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Lambeth Call: Anglican Identity

Here is the full text of the Anglican Identity Call presented to the 2022 Lambeth Conference.

Anglican Identity Call Drafting Group  |  04 Aug 2022



…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

1 Peter 2:9

1 Declaration

The Church is the community of the risen Christ. Christians affirm that the church of Christ is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.i The church is the fruit of God’s redemptive mission through the incarnate Word (Rom. 12:5; Gal. 3:26–28). The church is alive in its discernment of the mission of God and in its participation in the mission of God.

2 Affirmation

2.1 The Anglican tradition has its roots in a shared history committed to Catholicity, Reform, international mission, and inter-cultural witness. Our unity, and hope for deeper unity, is expressed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral:

(i) The Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments, as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.

(ii) The Apostles’ Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.

(iii) The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself-Baptism and the Supper of the Lord ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.

(iv) The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.ii

2.2 Governed by Scripture, Anglicans belong to a tradition that seeks faithfulness to God in richly diverse cultures, distinct human experiences, and deep disagreements. In communion with the See of Canterbury, the Anglican Communion has grown into a family of interdependent churches and provinces in over 165 countries.

2.3 Anglicans, therefore, believe in the visible and institutional form of the church.iii Each Province of the Anglican Communion is autonomous and called to live interdependently. Four Instruments of Communion exist and express Anglican interdependence.iv These Instruments are:

(i) The Archbishop of Canterbury

(ii) The Lambeth Conference

(iii) The Anglican Consultative Council

(iv) The Primates’ Meeting

Member Churches of the Anglican Communion are defined in relation to their fellowship with each other and with the Instruments of Communion.

2.4 Our common baptism calls us to a life of service in the Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm a common ordained ministry according to the threefold order of deacons, priests (presbyters), and bishops. Fed by Word and sacrament, we turn outwards as witnesses to the Lordship of Christ in the world. 

2.5 Our witness is rooted in local communities and has global reach. The call to mission is expressed in Anglicanism’s Five Marks of Mission.v The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ:

(i) To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom 

(ii) To teach, baptise and nurture new believers

(iii) To respond to human need by loving service

(iii) To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation

(iv) To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. 

3 Specific requests (The Calls)

The bishops gathered at the Lambeth conference 2022 call on the Communion to:

3.1 Plan for an Anglican Congress Meeting in the Global South 

In an era marked by authoritarianisms, the vulnerability and activism of indigenous peoples; inter-religious co-operation and conflict; mass migration; pluralism; the climate crisis and enormous changes in science and technology – it is time for the broad

Anglican family to renew its vision and practice of Christian mission. In doing so, priority must be given to the voices of indigenous leaders, women, young people, and the laity. We call on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council to set up an exploratory group to present a feasibility study on an Anglican This Congress would meet to discern afresh the mission of God amidst a celebration of the diversity and artistry of our many cultures. 

An initial report, establishing the frame of reference for the feasibility study, should be presented by the Secretary General at ACC-18 meeting in 2023. The final feasibility study should be presented by the exploratory group to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council by the end of 2024. If appropriate, the Secretary General, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, would then call for a Congress and set up a design group. The Congress should take place before the next Lambeth Conference.

3.2 Revitalize Anglicanism’s Marks of Mission

In preparation for an Anglican Congress and as part of an Anglican Congress, the Five Marks of Mission should be reviewed.vii This review should pay particular attention to the Anglican balance of Word and sacrament, missional priorities discerned by the Provinces, diverse cultural expressions of the Gospel, ecumenical commitments, and inter-faith co-operation. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, in consultation with appropriate Communion networks and departments, should be tasked with convening an international group of Anglican missiologists to prepare an initial report for ACC-18 meeting in 2023. 

3.3 Review the Instruments of Communion

We call for a review of the current Instruments of Communion. We ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to set up an independent review group on the Instruments of Communion with special attention to Anglican polity and deepening a sense of synodality for the whole people of God in the Anglican Communion.

To what extent are the Instruments fit for purpose? To what extent might some (or all) of the Instruments be reconfigured to serve the Communion of today and the future? This review should be presented to ACC-19 at its meeting in 2026.

3.4 Study the Possibility of a New Instrument of Communion

 Alongside reviewing the Instruments of Communion (3.3), we call on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council to establish a design group to envision a new Instrument of Communion centring those voices too often marginalized: indigenous leaders, the laity, women, and young people.viii This design group should complete its work and report to the Anglican Consultative Council by the end of 2025.

End Notes

i. The Nicene Creed; The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith & Order (IASCUFO), Towards a Symphony of Instruments: A Historical and Theological Consideration of the Instruments of the Anglican Communion (2018), 1–2.

ii. Lambeth Conference 1888, Resolution 11. See also the formularies enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer (1662). 

iii. Article XIX–XXI Book of Common Prayer (1662). See also the “Principles of Church Order” set out in Encyclical Letter 1.5 (Lambeth Conference, 1878) accessed July 1, 2022.

iv. A Symphony of Instruments (2018).

v. The Marks of Mission began to emerge at the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-6) in Badagry, Nigeria, (1984). The 1988 Lambeth Conference affirmed this emerging sense of Anglican mission (“The Nature and Meaning of Mission”, Lambeth Conference [1988]) and at the 1990 ACC-8 a fifth mark addressing the ecological crisis was added. The Lambeth Conference 1998 endorsed the Five Marks of Mission. See Cathy Ross, “Mission” in Mark D.Chapman, Sathianathan Clarke and Martyn Percy eds., The Oxford Handbook of Anglican Studies (Oxford, 2015), 504–515; Robert S. Heaney and John Kafwanka K, “Discipleship in the Mission of God” in Robert S. Heaney, John Kafwanka K, and Hilda Kabia, God’s Church for God’s World (New York: Church Publishing, 2020), 1–19.

vi. For information on the last Anglican Congress in Toronto, Canada (1963) see:

vii. If an Anglican Congress is not feasible, then a review group made up of missiologists, indigenous leaders, women, young people, and lay Anglicans should be convened to review the Marks of Mission and make recommendations to the ACC.

viii. On May 2, 2022 the Archbishop of Canterbury promised the First Nations peoples of Canada discussion on the rights of Indigenous peoples. See Archbishop of Canterbury, “Apology to the Indigenous peoples of Canada” (Press Release, May 2, 2022) accessed June 23, 2022.