A look back at the 2022 Lambeth Conference, through bishops’ social media shapshots

Posted Aug 8, 2022

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal bishops were scheduled to return to their dioceses on Aug. 8 after concluding their participation in the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops in Canterbury, England. Across nearly two weeks, plenty has been said about what the bishops from across the Anglican Communion accomplished during their time at the conference. Bishops are expected to share more with their dioceses in the days and weeks ahead.

Full ENS coverage can be found here.

For now, here’s a look back at some of the highlights and perspectives shared by the bishops themselves, in their social media posts from the meeting.

More than 650 bishops make the journey

About 100 Episcopal bishops joined their counterparts from most of the Anglican Communion’s 42 provinces at the Lambeth Conference. An early highlight was the July 29 official portrait of the bishops, along with a separate portrait of spouses. Partnered and married gay and lesbian bishops were invited to the Lambeth Conference for the first time, though their spouses and partners were not invited to attend official events.

Getting down to business

This Lambeth Conference, with the theme “God’s Church for God’s World,” was structured around five Bible expositions on readings from 1 Peter, as well as draft documents known as Lambeth Calls on 10 subject areas. The Lambeth Calls were intended to initiate discussion on key matters affecting the church and the world and to suggest ways for bishops to take action back in their dioceses. Test of the draft Lambeth Calls can be found here. They will be revised in response to the feedback received from bishops.

Bishops meet in Bible study and discussion groups

Each bishop attending the Lambeth Conference was assigned to a small group of six to eight bishops from different provinces. The groups met throughout the conference for Bible studies and to discuss the Lambeth Calls.

Aug. 3 was day of public witness on climate change during trip to London

At about the halfway point of the bishops’ business sessions, they spent Aug. 3 traveling to Lambeth Palace in London to renew the Anglican Communion’s commitment to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth with the launch of a global forest initiative.

Reflections on conversations across difference

Much of the early focus was on the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity, a draft document that threatened to fracture the conference over divisions on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church. There are also were concerns about the process for consenting to the documents, with plans for a quasi-voting system scrapped after the first business day. Several bishops offered their reflections on the ongoing discussions on Facebook. Here are a few samples.

And then … a little bit of fun