The leaders of eight Anglican provinces whose churches cover the territory from Cape Horn to the Arctic are gathering in Toronto for a regional primates’ meeting. Seven primates and a bishop representing the Church in the Province of the West Indies, where there is a primatial vacancy, are meeting to discuss the Lambeth Conference 2020 and other issues including the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Communion and relationships within the Communion.
The meeting has brought together Primate Bishop Naudal Alves Gomes from Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil; Archbishop Julio Murray Thompson from the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America; Primate Bishop Francisco Moreno of the Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico; Presiding Bishop Greg Venables of the Anglican Church of South America; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the US-based Episcopal Church; Archbishop Tito Zavala, of the Iglesia Anglicana de Chile; and the meeting’s host, Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Bishop of the Windward Islands, Leopold Friday, represented the Church in the Province of the West Indies.
They have been joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, and the Chief Executive of the Lambeth Conference, Phil George.
“I am very happy to welcome all of the primates of our region of the Communion”, Hiltz said. “This is a meeting that is conversational. We are not making decisions or pronouncements. We are being invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to come together in our respective regions to have conversations. These conversations will then feed into the Lambeth design group for Lambeth 2020.
“I take the Canadian contribution to the conversation of Lambeth 2020 very seriously. It is for all the bishops—not for just the primates—to shape the agenda.
“At the last meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops, we had good conversations about the Instruments of Communion and how they bolster the life and witness of the Communion as a whole. We also reflected on the theme of Lambeth 2020: God’s Church for God’s World.”
He continued: “Our own bishops in Canada are looking forward to learning about ministry in other local contexts; building relationships; understanding our witness of the local and the whole. Also, many Canadian bishops are interested in matters of concern for the household of faith including the nature of a post-colonial church; honouring indigenous self-determination; learning from other indaba conversations across the Communion; reconciliation; sustainable development goals; and combating gender-based violence among other matters.”
The meeting got underway the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 27, and will continue until Thursday, Nov. 29.