Partners in Mission
The Conference commends the "Partners in Mission" process to the member Churches of the Anglican Communion and asks them to plan future consultations in accordance with the principles set out in Resolution 27 of the second (Dublin, 1973) meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council and Resolution 17 of its third (Trinidad, 1976) meeting, and in recommendations 1-8 below:
1. The consultation process is concerned with the meaning of mission as well as its implementation. This point is made clear in the Trinidad report (p.57, para.2(b)(ix)), but has not yet been widely received. PIM consultations may be weakened or confused by the failure to recognise that their purpose is to bring about a renewed obedience to mission and not simply to make an existing system efficient. We therefore recommend that each province seek to educate Anglicans in the meaning of the PIM process and of the significant reorientation of mission strategy which is involved.
2. One way of achieving this is to encourage the Church to experience the PIM principle at many levels of its life: eg. between provinces in large national Churches, between dioceses, between a group of parishes, or between parochial and sector ministries.
3. We draw attention to the weakness of the ecumenial dimension in many past consultations and urge the correction of this in the future. Anglicans in any place cannot undertake mission effectively without consulting and planning with fellow Christians.
4. Churches should not be content with inviting partners only from those areas which share a natural or racial affinity with them. The insights of other cultures, and of various understandings of mission are vital to growth in a true and balanced theology of mission, and to ensuring the possibility of a creative exchange of resources both personal and material.
5. Representatives of partner Churches do not always have long enough in the host Church and country before the consultation begins. We believe that a period of two weeks, or even longer, would be helpful and appropriate in most situations. Forward planning should allow invitations to be sent out well in advance.
6. We believe the PIM process can help all of us to catch the vision of an interdependent world as well as an interdependent Church. To this end we underline how essential it is that, where possible, the key secular issues should also be well presented in each consultation and by those in society who understand them best.
7. PIM has helped us to develop the concept of sharing rather than of some giving and others receiving. Yet there is an ever-present danger of lapsing into the "shopping list" way of thinking. At the same time we are sure that consultations should always contain the opportunity for the frank stating of specific needs.
8. Within the Anglican Communion as a whole, thought needs to be given to follow-up as well as co-ordination of response to PIM consultations. We recommend that the ACC gives particular attention to this matter.