by Audrey Theodosia Bryant
from Signs of the Times No. 29 - Apr 2008

Oh Lambeth, lovely Lambeth, I want to go to Lambeth,

To hear the talk and walk the walk

And listen and be heard;

But who'll be there at Lambeth?

Will they be fair at Lambeth?

And who will come to quarrel with the word?

by Donn Mitchell
from Signs of the Times No. 29 - Apr 2008

Roughly half the world's Anglicans live in societies where basic human rights concepts are deeply embedded in history, law, and culture. And roughly half do not. This situation gives rise to a seldom-asked yet very reasonable question: When the Anglican Communion speaks of human rights, do we know what we're talking about?

by David Marshall
from Signs of the Times No. 29 - Apr 2008

When I started the membership administration job in January I was invited to attend a Standing Committee and a Council meeting.

It's been good to meet everyone involved but I think it's in the nature of such events that they focus mainly on the practical, on what needs doing next. Reflecting on the Council meeting on the train home, I found myself thinking about the theology that led me to join MCU and back into identifying with Church in general over the last two or three years.

by Lorraine Cavanagh
from Signs of the Times No. 29 - Apr 2008

Not long ago, a student whom I had never met asked me to countersign a photograph for his passport application, in order to verify the fact that he was who he said he was.

The kind of unquestioning trust which is given to ministers of religion in these matters is humbling as well as disquieting. It not only suggests that our honesty is above reproach but it also connects us with a longstanding tradition of learning, dating back to the days when the local parson was possibly the only literate person in the community. While today's clergy live in a very different intellectual climate, from time to time we are reminded that there is a vague assumption that we have a degree of insight, even expertise, about life in general. People look to us for an opinion about almost anything, which is not to suggest that clergy are either more intelligent or more knowledgeable than others but that the people we relate to have an expectation of us as people who have spent time in reflection.

by Savitri Hensman
from Signs of the Times No. 29 - Apr 2008

While debate among Anglicans on sexuality has made the headlines, other major differences too have become apparent. These include disagreements on authority in the church and who is responsible for mission and ministry.

According to the 1930 Lambeth Conference of bishops,

'every member of the Church, both clerical and lay, is called to be a channel through which the divine life flows for the quickening of all mankind'. The 1968 Lambeth Conference recommended 'that no major issue in the life of the Church should be decided without the full participation of the laity in discussion and in decision' and 'that each province or regional Church be asked to explore the theology of baptism and confirmation in relation to the need to commission the laity for their task in the world'.

It was widely recognised that the 'searching enquiries' of theologians, prayerful reflection by frontline clergy on the pastoral realities they faced and in-depth knowledge held by many laypeople were of vital importance.