Momentum is gathering for the next Lambeth Conference, to be held in Canterbury July 24 to August 3, 2020. Archbishop Justin Welby has announced that the theme will be “God’s Church for God’s World: Walking, Listening, and Witnessing Together.”

“This is a significant event in the history of our extraordinary global family as we seek God’s direction for an Anglican Communion equipped for the 21st century,” he said.

Here are five facts about Lambeth 2020:

  • The Conference already has a stand-alone website at org. At least 900 people will be invited for 2020, and invitations go out later this year.
  • For the first time, there will be a joint program for bishops and spouses. Bishops’ spouses have attended before in a parallel conference.
  • It will be shorter. The first Lambeth, so called because it met at Lambeth Palace, lasted four days and drew 76 bishops. By 2008 it had swelled to three weeks.
  • From 1878, Lambeth Conference were generally scheduled every 10 years. One exception was in 1897, when was held a year early because of the 13th centennial celebrations of St. Augustine’s arrival in Kent. Meeting in 2020 breaks from this sequence because Archbishop Welby sought more time for consultation and planning.
  • It became a residential event based in Canterbury in 1978. Archbishop Michael Ramsey reportedly dozed off at least once during proceedings in 1968.

John Martin

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