AFTER THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE: A WORD FROM THE BISHOPS OF THE DIOCESE OF EGYPT, NORTH AFRICA AND THE HORN OF AFRICA
WE, the bishops of the Diocese of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, wish to express our appreciation and thankfulness for the Lambeth Conference now ended. It has been a great joy to experience the fellowship, mutual support and counsel of fellow bishops from around the world. This conference has been a most valuable opportunity to express our thoughts and concerns and to listen to the concerns of others.
We give thanks to God for the witness of the Anglican Communion and for the many testimonies of faith we have shared during this special time together. We are humbled by the faithfulness of so many who bring the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ at great cost in places of hardship and even oppression.
We wish to convey a special word of appreciation and thanks to Archbishop Rowan and also to Jane Williams for all their hospitality and we will continue to hold them in prayer daily. We also wish to thank all the Lambeth Palace and Anglican Communion and Consultative Council staff for all their hard work as well as the staff of Kent University.
It is with great sadness however that we remember those who for the sake of conscience are unable to be with us. We think of those from Provinces and Dioceses who felt it would not be appropriate to be present on account of the unilateral actions taken by the Episcopal Church in America in breach of the Resolution 1.10 of the last Lambeth Conference now again reaffirmed as still expressing the mind of the church as a whole. We share their sense of pain that such unilateralism has so strained the bonds of our unity as to leave them now still impaired.
We must all pray for a spirit of mutual submission to prevail and for unity to be restored and we join with our African brothers and sisters in the Conference of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) in unity with the wider Global South movement in support of the Windsor continuation process, the Covenant and the three (retroactive) moratoria comprisinga cessation of
• The blessing of same-sex unions
• Ordinations to Holy Orders of those living in same-sex relationships
• Episcopal interventions across diocesan and Provincial borders
We do note, however, that the first two listed pertain to central moral teaching while the last is a matter simply of administration and good order. We are mindful that it is a break with the mind of the church in matters pertaining to sexuality that has occasioned the crossing of borders. We do commend the rapid establishment of the proposed Pastoral Forum with the guidance of the Archbishop of Canterbury and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop of the United States as there is an urgent need for truly effective provision of such extended pastoral care as is acceptable to those who feel the need for it.
At this difficult time in the life of our Communion we do appreciate profoundly the prayerful help and support of our ecumenical partners and especially the Coptic Orthodox Church, all of whom have made so clear that they share our concern to preserve the full participation of the Anglican Communion in the wider Christian fellowship.
We also wish to express a particular word of support for our neighbours in Africa in the Anglican Province of Sudan which has suffered so grievously in recent times. We recognize the extraordinary witness of their courage in the faith and offer them our most fervent prayers and support.
Lastly, we think especially of those in our Province and dioceses. We give heartfelt thanks to all those who have been praying for us and for the wider conference and to whom we now return with joy and thanksgiving in the praise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
+ Mouneer Egypt, +Derek Eaton, +Andrew Proud