'Called to be a faithful Church in a plural world'

Resolution III.1
The Bible

This Conference, recognising the need in our Communion for fuller agreement on how to interpret and apply the message of the Bible in a world of rapid change and widespread cultural interaction,

  1. reaffirms the primary authority of the Scriptures, according to their testimony and supported by our own historic formularies;
  2. urges that the Biblical text should be handled respectfully, coherently, and consistently, building upon our best traditions and scholarship believing that the Scriptural revelation must continue to illuminate, challenge and transform cultures, structures, and ways of thinking, especially those that predominate today;
  3. invites our provinces, as we open ourselves afresh to a vision of a Church full of the Word and full of the Spirit, to promote at every level biblical study programmes which can inform and nourish the life of dioceses, congregations, seminaries, communities, and members of all ages.

Resolution III.2
The Unity of the Anglican Communion

This Conference, committed to maintaining the overall unity of the Anglican Communion, including the unity of each diocese under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop,

  1. believes such unity is essential to the overall effectiveness of the Church's mission to bring the Gospel of Christ to all people;
  2. for the purpose of maintaining this unity, calls upon the provinces of the Communion to uphold the principle of 'Open Reception' as it relates to the ordination of women to the priesthood as indicated by the Eames Commission; noting that "reception is a long and spiritual process.” (Grindrod Report);
  3. in particular calls upon the provinces of the Communion to affirm that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans;
  4. therefore calls upon the Provinces of the Communion to make such provision, including appropriate episcopal ministry, as will enable them to live in the highest degree of Communion possible, recognising that there is and should be no compulsion on any bishop in matters concerning ordination or licensing;
  5. also affirms that "although some of the means by which communion is expressed may be strained or broken, there is a need for courtesy, tolerance, mutual respect, and prayer for one another, and we confirm that our desire to know or be with one another, remains binding on us as Christians”. (Eames, p.119).

Resolution III.3

This Conference affirms the principle of "subsidiarity,” articulated in Chapter 4, The Virginia Report, which provides that "a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level”, provided that these tasks can be adequately performed at such levels.

Resolution III.4
Eames Commission

Noting that Resolution 1 of the 1988 Lambeth Conference (The ordination or consecration of women to the episcopate) recommended that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Primates appoint a commission

  1. to provide for an examination of the relationships between the provinces of the Anglican Communion and ensure that the process of reception includes continuing consultation with other Churches as well;
  2. to monitor and enumerate the process of consultation within the Communion and to offer further pastoral guidelines;

and noting that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates having now received the completed work of the commission chaired by the Most Revd Robin Eames: this Conference

  1. accepts and endorses the report and thanks the members of the Commission;
  2. recognises the ongoing, open process of reception within the Communion;
  3. recommends the guidelines to every Province; and
  4. urges continuing monitoring within the Communion with regular reporting to the Primates' Meeting.

Note: This Resolution was conflated with Resolution IV.10.

Resolution III.5
The Authority of Holy Scriptures

This Conference

  1. affirms that our creator God, transcendent as well as immanent, communicates with us authoritatively through the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments; and
  2. in agreement with the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and in solidarity with the Lambeth Conference of 1888, affirms that these Holy Scriptures contain 'all things necessary to salvation' and are for us the 'rule and ultimate standard' of faith and practice.

Resolution III.6
Instruments of the Anglican Communion

This Conference, noting the need to strengthen mutual accountability and interdependence among the Provinces of the Anglican Communion,

(a) reaffirms Resolution 18.2(a) of Lambeth 1988 which "urges that encouragement be given to a developing collegial role for the Primates' Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates' Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters”;

(b) asks that the Primates' Meeting, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, include among its responsibilities positive encouragement to mission, intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies;

(c) recommends that these responsibilities should be exercised in sensitive consultation with the relevant provinces and with the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) or in cases of emergency the Executive of the ACC and that, while not interfering with the juridical authority of the provinces, the exercise of these responsibilities by the Primates' Meeting should carry moral authority calling for ready acceptance throughout the Communion, and to this end it is further recommended that the Primates should meet more frequently than the ACC;

(d) believing that there should be a clearer integration of the roles of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting, recommends that the bishops representing each province in the Anglican Consultative Council should be the primates of the provinces and that

