Afro-Anglicanism conference seeks to celebrate diversity

Diversity is one of the Anglican Communion’s greatest strengths, the product of many cultures and traditions. Afro-Anglicans are only a part of the diversity that exists within the world wide Anglican family.

On July 20-27, Afro-Anglicans will gather in Toronto for the third International Conference on Afro-Anglicanism, under the theme Celebrating the gifts of Afro-Anglicans.

“The theme, affirms the ministry of black Anglicans throughout the world,” said Canon Stephen Fields, chair of the local planning committee. “We will be celebrating the gifts of our common heritage within the Anglican Communion.”

The conference aims to revisit the experiences of black Anglicans (bishops, clergy and laity) from around the world since 1985, when the first meeting on Afro-Anglicanism was held in Barbados.

Issues of health, economic justice, human rights and youth will guide most workshops, which will also focus on global issues, spirituality and the black family. The conference will also hear and learn from those who are contributing to the life of the church beyond Africa.

“Our committee considers this conference as a gift to, and an evangelistic opportunity for, the Anglican Church of Canada,” said Canon Fields. “For this reason, the conference is not limited only to Afro-Anglicans. It is a conference for all who are interested in, issues and ideas that continue to fashion the Christian response of Afro-Anglicans.”

The idea for a conference of black Anglicans originated with the Rev. Canon Frederick Boyd Williams in the early 1980s. After discussion with influential clerics, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a written proposal was produced. Further input from the Rev. Canon Robert Chester Dennis enhanced the plan and resulted in the inaugural conference of 1985. The second was held a decade later in Cape Town, South Africa.

“We hope the conference will emulate the success of the first two gatherings in identifying and celebrating the gifts of Afro- Anglicanism,” said Rev. Peter Fenty, executive assistant to the bishop of Toronto and conference chaplain.

The conference will be a model to show the wider Anglican Communion, “that even in the midst of our differences, we can still come together to share and dialogue with each other,” said Mr. Fenty.

Focus on young adults and their contributions to the Anglican faith will be a major highlight.

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison will welcome the participants. Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, will preach at the opening ceremony and The Most Rev. Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, will give reflections during a presentation on “the Anglican Communion, Our Global Village.”

For further information please contact:
Rev. Canon Stephen Fields, Chair of the local planning committee
2259 Jane Street
Toronto, ON M3M 1A6
Tel: (416) 241-4639
Fax: (416) 248-5415
Email: [email protected]
For participation and registration information, please visit the conference website:

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