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Justin Welby says Lambeth Conference was ‘a success’ as it showed ‘disagreement without hatred’ is possible

by Kelly Valencia

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the Lambeth Conference as “a success” as he shared his reflections on the once-in-a-decade event.

Writing in the Church Times, Most Rev Justin Welby said he believed the conference was “a series of remarkable surprises and examples of God’s gracious action” and was reminded that “the Church is built first and foremost on the grace of God, expressed in honest relationships”.

One of the aims of the conference was honesty about internal challenges, especially around sexuality, Archbishop Justin wrote.

He recognised that the crisis over the Human Dignity call became “a moment of frustration”.

“We honestly admitted that there is deep disagreement and a plurality of views across Anglican provinces — but we remained committed to listening and walking together to the maximum possible degree despite these deep disagreements,” he said.

“There is no doubting that these are matters on which there is profound disagreement among us, and that was clear in the run-up to that session.

“But again, by the grace of God we “walked in the light” and committed ourselves to listening and walking together to the maximum possible degree, despite our deep disagreements,” he added.

Other aims such as committing to action on mission and evangelism, reconciliation, climate change, and safeguarding, among others, were also achieved.

During the conference, he also acknowledged “signs of where the Holy Spirit” may be leading the Anglican Communion in the coming years, especially around ecclesiology. Separately, there was a sense of spiritual renewal around solidarity with other faiths, the importance of the church being primarily local, and global justice, he wrote. 

Archbishop Justin concluded: “I BELIEVE the Conference was a success: not because it produced a great outburst of agreement, but because it showed, in a very fractured world, that disagreement without hatred is possible, diversity is a gain, not a problem, and that we can find greater organic unity if we look outwards and give ourselves to the missio dei.

“Most of all, after 14 years in which world crises have come with remorseless regularity for all of us, we rediscovered the love of God in the face of Christ."

You can read the Church Times article here.

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