House of Bishops – Communique (15 March 2023)
The House of Bishops of the Church in the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) meeting on Tuesday, March 7, and the Standing Committee of CPWI meeting on Wednesday, March 8, and Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Cardiff Hotel, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica, in the Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands, greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our meetings, under the Chairmanship of the Most Rev. Dr. Howard K. A. Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies, Primate and Metropolitan, were undergirded by Morning Prayer and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist daily.
It was our first face-to-face meeting in three years. We cherish the fellowship and celebrate being in common space.
The meetings reviewed resolutions and action points from the recent hybrid Provincial Synod held in the Diocese of the Windward Islands from November 12-17, 2022.
We acknowledge that the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches has continued to make public statements regarding the authority of the existing structure of the Worldwide Anglican Communion and apparently promoting an alternative structure. CPWI does not support this direction toward a separate fellowship; rather, we support holding the Anglican Communion together despite differing views. Mutual respect, dialogue, and Christian forbearance must fortify our common life.
We note the priorities expressed via resolutions from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) at its last meeting from February 12-19, 2023, in Accra, Ghana, particularly the call for safe church spaces that was also affirmed by our own recent Provincial Synod.
Our meetings acknowledged the disquiet across the Anglican Communion caused by the recent decision of the Church of England at its General Synod in February 2023, to allow the blessing of same-sex unions.
We emphasize that the CPWI is a separate and independent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion and that decisions of the Church of England or any other Province are not binding upon us.
Our meetings paid significant attention to the draft Strategic Plan document formulated by Provincial Synod. The Plan will be fine-tuned, and short-term priorities identified, including, focusing on the implementation of Baptism as the Gateway to Holy Communion at Advent 2023, and promoting greater use of technology in the exercise of the mission and ministry of the church.
The House of Bishops and the Standing Committee noted the passing of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert McLean Thompson, retired Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, and each decided to communicate condolences in writing to his widow, Mrs. Charmaine Thompson, and the bereaved family.
We are grateful for the hospitality extended to the House of Bishops and the Provincial Standing Committee by the Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands.
We invite all God’s people to continue to pray for the Church in the Province of the West Indies, the unity of the Anglican Communion, and the peace of the world.