Lambeth Seminar – Responding to the Fifth Mark of Mission


“It’s time to take off the gloves!” said Archbishop Julio of Panama, chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network as he opened the Lambeth seminar on living the fifth mark of Mission

Rev Dr Rachel Mash interviewed youth activist Mandisa Gumada who told of the recent devastating floods in South Africa, where over 500 people lost their lives. Six months worth of rain fell in two days – as the oceans warm, increasing evaporation we are seeing more and more floods and drought in other parts of the country.

Participants were then invited to join a table with Bishops who are already living the fifth mark of mission in their own Dioceses. Five Primates and nine bishops took part in sharing about their ministries and over 135 bishops took part in the discussions.

Presiding Bishop Carlos Matsinhe shared about the church response to devastating floods and increasing cyclones in Mozambique

Archbishop  Samy Fawzy shared about the interfaith response of the church in Alexandria, and preparations for COP27

Archbishop Brent Alawas from the Philippines shared of the devastations of cyclones and the response of the church

Archbishop Nick Drayson, shared about the work of the church in advocacy, protecting the forests in the Chaco area of Northern Argentina

Archbishop Nyaboho from Burundi shared about the incredible tree planting efforts in his province

Bishop Marc Andrus of California shared how they are weaving care for creation and tree planting into their liturgies

Bishop Marinez of the Amazon shared of their work in protecting the forests and working with indigenous peoples

Bishop Wanyoike of Thika in Kenya shared about the tree planting efforts of the Green Anglicans movement of Kenya and the use of the low energy jika stove

Bishop Kitohi Pikaahu of Aotearoa, NZ chair of the Indigenous network shared about the importance of learning from indigenous spirituality

Bishop Olivia Graham of Reading in the UK shared about the church’s plan to go net zero by 2030

Bishop Cathleen Bascom of Kansas in the USA shared about their programme to protect and grow prairie grasses. With roots as tall as a human being, they can protect from floods and are a wonderful carbon capturer

Bishop Graham Usher shared about the tree growing in his Diocese of Norwich, they give confirmation candidates a hazel nut in honour of Julian of Norwich

Bishop John Thompson of Selby, UK shared about the efforts of the Diocese of York to reach carbon neutral

Bishop Francisco Duque –  shared about the Interfaith Rain Forest Initiative protecting the forests of Colombia

Canon Ruth Valerio of Tearfund  shared from her Lenten book  “Saying Yes to Life” and personal lifestyle changes

Canon Rachel Mash shared about gender and climate change

How inspiring it was to see all the remarkable ways in which bishops are already responding to the mission call to care for creation.  But we must do more, it is vital that it becomes a priority for all Dioceses and is firmly placed on the year plans!

Photos: Elizabeth Perry and Sheila Moore Andrus

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