The 2016 Primates gathering opened today with little fanfare and steady rain.
The 2016 Primates gathering opened today with little fanfare and steady rain. The primates and moderators of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion arrived in dribs and drabs the night before the five day gathering at the Canterbury Cathedral conference center. The primates of the GAFCON coalition travelled down from London en masse on Sunday night, but sources report they did not caucus before the gathering. While tourists are allowed to tour the cathedral, police have kept the small press contingent well clear of the conference venue. In a break with past practices going back to the late 90’s, no press facilities or briefings will be provided nor have any outings or public services been announced. The conference organizers have launched a website for the meeting, but critics such as Australia-based commentator David Ould notes the content of the website aggressively advances a partisan viewpoint of the issues facing the communion. “ the institutional partnership argument is going to be a big one can be seen in the website produced by the Anglican Communion Office itself for this Primates “Gathering” – “Primates 2016“. The whole thing screams Institution and Common Mission,” he observes. No attendance roster has been provided to the media, and when asked who was coming, a spokesman for the gathering told AI “we don’t have a list.” Speculation is rife as to what might happen — from a walk out by conservatives on the first day — to an outpouring of peace, love and happiness. All that has happend so far is that it is raining — with bouts of lightning and the odd thunder clap.