  1. equal representation in the ACC from each province, one presbyter or deacon and one lay person from each province should join the primates in the triennial ACC gathering;
  2. an executive committee of the ACC should be reflective of this broad membership, and;
  3. there should be a change in the name of the Anglican Consultative Council to the Anglican Communion Council, reflecting the evolving needs and structures to which the foregoing changes speak;

(e) reaffirms the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a personal sign of our unity and communion, and the role of the decennial Lambeth Conference and of extraordinary Anglican Congresses as called, together with inter-provincial gatherings and cross-provincial diocesan partnerships, as collegial and communal signs of the unity of our Communion.

Resolution III.7
The Lambeth Conference

Noting that –

  1. the members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) were invited to Lambeth Conference 1988 and Lambeth Conference 1998;
  2. some assistant bishops were invited in 1978 and 1988 and that in 1998 all assistants were invited; and
  3. that in ten years' time numbers and costs will inevitably be much greater;

this Conference requests that those planning for the next Conference actively consider

  1. the optimal size for the Conference;
  2. possible alternative locations; and
  3. optional Conference designs.

Resolution III.8
The Virginia Report

This Conference

  1. welcomes the 1997 Report of the Inter Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission (The Virginia Report) as a helpful statement of the characteristics of our Communion;
  2. recognises that the report, the fruit if ten years of careful work accomplished since the 12th Lambeth Conference, identifies and explores important questions about unity, interdependence and mutual accountability in the Anglican Communion;
  3. commends its discussion of our Trinitarian faith as the basis of our koinonia and interdependence, while recommending the need for further work to be done with respect to the report's discussion of reason in relation to the primacy of Holy Scripture;
  4. affirms that the Churches of our Anglican Communion are joined in the communion of God through Our Lord Jesus Christ by the gracious power of the Holy Spirit, celebrating the fact that our communion together is maintained in the life and truth of Christ by the gift to us of the Holy Scriptures, the Apostles and Nicene Creeds, the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, and the historic episcopate, and commending the fundamental importance of these to the consideration of our partners in ecumenical dialogue;
  5. values the instruments of Anglican unity as they are described in the Virginia Report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the meeting of Primates;
  6. values and discerns the Church to be held in koinonia by our liturgical tradition and common patterns of worship, by prayer and the communion of the saints, the witness of the heroes and heroines of our history, the sharing of the stories of our faith, and by our interdependence through exchanges of friendship between our dioceses and by service to others in the name of Christ;
  7. calls upon member Churches and the ACC in the next decade to facilitate the sharing of resources of theological education and training in ministry and to promote exchanges amongst the theological colleges and seminaries of our Communion so as to minister to a deepening unity of heart and mind;
  8. requests the Primates to initiate and monitor a decade of study in each province on the report, and in particular on "whether effective communion, at all levels, does not require appropriate instruments, with due safeguards, not only for legislation, but also for oversight” (para. 5.20) as well as on the issue of a universal ministry in the service if Christian unity (cf. Agros Report, para. 162, and the Encyclical Letter of Pope John Paul II, Ut unum sint 96);
  9. requests that this study should include consideration of the ecumenical implications involved and that the Primates should make specific recommendations for the development of instruments of communion not later than the 14th Lambeth Conference.

Resolution III.9
Inter-regional groupings

This Conference requests that at a forthcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council ways and means be explored for bishops to gather in inter-regional groupings at convenient intervals for communion, exchange, renewal and theological reflection whereby they might be enabled to take back home ideas for guidance distilled from the global experience of fellow bishops.

Resolution III.10
Marriage and Family Life

This Conference, recognising the need for the Church to respond to the destructive pressures on the integrity of marriage and family life on behalf of the families in our care and noting that the local congregation bears a serious responsibility for giving counsel about the Christian understanding of marriage and family life--

  1. endorses the summary report of the International Anglican Family Network (IAFN Newsletter--July 1998);
  2. affirms that the local Christian community should give such counsel; and
  3. believes that the institutions charged with training people for and in Christian ministry must include in their programmes thoughtful and practical courses to prepare clergy and laity to give counsel and encouragement in Christian marriage and family life in the congregations where they serve.

