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Church News

Lambeth Conference postponed due to coronavirus

by Tola Mbakwe

The Lambeth Conference, which only happens once every ten years, has been postponed to next year. 

The meeting gathers 1,000 bishops from the Anglican Communion and their spouses for prayer, bible study and fellowship and was due to take place in Canterbury in July and August. 

Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury made the announcement Monday evening after speaking with the event's organisers and 40 primates of the Anglican Communion. 

He said in a video message: "The place of a Bishop at a time of difficulty is a place of a shepherd when the wolf is attacking the flock. It is to be with them. To be alongside them. To love them. To suffer with them. 

"Because of the coronavirus, travel around the world is deeply restricted and the amount of time that we will face these limitations is unknown. For these reasons, so that we may be good shepherds as bishops in the Anglican world, and encourage the church to be there for God's suffering world, we have decided to reschedule and postpone the conference and to put it forward till 2021 at pretty well the same time."

Lambeth Conference organisers will inform bishops about a new date for the event in 2021, once it's been set.  It will still take place at the University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral. 

Archbishop Justin said when the conference does happen it will be reshaped by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Someone pointed out today that the Lambeth Conference of 1920 delayed from 1918, met in the shadow of the First World War, that the conference of 1948 met in the shadow of the Second World War," he added. 

"But let us remember that as we come together and share our wisdom, we will need to hear from the Spirit through each other to think and ponder and study, to worship and pray."

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