Dear Fellow Supporters,
Welcome to this summer’s Newsletter, and as always, a huge thank you to our editor, John Rea, whose persuasive ways and dogged determination to pursue both stories and photos, enable this Newsletter to appear so regularly. Thank you, too, to those who have sent him both photos and information. As this edition shows, he gathers information and personal details that enable our prayers and support for the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea to be so much better informed.
A number of us will have an opportunity to engage with three PNG bishops and their wives as the Lambeth Conference comes to an end. The Trustees of the Church Partnership, together with its wider supporting committee, will meet with them on Monday 8th August in London and have conversations together about where they and their dioceses are in terms of the issues they face, the use they have been able to make of the support we give them and, no doubt, some reflection on what has emerged from the Lambeth discussions.
Then, they will spend a day in London, hosted by those members of the committee who are London residents, before dispersing to three separate areas of the country where, I hope, a wider number of people will be able to meet with one of three couples: Acting Archbishop Nathan is going to the north-east of England and then to Edinburgh; Bishop Lindsley to Coventry and Oxford; Bishop Reginald to Suffolk and Cambridge. My thanks to all who are involved in hosting them.
The Conference itself has just started as I write this and it looks as though Archbishop Justin’s hopes – of a Conference which acknowledges the significant differences in thought, theology and pastoral approach but is nonetheless able to find a greater sense of unity and purpose and witness beyond those – may be running into early difficulties. I personally find it a huge sadness that my retirement from full-time episcopal ministry has come before this much-delayed Conference is finally happening and that I am not therefore able to play a part in helping the Conference be what it could be.
Of course there is not much that any one individual can do, but I have always passionately believed that Jesus’ own conviction was that our support of one another, and our holding together in fellowship, common love for one another and shared love for God in Christ is what should predominate.
This Partnership of ours with our brothers and sisters in ACPNG is a tiny part of that holding together. God grant that it may continue to bloom and grow.
Bishop Jonathan Meyrick