Task group holds first meeting 'to maintain conversation'.
The task group set up after the Primates' Gathering and Meeting in January to "maintain conversation" met for the first time in September and stressed its determination to work together. But it acknowledged the process would take time and could not be rushed.
The primates asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint the group to restore relationships, rebuild mutual trust, heal the legacy of hurt and explore deep differences. Archbishop Welby presented the group's mandate to ACC16 in Lusaka in April where it was received and affirmed.
"What we are trying to do here is mirror what we desire for the whole Communion," said the Coadjutor Bishop of Huron, Linda Nicholls."We are trying to practise in our engagement with each other here what we long for in the wider Communion."
Archbishop Ian Ernest, from the Province of the Indian Ocean, said exchanges within the group had been frank and open. "What has come out very clearly is the level of transparency that we have in the group. We have been able to be open and speak openly about our differences," he said. "We also recognise the richness of the Communion. And we all love our Communion--that is what binds us together."
Reflecting on the diversity, Canon Rosemary Mbogo, the provincial secretary of the Anglican Church of Kenya, said there was no grouping within the Communion whose views would not be listened to.
The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, acknowledged that finding solutions would take time. "Quick fixes aren't long-term solutions," he said. "Long-term solutions require long-term work. We are talking about relationships. You don't build or renew or heal relationships overnight. So, we are going to take whatever time it takes--but we are going to do it."
By Adrian Butcher/ACNS
Caption: Members of the Archbishop of Canterbury's task group