Canterbury Declaration: Global South Anglican Theological Network

 — Sept. 8, 20088 sept. 2008

Editor’s note: The following statement was developed during the recent Lambeth Conference but was not released until following a briefing given to the September bishops’ meeting at the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).

1 August 2008, Canterbury

1. We come as Anglican theologians serving churches in the Anglican Communion outside Western cultural frameworks. Our face-to-face discussions at the Lambeth Conference 2008 have deepened our trust and understanding of one another. We celebrate our bonds of affection in Christ and commit ourselves to take fresh initiatives together for the sake of God’s mission. The Global South Anglican Theological Network is a personal initiative borne of friendship and vocation. We are neither commissioned nor aligned with any organisation or official body in the Communion.

2. We are concerned that the continuing patronising attitude of the West towards the rest of the churches, often perpetrated by technological, educational and financial superiority, is damaging to the theological maturing of the Anglican Communion. We are distressed that the realities in our churches — even the term “Global South” — are often misrepresented and misunderstood within programmes of cultural assimilation and homogenisation of the varied expressions of God’s gifts to his people worldwide.

3. We rejoice however that the Word of God remains sovereign, living and active in accomplishing its good purposes in human hearts and in our lands. We give thanks that the Word has unleashed its saving power and has breathed life in our churches and peoples — “deep calling to deep” — even at the face of human folly and weakness.

4. We rejoice that the Word of God continues to speak to the church, enabling it to discern its true tasks and to speak God’s prophetic voice to peoples, societies and nations. We seek to listen, discern and clarify together what Lord Jesus says to the church.

5. We believe at this present critical juncture in the history of the Anglican Communion it is important for churches outside the traditional Anglo-American trajectories to offer a distinct and critical theological voice: speaking from the context of the global South, offering a theological articulation on issues facing the Communion as we see and read it to the deliberations in the Communion, and giving expression to the trajectories of God’s divine work in our histories.

6. We recognise that we need to draw strength from one another’s insights from the diverse socio-political contexts we serve, and to rediscover and share together how we can best uphold and pass on the faith once delivered to the saints.

7. We commit ourselves to work for the common good of the Communion, with the view that it would rediscover its moorings in the faith and worship of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ, and that our churches would be a sign of hope and reconciliation in this broken world.

8. We invite our colleagues – men and women – working in the global South who share our vision to join in this common task.


Rev. Professor Dr Joseph Galgalo, Saint Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya
Bishop Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada
Bishop Jubal Neves, Diocesan Bishop of Sul-Ocidental Diocese, Igreja Episcopal do Brasil
Rev. Canon Dr Michael Poon, Trinity Theological College, Singapore (Secretary)

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