Hope for the Communion!
As ACC-15 drew to a close Bishop David Chillingworth summed up the prevailing mood with the words “Its about the relationships, always about the relationships.”
In the final session delegates were asked for the headlines they would take to home to their provinces. Two from Australia and North India focused on Continuing Indaba and both expressed a desire to see it applied in their provinces and between provinces. Kenyan Bishop Samson Mwalunda had earlier encouraged the ACC to ensure that Continuing Indaba was the process to undergird all pan-Anglican conferences. Continuing Indaba was identified as offering hope to the Communion.
The priority of relationships in resolving conflict
On the final day of ACC 15 Continuing Indaba received the unanimous endorsement of the Council. The presentation on the previous day had been followed by a short debate as some members sought to strengthen the proposed resolution. Representatives sought to add a statement emphasising the need to come to resolution on matters of conflict and others proposed Continuing Indaba might guide all process in pan-Anglican meetings.
The Council was offered a vote on whether the existing resolution should be taken without amendments and this motion was passed. Some representatives were disappointed and voted against the resolution itself.
One of those was Archbishop Ikechi Nwosu, who told the Episcopal News Service that while he agrees with everything about the Indaba project, “I just wanted a little bit of that direction to be added.”
On the final day Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, brought a new resolution to the Council affirming that “Indaba does not shy away from resolving problems” and acknowledges “its importance in holding us together through the gift of the Holy Spirit because we believe in communion.” His motion gained wide support. Bishop David Chilingworth endorsed the resolution to “make it clear to people across the Communion that Continuing Indaba is what we have established as part of the process by which our deeper problems can be resolved.”
The resolution passed affirmed that Indaba is a process of honest conversation that works to build community, energize mission and provide a context in which conflict can be resolved.
Bishop David David Chillingworth, continued saying that “it was never our intention to suggest that Continuing Indaba was not about helping in the resolution of problems. Otherwise it would be simply talk without any destination. The concern was that it should not be seen primarily as a problem-solving tool because we believe that what is important is that we establish the relationships within which conflict can be resolved.”
Church of England Bishop Stephen Cottrell supported the new resolution saying:
as a last word of intent that we do want to be a church that deals with each other, which is energized for mission and does seek to resolve its conflicts, hard though it is.