The organizers of the 2020 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops have received a major boost with the announcement that Allchurches Trust – owners of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group – have made a £750,000 grant to help fund bursaries.
Every active bishop in the Anglican Communion will be invited to the Lambeth Conference, but the cost of attending the 11-day gathering can be prohibitive for bishops from developing countries. The chief executive of the Lambeth Conference Company, Phil George, said he was “bowled over” on hearing the news.
“Our heart is in the church, in the Christian religion, and in the Anglican Church in particular,” the chair of Allchurches Trust, Sir Philip Mawer, said in an interview with ACNS. “That is why we are deeply committed to making sure that the Christian voice is heard on the key issues of the day – we believe that the Conference in 2020 will enable that to be delivered. It is increasingly important in a secular society and world that that voice is heard. And within that it is crucially important that the voice of the Global South and disadvantaged areas is heard too.”
Mawer said Allchurches Trust wants to see the conference “achieve its objectives not only in terms of the voice of the church be heard, but also ensuring that bishops are able to be developed in their leadership and can go back to their dioceses and provinces enthused and re-equipped to carry out the task of mission and their role in directing and leading the church.”
Mawer added that the Anglican Communion “is a vital international institution and the Lambeth Conference is central to its effectiveness.” He noted that the 2020 conference will be “vital to the Communion in ensuring it addresses the issues and giving the Global South, as well as the North, a voice and say in policies and issues that affect us all.”
George said the grant – the biggest so far received by the organizers of the Lambeth Conference – will mean “a huge difference to so many bishops and their spouses to be able to attend the Lambeth Conference in 2020 as a result of their generosity.”
Lambeth Conference 2020 will take place from July 24 to August 3 at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Invitations to bishops and their spouses will be sent out later this year.