Saturday, November 28, 2015

From China to Lambeth Palace

Lambeth Palace by night
Back yesterday afternoon from a largely unbloggable trip to China, though I did manage to sing in the English Language Choir of the South Cathedral.  After a couple of hours in the office, to Lambeth Palace for another wonderfully inspiring meeting of the Lambeth Partnership where Justin Welby updated us on his plans and progress.

He told us that the CofE was purposely going through a major period of upheaval, to reform and renew the whole Church, focusing on:
  • Discipleship
  • How we find and train people to lead churches
  • How we manage and use central money: the focus is now entirely on the poor and evangelism
  • How we develop and train senior leadership
  • Simplifying 520 years of legislation. Basically "anything that makes life more difficult for people is being abolished - except the Archbishop of Canterbury!"
He was refreshingly clear that these were not quick fixes: his experience in the Oil industry where things take 25 years has been helpful. And he was effusive in his praise for his fellow-bishops: this is not a question of the Hero Leader but of collective decision making.

He spoke inspiringly about the Community of St Anselm and it was great to have a number of the members present, two of whom gave short talks: a young woman from Kenya and a young man from NY.  He also spoke warmly of his recent trip to China and said he'd hope to return there soon.

Ken Costa also encouraged us to link to the banned cinema advert - almost 500k views so far.

There were deep and wise words about his work on reconciliation and on the progress behind the scenes of high-level dialogue with senior religious leaders from Islam and elsewhere. We finished as usual with Compline in the Crypt and afterwards I offered Justin and idea which had formed during the evening and solidified in prayer: he'll think about it: if it happens it will have global implications. We shall see.

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