We are pleased to bring you today's thoughts and information to guide your prayers over the proceedings at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

A large area of the Canterbury campus is designated 'The Market Place'. Here a kaleidoscope of organisations and pressure groups have their stands and mingle with the bishops.

The 60 stalls are a mixture of commercial and charitable organisations. Need some Holy Socks; a new Mitre; more theology books?   

SOMA UK has such a base (their allocated space is a bit on the edge and gets very hot when the sun shines). 

Some of the African bishops attending Lambeth have been a bit dismayed by the preponderance of stalls advocating homosexuality and other questionable matters.  However, the varied fringe activities are not confined to the Market Place. 

Most days, there is an array of evening options to choose from.  We ask you to remember these events in your prayers also.

We are pleased to bring you today's thoughts and information to guide your prayers over the proceedings at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The great opening ceremony at Canterbury yesterday was an inspiring occasion for the delegates. The conference proper has begun, consisting of prayer and worship sessions, Bible study, optional sessions and 'Indaba Groups' - the background and format of which is explained below.

In earlier bulletins, we have used the analogy of train travel to characterise the start of the Lambeth Conference. Now, however, the Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, has brought an alarming new dimension to the metaphor, describing the Anglican Communion as "a slow-moving train-wreck, just hitting the buffers".

All of which forces one to take seriously a recent picture, now submitted to intercessors to be weighed. What is the picture? It is of a shopping trolley, with a broken wheel.

Most people have experienced the frustration of attempting to steer a laden trolley round a supermarket which will simply not go in the direction you are pushing it. And why? All because one of the wheels has become warped and is now mal-functioning. Praying about this, one recalls that a foundational document of the Anglican Communion is called the 'Lambeth Quadrilateral'. 

It refers to the name given to the four key principles that form the basis for the union of various churches that make up the Anglican faith:

The Lambeth train continues to move fairly quietly amid the peaceful Kentish countryside. The journey is likely to remain peaceful until next Monday, July 21st, when the Retreat gives way to the Debates.

Observers sense that the passengers will become more vocal, and display less bonhomie, once the whistle is blown for wider discussion.

The English weather in Canterbury may have been far better than that experienced by those contesting the Open Golf at Birkdale, but the forecast is unsettled with the possibility of some rogue theological storms. Structural damage may occur.

Please pray ahead for next week's programme, that there will be more light than heat. The debate themes look relevant and innocuous, but who can guess what may ignite?

The Lambeth train has left the station - but the destination board is still a bit illegible.  As Archbishop Rowan has said, our prayers are vital to guide the Communion in wise directions as an outcome of this time of meeting, debate and reflection.

Thanks for some welcome feedback from recipients of the Praylambeth Bulletin 01 around the world. These responses illustrate how much intercessors outside the campus (whether based in Birmingham or Bombay) can be helped by glimpses of the insights of ‘episcopal bloggers’ or informed journalists. 


Thank you for registering. We really appreciate that you are making time to offer your fellowship in prayer for the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

These daily prayer bulletins will be sent to all those who have so requested. They are in many parts of the world. In the UK we have massive media coverage – and anyone can become well-informed if they have time and energy to wade through the press coverage.

But in some regions people have far less access to such a welter of information. Accordingly, these bulletins will bear in mind the diversity of recipients and not regard the tangled strands of the Canterbury scenario as self-evident.

As well as informing and equipping prayer partners around the globe, we would welcome insights and feedback, which can be directed through the Contact Link above.

Every Blessing

Canon John Simons & Rev Stephen Dinsmore