at

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