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This report is taken from PN Review 69, Volume 16 Number 1, September - October 1989.

The Truth Shall Make You Free C.H. Sisson
The Lambeth Conference may not interest everyone, but anyone who has even a glimmering of the way in which the Church of England is caught in the wider troubles of our times will find in it a matter for reflection. The Anglican Communion, in its present form, was left in the wake of the retreating British power overseas as the Roman Church was, over so much of Europe, when the legions were recalled to defend the Capitol. There is no need to insist on the differences. The Church of England was left with responsibilities and without authority. The Churches scattered over four continents, in widely varying circumstances, adapted themselves to the independence of their territories, but remained bound in communion with the English Church and with one another. Hence the Lambeth Conference, which includes a significant minority of churches in lands which were never in political obedience to the British Crown.

Anglicans now often speak of themselves as a 'denomination', but the Church of England has always claimed to be something different - the only true successors, in England, of a line stretching back unbroken to the Apostles and to Christ himself, that 'visible Church' which Article XIX asserts is "a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same". This is hardly the place to air that contrast with the Invisible Church ...


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