With the theme “God’s Church for God’s World—walking, listening and witnessing together,” the conference will explore what it means for the Anglican Communion to be responsive to the needs of a 21st century world.
In the first of three keynote addresses to the conference, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby underscored the importance of wrestling with social challenges and warning that new “empires of financial, economic, scientific and technological power” risk further exploiting the world’s most vulnerable people.
The archbishop urged Anglican bishops to “look outwards” and called on the communion to consider how the church can address the challenges of the 21st century.
“For those here who came in 2008, we have seen since then the impact of the collapse of Western banking systems, the end of globalization of trade, COVID-19, the catastrophe over world food prices and availability, a major war involving a nuclear-armed power, as well as hundreds of other conflicts impacting so many, and with growing force and spread, the impact of climate change,” he said. “On top of those global changes, there have been great roaring of lions in so many of our own countries.”
He added that wars, persecution, civil disorder, and poverty have struck hard at the weakest and the poorest.
In advance of the 2022 Lambeth Conference, Welby had said he hoped to unite the 85-million-member communion under common expressions of faith and social engagement.
The Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of bishops from across the 42-province worldwide Anglican Communion, is underway at the University of Kent.