So Primates 2016 has begun and there is little to report. Actually there are some little things to report – let me explain.

Monday was the first day and the only real agenda item was the setting of an agenda. After their first meeting the Primates attended evensong. The picture above is that supplied by the gathering’s website:

Primates of the Anglican Communion gathered for Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral today. The service concluded the first day of the week-long private meeting, which has been called by the Archbishop of Canterbury so that the Primates can pray and reflect together on issues of common concern.

What they (understandably) don’t report is that only a minority of the Primates dressed in convocation robes and an even smaller minority (described to me by an attendee as “the arch-liberals”, including the Primates of TEC and Canada) processed. The effect was clear, if unintended, in demonstrating how few their number were. Most of the Primates simply sat and waited.

Tomorrow’s agenda hasn’t been disclosed except for the following:

  • 7.30am Morning Prayer
  • 8am Holy Communion
  • 5.30pm Evensong

After Communion (which will not be attended by GAFCON Primates nor a number of others) it has to be assumed that agenda item #1 will be the place of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada at this and every future Anglican gathering. The continued presence of GAFCON and other Primates will then depend on the outcome of that first (and some would say only) critical question. Stay tuned.

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