Here are articles 3 and 4 from the Lambeth Conference of 1920.

3.The causes of division lie deep in the past, and are by no means simple or wholly blameworthy. Yet none can doubt  that self will, ambition, lack of charity among Christians have been principal factors in the mingled process, and that these, together with blindlness to the sin of disunion, are stil mainly responsible for the breaches of Christendom. We acknowledge this condition of broken fellowship to be contrary to God’s will, and we desire fankly to confess our share in the guilt of thuis crippling the Body of Christ and hindering the activity of His Spirit.

4. The times call us to a new outlook and new measures. The Faith cannot be adequately apprehended and the battle of the Kingdom cannot be worthily fought while the body is divided, and is thus unable to grow up into the fullness of the life of Christ. The time has come, we believe, for all the seperated groups of Christians to agree in forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out towards the goal of a reunited Catholic Church (NOTE PLEASE SEE POST 1 ON WHAT IS MEANT BY CATHOLIC CHURCH). The removal of the barrers that have been arisen between them will only be brought about by a new comradeship of those whose faces are definitely set this way.

The vision which rises before us is that of a Church genuinely Catholic, loyal to all Truth, and gathering into its fellowship all who profess and call themselves Christians, within whose visible unity all the treasures of faith and order, bequeathed as a heritage by the past to the present, shall be possessed in common and made serviceable to the whole Body of Christ. Within this unity Christian Communions now seperated from one another would retain much that has long been distinctive in their methods of worship and service. It is through a rich diversity of live and devotion that the unity of the whole fellowship will be fulfilled…

  • Is it just me or did Points 3 and 4 of the 1920 conference sound like they could have come out of a ‘post emergent’ document?  
  • If this exact  document was written at this years Lambeth conference what would your reaction be? 

I ask this because I wonder how much official top-down statements have in terms of impacting contemporary Christian theology.  I mean do you think after the Lambeth Conference of 1920 Anglicians world wide suddenly changed their practice and theology to live out the above? If not why not? I ask this not to be critical but to really think about the impact that ‘official church’ stuff debated normally by academia and in conferences, seminars  and committees has on everyday peoples theology. You know the people who have kids, live in the back block of africa, or the taxi driver in the middle of courtneay place who hasn’t seen his family in 10 years due to some issue with immigration. 

 More importantly does the church (I emphasise church with a little c ) dwell, live,converse, evaluate and reflect on the documents it writes or to they merely become words on pages in church document books?