Repentance is what many in the Anglican Communion want to see

Delegates of GAFCON IV meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.(Photo: Gafcon)

Last Summer, the future of the Anglican Communion appeared to lie in the balance.

Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, the Primate of South Sudan, went to the Lambeth Conference as the Chair of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA) with a clear message – to encourage the bishops present to submit themselves to God's word.

He, and other members of the GSFA, sought a way for the Conference to have an opportunity to reconfirm the 1998 Resolution I.10.

"But I could not find that space," he said.

"The Conference was designed in a way so you just come in, find what is there, then you go out ... I was struggling to make known that in our Communion there is something which is not right.

"I was seen as somebody who is spoiling it and I struggled to make my voice heard.

"I went with the intention that my colleagues and my leaders would hear and take note to put our Communion in order, but that did not happen."

This week, in Kigali, Rwanda, 1,300 bishops, clergy and laity have met to pray, to hear God's word taught, and to take counsel. Every delegate has had three opportunities to shape and finesse the final statement, which will be published later today.

There have been many calls for repentance at Gafcon – both personally and corporately. The delegates have shared their grief at the brokenness of the Anglican Communion which, without the repentance of those who have walked away from God's word, cannot be mended.

And time is running out. As Archbishop Badi said, if there is no repentance, "We will tell them we are the real Anglican Communion.

"Those of you who have invented new teachings will go and form your own communion."

The consequence of the Archbishop of Canterbury's unwillingness to find space at the Lambeth Conference for the voice of the majority of the Anglican Communion to be heard may well come back to haunt him.

Susie Leafe is director of Anglican Futures, which supports orthodox Anglicans in the UK.