Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby decided on the Lambeth Calls as a new process to organize discussion at the 2022 Lambeth Conference. The Calls consist of a series of declarations, affirmations and common appeals to the church on 10 key issues.
Bishops did not vote on the calls, but discussed and refined them further at the conference. Table groups of bishops included a nominated facilitator who recorded written feedback. At the end of the discussion session for each call, bishops had an opportunity to verbally indicate their agreement. If the calls gained clear support, they were sent forward for further work by the Phase 3 group of the Lambeth Conference, appointed by Welby.
Here are some of the propositions the calls submitted for discussion heading into Lambeth.
- Mission and Evangelism. Each diocese and every church should commit to prayer and listening guided by the Holy Spirit to discern how to bear faithful witness to Christ and authentically proclaim the gospel. Each Christian should strive through their witness for at least one person each year to come to faith and grow as a disciple. The Secretary General should support and monitor progress and report back to the Anglican Consultative Council.
- Safe Church. The safety of all people in provinces of the Anglican Communion must be a priority, including through adoption of the Safe Church Charter—which stipulates for churches across the communion pastoral support where there is abuse, effective responses to abuse, practice of pastoral ministry, suitability for ministry and a culture of safety. Provinces should implement the protocol for disclosing information about suitability for ministry.
- Anglican Identity. The Anglican Communion should plan for an Anglican Congress Meeting in the Global South before the next Lambeth Conference to renew its Christian mission and celebrate cultural diversity. It should review the Marks of Mission—principles which guide Anglicans’ outreach to the world—and the Instruments of Communion, which consist of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the three regular meetings which bring the global church together. The communion should study the possibility of adding the new Global South meeting as another Instrument of Communion.
- Reconciliation. Bishops invite Anglicans worldwide to join in practicing reconciliation; creating space for dialogue, listening, self-reflection, truth-telling, healing; and deconstructing the legacy of colonialism. They call on the Archbishop of Canterbury and/or the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion to renew and refresh conversation with the Churches of Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, who declined to send representatives to Lambeth citing disagreement with the church’s direction on same-sex marriage. Instruments of Communion should raise the profile of existing funding streams and networks to support peace-building and justice in provinces experiencing major conflict.
- Human Dignity. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission for Redemptive Action (ACRA) should be established to study and prepare action regarding the church’s historic links to chattel slavery. The communion should lobby governments for social protection measures and extend the work of its own office to promote human dignity with regard to sexuality and gender.
- Environment and Sustainable Development. Instruments of Communion should support commitments to urgently address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Anglicans should recognize these triple environmental crises, equip communities to build resilience, join in the Common Forest initiative which aims to protect forests, ensure ethical investment, and call on world leaders to enact urgent policy changes. Anglicans should equip their churches to work together with neighbours for sustainable development goals and call on world leaders to commit to finance and action to achieve them.
- Christian Unity. Anglicans should renew commitment to search for the full visible unity of church and build strong ecumenical relationships to respond to the needs of the world.
- Inter Faith Relations. Bishops should forge friendships with leaders of other faith traditions, modelling commitment to peace-making and the common good. The Anglican Inter Faith Commission should find funding for research by clergy or lay members across the communion to pursue a specialist track of interfaith relations.
- Discipleship. Church leaders should enable gatherings for worship to intentionally learn Marks of Mission for discipleship. Churches must work intentionally and creatively with young people to foster learning and transformation for “whole-life discipleship”. Discipleship must occupy a central place in theological education programs. The Secretary General will support and monitor progress and report back to the next Anglican Consultative Council and next Lambeth Conference.
- Science and Faith. Anglicans participating in mission should recognize within science God-given resources for living their faith and offering the wisdom of faith to guide science.. The Anglican Communion Science Commission would be established to lead and focus work in this area. Seminaries and theological colleges should embrace science in this manner led by the Commission for Theological Education. Every church of the communion should designate a lead bishop for science. Every Anglican disciple should increase understanding of science as integral to the mission of the church and their role as citizens of the world.