last updated on: 11th May 2015
Anglican Links Bishops commit to developing partnership in the Gospel
Between April 27th and May 3rd 2015 the Bishops of Kiteto, Leicester, Mount Kilimanjaro, Trichy and Wyoming and clerical colleagues have been meeting in Jerusalem looking to develop further the existing links. In so doing the bishops are consciously seeking to model difference without division within the Anglican Communion. The bishops are committed to work and witness together and refuse to allow (potentially distracting) differences to eclipse their primary unity of faith in Jesus Christ and their common mission and ministry in His Holy name. Further to the conversations the five bishops agreed a number of affirmations, commitments and resolutions which can be found here.
BISHOPS’JOINT STATEMENT FROM TRICHY CONSULTATION ON GLOBAL LINKS 2014
Between Feb 3rd and Feb 8th 2014 the Bishops of Kiteto, Leicester, Mount Kilimanjaro, Trichy and Wyoming met in Trichy, South India to hold conversations looking at the existing links between members of this group and discuss the possibility of developing such links further. Conversations were held over five days including dedicated time studying scripture together and reflecting on the impact of particular texts personally and in terms of the bishops’ own contexts. Time was also given to worshipping together and experiencing some of the life of the Trichy diocese, including visits to a Christian Dalit community, the Srirangam Temple and church schools and hospitals. All of these ingredients helped forge strong working relationships in an atmosphere of generous hospitality from the Trichy diocese. This landmark meeting of Bishops from four continents was found by all participants to be enriching, inspiring and challenging by turns, a time of sensing the movement of the Holy Spirit, and a model in microcosm of the Anglican Communion at work across widely varied cultures and contexts. Further to the conversations the five bishops agreed the following affirmations, commitments and resolutions;
1. Joy in the partnerships already shared between dioceses, a continuing honouring of agreements already in place and commitment to more fully realising the promise these global links hold for future mission and ministry
2. The contribution of each other to God’s mission in the world
3. The continuing need to listen, learn and be enriched by each other through a deepening process of engagement
4. At diocesan, church community and individual levels affirming the significance of mutual support, encouragement and challenge in nurturing relationships across cultures as an expression of our communion in the Body of Christ and our openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
5. The developing of processes at diocesan and local level to enhance local mission (eg in growth of the church, depth of discipleship and engagement with the wider community) through our interactions and mutual resourcing.
The Bishops’ are committed to;
1. A spiritual and theological pilgrimage together of intensifying relationships, modelling a microcosm of the Anglican communion through mutual trust, sharing and cooperation in furthering God’s mission
2. Continually asking how we partner together in ways which keep Jesus Christ as our focus and centre, exploring how we understand Jesus Christ and our following of Christ in our different cultures.
3. Exploring in our own lives and that of our dioceses through these relationships how to develop greater transparency, honesty, mutual accountability, self-critique and openness to transformation.
4. Strengthening bi-lateral and other linkages between the five dioceses as the Holy Spirit leads, taking seriously the work of prayerful discernment and missional experimentation
5. Extending the present partnering more widely to leaders and Christian communities within our dioceses
6. Take seriously one another’s challenges (eg corruption, clergy training, growth, poverty, wealth etc) and collaborate practically, prophetically and persistently on addressing such challenges.
7. Take seriously the differences in modes of communication between our cultures and endeavour to be mutually understanding, flexible and responsive in communicating
The Bishops’ resolve to
1. Meet between April 27th and May 4th 2015 in Jerusalem in a spirit of pilgrimage to continue conversations on the affirmations and commitments above, exploring doing so with at least one other senior leader from each of our dioceses as we seek to widen the circle of conversation and participation in partnership.
2. Be in quarterly contact (May, July, Oct & Jan) with one another as bishops between face-to-face meetings through coordinated communications (via Rev Dr Suresh Kumar and Canon Mike Harrison)and so forge a sense of on-going relationship and journeying together.
3. Share this statement with the relevant church bodies of our dioceses, inviting consideration of the affirmations and commitments outlined above with a view to deeper relationships in Christ between one another’s dioceses.
RtRevd Isaiah Chambala, Bishop of Kiteto
RtRevd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester
RtRevd Stanley Hotay, Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro
RtRevd Paul Vasanthakumar, Bishop ofTrichy
RtRevd John Smylie, Bishop of Wyoming
8th February 2014