Welby asked to provide alternate worship spaces for orthodox bishops attending Lambeth 2022

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has been asked to provide worship space for those attending the Lambeth Conference who out of conscience cannot worship with those who have violated the church’s teaching on human sexuality.

At a meeting held on 30 July 2022 between seven primates representing the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA) and the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the GSFA primates requested they be given worship space during the two major Eucharists at Canterbury Cathedral. It is understood the archbishop has acceded to their request, but Anglican.Ink has not been able to confirm this with conference organizers as of our going to press.

At their Friday press conference, the GSFA primates said they would ask the bishops from their provinces to remain seated during communion due to the presence of American, Canadian and other bishops who had violated the church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality.

The Most Rev James Wong, archbishop of the Indian Ocean, said: “At this conference, gay-partnered bishops have been invited, and their spouses have too for fellowship and worship, but not the main sessions.

“The Conference programme includes two major Eucharistic services in Canterbury cathedral, one this Sunday, and other at the end of the Conference.

“GSFA primates will be discussing these services with their bishops, but all orthodox bishops will be encouraged to remain in their seats when others go to receive the bread and wine.  

“This will be the start of a number of ‘visual differentials’ between Orthodox bishops and others as we move forward from this conference.”

A source close to the GSFA primates, who asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak on their behalf, said the request for alternate worship space for the two Canterbury Cathedral services will allow the Eucharist fellowship for the orthodox bishops free from political considerations.