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Fresh Winds blowing through the Anglican Communion

14 Mar 2007

Diocesan Communications Officer

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Update from the Church of England delegation attending the TEAM Conference in South Africa

"Fresh winds of change are blowing through the Anglican Communion", said the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Rt Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane at the opening of the Towards Effective Anglican Mission (TEAM) Conference in South Africa. Some 400 people from all the Provinces of the Communion are meeting in Boksburg, South Africa from the 7th 14th March.

The Conference is a further response to the meeting of the Anglican Primates at Kanuga in 2001, at which the Archbishop of Cape Town was commissioned to head up the response of the Communion to the challenge of AIDS and poverty eradication. The TEAM Conference is looking at these issues in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the way in which the Anglican Communion can contribute towards their achievement by 2015. This continued the theme of the 'Make Poverty History' campaign which will be taken up again in the autumn of 2007 in the 'Stand Up and Speak Out' initiative.

Amongst the participants is a delegation of five people from the Church of England, under the leadership of the Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury. The other members of the delegation are the Revd Susie Snyder (London), Canon Andrew Nunn (Southwark), Mrs Maranda St John Nicolle (Oxford) and Mr Stephen Lyon (Partners in World Mission). Also present are the Rt Revd Michael Doe (USPG) and Jenny Humphreys (Bath & Wells).

Commenting on the Conference so far, Dean June Osborne said, "It has been a tremendous privilege to join with representatives from the worldwide Anglican family celebrating our traditions of prayer, theology and social action. As well as hearing many diverse experiences of joy and sorrow we have been able to listen together to God's Spirit. We have been challenged to imagine a world beyond poverty and injustice, and have resolved to work in our Provinces and across the Communion to fulfil our biblical mandate to strive for the kingdom of God.

The Conference began with a Eucharist celebrated in the Parish Church of All Souls, Tskane, at which 1000 people were present. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, preaching at the service said, When we are set free to take the risks of love, then the spirit of the Lord God is visible; then the spirit of the Lord God is at work. Delivering the keynote address on the second day Dr Williams asked, "How will the history of this moment be written?" He went on to comment that, "there are no gated communities in the kingdom, no communities that are protected from others. TEAM is about mobilizing those small, precious resources we have that nobody else has. The Church is probably the only organization in civil society that can deliver goals concretely at grassroots levels in modest but real ways.

The Preacher at the Final Eucharist will be the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rt Revd Katharine Jefferets Schori.

Contributors to the conference include Salil Shetty, United Nations Director of the Millennium Campaign; Hellen Wangusa, Anglican Observer to the United Nations; Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme and Professor Steve de Gruchy, University of KwaZulu-Natal.