Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting
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The Anglican Communion Primates' Meetings are regular meetings of the Anglican Primates, i.e. the chief archbishops or bishops of each (often national) ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion. There are currently 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion. The Primates come together from the geographic Provinces around the world. The Archbishop of Canterbury chairs the meetings, with the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) serving as secretary.
The Primates' Meeting was established by Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd. Donald Coggan, in 1978 as an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation”citation needed. The first meeting was held in 1979.
Held at the Kanuga Conference Center in the USA, topics of discussion included mission issues, poverty and debt concerns, "Canons and Communion", and the response to the global HIV/AIDS crisis.
The primates gathered at Lambeth Palace in October for a series of closed meetings discussing a way forward because conflict over the Episcopal Church and the ordination of a gay bishop. The Primates issued a communique at the close of the meeting.1
In February 2005, Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting was held at Dromantine in Northern Ireland. The issue of homosexuality was heavily discussed. Of the 38 Primates, 35 attended. The Primates issued a communiqué that reiterated most of the Windsor Report's statements, but added a new twist. The Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada were asked to voluntarily withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council, the main formal international entity within the Anglican Communion until the next Lambeth Conference in 2008.
The 2007 Primates' Meeting was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 15 to 19 February 2007, and produced a draft Covenant for the Anglican Communion which is in part a response to disagreements between national churches on issues of sexuality and authority.
The 2011 Primates' Meeting was held in Dublin, Eire. It was attended by the Primates of only 23 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. A variety of reasons were offered for the absences. The Archbishop of the Congo was unable to obtain a visa. The Primates of Mexico and Burma said that they were not well. Four Primates cited other engagements: Kenya, North India, Sudan and Rwanda. The Archbishop of Tanzania offered “personal reasons” for his absence, while seven conservative Primates boycotted the meeting as a protest against the attendance of the more liberal Primates of The Episcopal Church of the United States of America and of Canada: namely, the Primates of the Provinces of the Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Nigeria, Uganda, Southeast Asia, the Province of the Southern Cone in South America and the Province of West Africa.
- 1979: Ely, England
- 1981: Washington, D.C., USA
- 1983: Limuru, Kenya
- 1986: Toronto, Canada
- 1989: Cyprus
- 1991: Newcastle, Northern Ireland
- 1993: Cape Town, South Africa
- 1995: Windsor, England
- 1997: Jerusalem
- 2000: Oporto, Portugal
- February 2001: Kanuga, USA
- 2002: Canterbury, England
- May 2003: Porto Alegre, Brazil
- October 2003: Lambeth Palace, England
- February 2005: Dromantine, Northern Ireland
- February 2007: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- Primates Meeting Communique - February 2007
- Report of the Covenant Design Group - February 2007
- Information about the Anglican Communion, from the 2003 Primates' Meetings
- A Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Lambeth Palace - October, 2003
- Archbishop of Canterbury's statement at the final press conference of the Primates' Meeting - October, 2003
- Pastoral Letter from the Primates of the Anglican Communion - May, 2003