Resolution III.11
Religious Freedom

This Conference challenges Anglicans, as servants of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour

  1. to respect the rights and freedom of all faiths to worship and practise their ways of life;
  2. to work with all people of good will to extend these freedoms of worship, religious practice and conversion throughout the world;
  3. to stand by those who are being persecuted for their faith by our prayers, protests and practical support;
  4. to enter into dialogue with members of other faiths, to increase our mutual respect and explore the truths we hold in common and those on which we differ;
  5. to witness to our faith in the reconciling and saving activity of God in our Lord Jesus Christ working in us now through the power of the Holy Spirit; and
  6. to equip ourselves for our witness, dialogue and service by becoming better versed in the teaching and practice of our own faith, and of at least one other faith.

Resolution III.12
The Monitoring of Inter-Faith Relations

This Conference requests the Anglican Consultative Council to consider setting up a body in the Anglican Communion to monitor Christian/Muslim and other faith relations throughout the world for the purpose of, promoting, educating, and advising on inter-faith dialogue with Muslim and other faiths and to arrange for adequate support and relief for Christians who are persecuted.

Resolution III.13
Marriage and Family Life

This Resolution was not moved, having been conflated with Resolution III.10.

Resolution III.14
Inculturation of worship

This Conference, rejoicing in its own experience of multi-cultural worship, reaffirms Resolutions 22 and 47 of the 1988 Lambeth Conference encouraging the inculturation of worship and urges each province to seek the best ways of inculturating its forms and practice of worship.

Resolution III.15
Co-ordinator for Liturgy

This Conference

  1. thanks the Anglican Church of Canada for seconding the Revd Paul Gibson to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in 1989 and for funding his work, and is grateful for his contribution to the Anglican Communion as its Co-ordinator for Liturgy in the years since then;
  2. urgently requests the Anglican Consultative Council to take steps to find, appoint and sustain a successor to him on his retirement; and
  3. calls upon all provinces to keep the Anglican Consultative Council fully informed about all official liturgical revision through the Co-ordinator for Liturgy or other members of the Council's staff as necessary.

Resolution III.16
International Anglican Liturgical Consultations

This Conference welcomes the emergence in the 1980s of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultations (IALCs); endorses the recognition given to the IALCs by, first the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and then in 1993, by the Joint Meeting of the Primates and the ACC; requests the IALCs to report regularly to the Primates' Meeting; commends to study of each diocese and province the publications of the IALCs; asks each province to send representatives to the Consultations held every four years in orde that these may represent the whole Communion; and commends to the provinces which can afford to send more representatives the principle of funding bursaries for those provinces which cannot.

Resolution III.17
Liturgical revision

This Resolution was not moved, having been conflated with Resolution III.15.

Resolution III.18
The Mothers' Union

This Conference

  1. expresses its gratitude to the Mothers' Union and related organizations, for all their work in supporting families and family life throughout the world;
  2. is grateful for the many initiatives they have taken to address the needs of the disadvantaged in society; and
  3. encourages the Mothers' Union and the related organisations in the many ways that they are planning for further development of all this work in the next Millennium.

Resolution III.19

This resolution was not moved in view of the similar Resolution II.7.

Resolution III.20
The daily offices

This Conference, affirming the importance of Bishops being faithful in the praying of the daily offices, urges the bishops present at this Conference to re-commit themselves to this spiritual discipline and to endeavour to encourage their clergy and people in the discipline of daily prayer.

Resolution III.21
Young people

This resolution was not moved in view of the similar Resolution II.8.

Resolution III.22

This Conference--

  1. affirms our trust in the power of God's Spirit to ensure that all persons are made full disciples and equally members of the Body of Christ and the people or laos of God, by their baptism;
  2. while recognising the necessity of the ordained ministry and special responsibilities which are given to various members of the Body, also recognises that all the baptised share in the common priesthood of the Church;
  3. notes that the life, practice, polity and liturgy of churches everywhere should exemplify this understanding of our community and common life; and
  4. affirms that in baptism all are called to personal commitment to Jesus Christ and should be given education and opportunity for ministries which include worship, witness, service and acts of forgiveness and reconciliation in the setting of their daily life and work.

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