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D&G Lambeth Calls webinar brings perspectives from across the Communion

Voices from across the Anglican Communion were drawn together for a fascinating webinar which took place as part of Dublin and Glendalough’s Lambeth4All initiative. The webinar gave an overview of the Lambeth Conference’s Lambeth Calls as well as addressing a number of the themes of the calls.

Following an introduction by Archbishop Michael Jackson, speakers included Bishop Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop for Episcopal Ministry in the Anglican Communion; Archbishop Kay Goldsworth of the Diocese of Perth in Australia; Canon Andrew Orr from the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross; Nicholas Pande, Global Coordinator of the Communion Forest project from Kenya; Dublin MEP Frances Fitzgerald; and Alan McAlwee of Christians Against Poverty. There were videos from the Diocese of Melbourne, which is seen as a world leader in working against violence against women, on their domestic violence programme and from the Bhambayi Project which works to build up marginalised people from Bhambayi, Inanda, one of the most disadvantaged and shunned communities in South Africa.

You can watch the webinar on our YouTube channel here:

The Lambeth Calls are the third phase of the Lambeth Conference which was attended by Bishops from across the Anglican Communion in July 2022. The Calls open up conversations to all Anglicans and enable wider participation by churches and communities around the world. They are: Discipleship; Environment and Sustainable Development; Anglican Identity; Safe Church; Science and Faith; Human Dignity; Christian Unity; Mission and Evangelism; Inter Faith; and Reconciliation.

Archbishop Jackson gave the background of the Lambeth Conference and the Calls. “The Lambeth Calls are not perfect nor was the conference. But they hold before us all broad themes of common interest and they enable people in [Dublin and Glendalough] to connect with each other as well as with people from across the Anglican Communion,” the Archbishop explained. “The reason I want our dioceses to participate is that we are doing these things all the time and our experiences are good enough to share worldwide. Our story tells its own story. It tells the story of our part of the world. It also tells the story of faith in the city, faith in the suburbs and faith in the countryside.”

Every three months the Lambeth Conference is releasing a webinar, a new one for each Call. Archbishop encouraged members of the dioceses to join in.

Bishop Jo Bailey Wells’ outlined her aim to roll out the 10 Calls and ensure that they shape the provinces, dioceses and parishes of the Anglican Communion. “The Lambeth Calls are begging for response,” she explained. “How you respond is not predetermined but that you respond is something we beg for… Our dream is that through companion links, through the capacity to make connection from one province to another you have conversations about what defines you as Anglicans in Ireland, in Dublin or Wicklow and then listen in Pakistan or Melanesia or Costa Rica… I promise you it will expand your horizons on the diversity and the scope and reach of the Anglican Communion and what we have in common.”

Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy outlined the Lambeth Calls. The Call on Discipleship started in spring 2023 and, she observed, “none of us is going to speak against the importance of discipleship and showing the world what it means to stand for and witness to that love in action”. The second Call addresses the environment and sustainable development. She said that from her home in Perth to ours in Ireland, people were aware of the effects of climate change and the importance of taking care of the gift of God’s creation. The next Call is Anglican Identity and a webinar on this call will take place in February (registration link at the end of this article). She said this call enabled people to examine what it means to be Anglicans in the 21st century.

Archbishop Goldsworthy said that the Call on human dignity became the media focus of the Lambeth Conference. But she said there was so much to be said beyond the arguments and debates around human sexuality. “Human dignity is about how it is we work to care for all human beings – what it is to be cared for and counted,” she commented. She concluded: “I hope that you will find in your community that the Bible study materials and webinars will be useful to you in your part of the world.”

From a Church of Ireland point of view, Canon Andrew Orr spoke of the Communion Forest. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross they have used confirmation to encourage candidates to engage in the Communion Forest. They partnered with a conservation group to plant six native trees for each confirmation candidate. Each candidate got a certificate to commemorate their part in the Communion Forest.

Nicholas Pande is Global Coordinator of the Communion Forest project which offers a global platform for Anglicans to take part in creation care to live up to the fifth Mark of Mission. It goes beyond tree growing, Nicholas explained. it is ecologically and geographically diverse across 165 countries. “It is encouraging practical actions,” he said. “Beyond that it is about embedding creation care in the spirit of Anglicans – being part of our spirituality and living out faith. It is also about advocacy and being a prophetic voice for nature and protection of eco systems.”

Frances Fitzgerald spoke of her role on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee and her work on an EU directive on combatting violence against women and gender based violence. “It is a plague on our society and we need to work on combatting it. We have to prevent it and protect vulnerable women and children and we have to prosecute those who perpetrate it… It can cause death. So everyone needs to inform ourselves about this crime and take action to prevent it and create awareness as well as support those who need it,” she said.

Alan McAlwee outlined the work of Christians Against Poverty which helps people out of poverty in partnership with local churches. “CAP’s role is about equipping churches to address poverty within their communities both within the church and in their wider communities,” he explained. He added that poverty is often only viewed in financial terms but said that CAP has seen that the effects of poverty are farther reaching, causing shame, isolation, poorer health and lower educational attainment. CAPs hope is to provide practical budgeting and household management skills through their budgeting course and encouraged churches to join them.

The webinar was coordinated by Canon Tom O’Brien and the videos were compiled by Joe Kelly.

You can register for the next Lambeth Calls webinar, which takes place on the evening of February 7 or the morning of February 8 here.

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