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2011 primates meeting set for Dublin: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 1, 2010 p 7. October 1, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Primates Meeting 2011.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has published notice that the next meeting of Primates will take place from Jan 25 to 31, 2011 at the Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre in Dublin.

Established in 1978 by Archbishop Donald Coggan as an opportunity for selected primates to meet for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation,” the primates meeting has grown in recent years to include the archbishops, presiding bishops and moderators of the Communion’s 38 provinces, and the Archbishop of York.

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated on Sept 21 that she had received notice of the meeting, and was planning on attending.  The primates of the Global South coalition will meet next month and are expected to take up the issue of whether they will attend the gathering.

During Dr. Williams’ tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury the primates have met at Lambeth Palace in 2003, in Dromantine, Northern Ireland in 2005, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2007, and in Alexandria, Egypt in 2009.

The choice of Dublin as the site of Dr. Williams’ fifth primates meeting came as a surprise to some primates, who had been led to believe after the Alexandria meeting they would next gather in Central America.

Dr. Williams has traditionally not disclosed a detailed agenda before the start of the meeting.  In December 2008 a number of Global South primates met with Dr. Williams in Canterbury to discuss the Alexandria meeting and offered suggestions as to topics of discussion.  The Global South archbishops stated after the meeting they were nonplussed that their suggestions did not influence the agenda.

Dr. Coggan’s vision of a meeting devoted to prayer and reflection for the primates has given way to mixed business meeting – academic seminar format.  In 2003 the Archbishop of Nigeria first objected to participating in a Eucharistic service with US Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.  Dr. Williams prevailed on Archbishop Akinola to relent, but successive meetings saw shrinkage in the time spent in worship as more primates absented themselves from corporate Eucharist as they could not worship with those with whom there were not in fellowship.  By the 2009 meeting in Alexandria, no attempt was made to hold a corporate Eucharist for all the primates and no group photo was taken.

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