Well, we have arrived here at Canterbury and, apart from some inconsequential registration hiccups, all is going well. The one thing which has immediately struck me is the diversity of the Anglican Communion as reflected in the Bishops and their spouses. The inevitable queues speak eloquently of the numbers who have committed themselves to this conference and to engaging with each other in studying the Bible and being together.
It is quite clear that this conference has been set up as an opportunity to listen to each other. I encountered one journalist who was clearly looking for conflict and was a little disconcerted to find that the group I was with were very much wanting to commit themselves to listening, sharing and understanding. So we are set to be counter cultural as listening, sharing and understanding appear to be in short supply in our fast, media rich world!
One can’t help feeling that the minority who have stayed away are missing a significant moment and our listening and understanding will be diminished by us not having their contribution. I have already has some great conversations with Bishops from different parts of the world and it all bodes well for the coming days.