3 Ever since 1867 when Arch- bishop Charles Thomas Longley called the first Lambeth Conference, the Conference has met once each decade (except during the two world wars). Seventy-six bishops (18 English, 5 Irish, 6 Scots, 19 Americans, 24 from the colonies of the British Empire) attended the first meeting which the Archbishop hosted at Lambeth Palace in London. The first Lambeth Conference was organized in response to the Canadian Church’s concern that if they were governed by different can- ons than those governing the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada could be considered an in- dependent branch of the Catholic Church instead of in communion with the Church of England. It is also interesting that there were 114 bishops in the Anglican Communion in 1867, but only 76 bishops attended the first Lambeth Conference. The most conspicuous bishop missing at the first conference was the Archbishop of York and his Suffragan bishops who felt “so doubtful as to the wisdom of such an assembly” that they refused to attend the Conference. Over the decades, attendance at the Lambeth Conference has grown, exceeding the capacity of its venue three times. The smallest conference was the first, and the largest was in 1998 when 749 bishops -- including 11 women bishops -- attended. Conference managers expect that the 2020 Conference will be larger than 1998’s. Each Lambeth Conference has dealt with the important theological and social issues of the day which influence the ministry of the Anglican Communion. At the 1978 confer- ence, led by Archbishop Donald Coggin, an important resolution recognized “the autonomy of each of its member churches and the legal right of each church to make its own decisions” about women priests. In 1988, under Archbishop Robert Runcie, the big issue was the ordi- nation of women to the episcopate. Only months later, on February 11, 1989, the Reverend Barbara Harris of Massachusetts became the first women ordained as a bishop in the Anglican Communion. During Archbishop George Carey’s Lambeth Conference in 1998, heated discussions centered on the complex issues of human sexuality -- in particular, homosexuality. It was the most controversial Lambeth Conference in recent history. The conference’s Reso- lution 1.10 called for a “listening process” to hear the different voices in the Communion and found that “homosexual practice” (not necessarily orientation) is “incompatible with Scripture.” The official photographs of each Lambeth Conference show SOME MUSSING ABOUT THE Lambeth Conferences By the Reverend Canon John L. Peterson In another article in this edition of the Communicator, our President, Bishop Andy Doyle, presents the need to financially support the bishops and spouses of the Anglican Communion so that all of them can attend next year’s Lambeth Conference. YOU can have an important part in Lambeth 2020 by contributing to this support. After all, there is nothing more important in our global family than being able to MEET. When that happens, barriers that divide us are broken down. Please go to this website and donate www.compassrosesociety.org/lambeth2020. In my article below, I’ve written some interesting historical tidbits about the Lambeth Conference. Bishops from throughout the world gather at the Lambeth Conference. Continued on page 19