for God’s World
God’s Church for God’s World
The Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy AO, Archbishop of Perth
This time last month, the Lambeth Conference was drawing to its close. The community of 650 bishops (and 450 accompanying spouses) from around the world who had accepted the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to be together around the conference theme “God’s Church for God’s World,” were preparing to begin the journey home to share and implement the conference’s affirmations and calls which outlined the ways in which the Anglican Communion might collectively and locally seek to be “God’s Church for God’s world” in the decade ahead.
Jeri and I, together with Bishop Jeremy, travelled as delegates of the Diocese of Perth, while Bishop Kate remained in town and served as Administrator in my absence. It was a joy and privilege to be invited to speak at the plenary session on Anglican Identity and its expressions within the Australian and Perth contexts. Bishop Jeremy and I offered daily updates and highlights from the Conference which still can be accessed on the diocesan website here.
The ten ‘Lambeth Calls’ on Mission and Evangelism, Safe Church, Anglican Identity, Reconciliation, Human Dignity, Environment and Sustainable Development, Christian Unity, Inter-Faith Relations, Discipleship, and Science and Faith are a product of a year of pre-conference consultation and online conversations, and a fortnight of face-to-face prayer and worship, bible study and plenary sessions, collegial sharing and fellowship at the Lambeth Conference between 27 July to
7 August. The first phase of the three phases of Lambeth, involved a number of opportunities for listening and talking together with bishops from around the world via zoom. The second was in our walking together over the days of the conference in Canterbury, and the third phase into which we are living is that of witnessing together as we lean into the substance of the Lambeth Calls and the grace of our life together in the mission of Christ as members of the worldwide Anglican family.
Among the many highlights of Lambeth 2022 was the increased presence and involvement of ecumenical representatives and speakers who enriched us by their insights and challenges. It was also a delight to listen to the unique experiences and diverse ministry contexts of fellow bishops from around the world. My small bible study group included bishops from South Sudan, Kenya, England, USA, Hong Kong, South India, and Tanzania, with whom day by day we read the bible, prayed together and listened to the stories of faith and hope in the face of poverty, religious persecution and political conflict.
We especially remember at this time the Church of Pakistan and its Moderator, the Most Reverend Azad Marshall, who has called on members of the Anglican Communion to pray for his country following the devastating floods which has left almost one third of Pakistan under water: “Please pray for us that God may use His Church to serve our people who are suffering due to heavy flooding. We have started collecting clothing, rations temporary shelters and volunteers who will assist them at this time. Please pray for us as we join with our Muslim brothers and sisters in supporting flood affectees.”
Archbishop Justin challenged the bishops to live in the love and unity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging our different cultural, political and social contexts, recognising the great challenges ahead of the whole world in the face of the climate crisis.
Archbishop Justin will be with us in Perth 5-6 October as he and Mrs Caroline Welby begin their Australian visit, and we are looking forward to welcoming them with us.
In the light of Lambeth the news of a new church entity in Australia begun by GAFCON has been much in the news. I have written a letter in response to this news which can be found here.
This month there is much for which to be thankful closer to home as Amana Living celebrates it’s 60th anniversary (or Anglican Homes, as it was called before 2006) founded by Archdeacon Frederick Guest and Mr Jack Davies, with the support of Archbishop Robert Moline in 1962. Since then, Amana Living has remained a proudly Anglican agency and has become one of the largest providers of aged care services and retirement living for West Australians. Their life, witness and ministry is an ongoing source of hope and welcome for many older West Australians. Thank God that this call to care in the life of the Diocese was answered all those years ago giving thousands of older people and their families a deep sense of security and belonging.
Amana Living’s anniversary is a reminder that God calls us in every time to be aware of the needs of the world in which we live inviting our response to be God’s Church for God’s World.