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About once every 10 years the bishops of the Anglican Communion gather in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference.
As ever, they discuss a wide range of subjects. The interesting thing is that though they are all members of the same Church and share the same faith and all seek to be good disciples of Jesus Christ, they all live in very different contexts. Some live in wealthy countries and some in the depths of poverty, some live under repressive regimes and some live in the midst of progressive societies. It is easy to see why there are sometimes stresses and strains within the communion.
One of the areas for discussion at the conference which inevitably attracts the headlines is when they talk about Human Dignity relating to identity, sexuality and marriage. For many in our country some of the headlines about this issue that came out of the Lambeth Conference only a couple of weeks ago were disturbing, and for some, downright frightening. As a result I had one or two conversations with those who shared here in the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) course we undertook earlier this year. There was real concern for the LGBTQi community.
As a result of these conversations we have arranged an informal gathering here at York Minster for anyone who is interested in finding out something about what developments we might see in the Church of England in the next year or two.
On Monday 22 August we will be having Evening Prayer as usual here in the Minster. This will be followed at 6pm by a talk in the Lady Chapel by Revd Jackie Doyle-Brett. Jackie is a member of the General Synod and she is the Priest in Charge of a large benefice to the south of York and she is Area Dean of the Derwent Deanery. In addition she is on the steering group of MOSAIC (Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church). Jackie will share with us her reflections on LLF, the mood of General Synod and the fall-out from the Lambeth Conference. Jackie is also happy to respond to any questions people might have. This will last for about 45 minutes when those who want to can reconvene on College Green, beneath the Great East Window, for a drink and chat together.
You are of course welcome to come to Evening Prayer at 5.30pm or just for the gathering at 6pm. Entrance will be by the south door.
It so happens that Revd Catriona Cumming and I both addressed this issue in the sermons we preached on Sunday this week. These can be accessed on our website or You Tube channel.
Pastor and acting Dean
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