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Report of the 2nd National Conference of the Anglican Network for Intercultural Churches (ANIC)

Report of the 2nd National Conference of the Anglican Network for Intercultural Churches (ANIC) at St. Martin’s House Conference Centre from March 20-22.

by

Revd. Adebowale (Debo) ADELAJA


Leicester diocese hosted the 2nd National Conference of the Anglican Network for Intercultural Churches (ANIC) at St. Martin’s House Conference Centre from March 20-22.

This gathering of about 250 diverse voices are united in the shared commitment to building greater capacity and understanding for effective intercultural mission with the Church of England. The conference attended by five bishops, theologians, members of the house of clergy and laity in the UK and beyond recognised the complexities and opportunities inherent in intercultural ministry. It emphatically reconnected to Scriptural verses that humans are created in God’s image – Imago Dei. God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1. 26a). This establishes the root relation between God and Human. In due recognition of the need not to discontent and tarnish the ‘image of God’. We must therefore as Christians live and deal with all humans with respect, fairness, and equity. We must strife to walk with all peoples, notwithstanding their background, colour, status and ethnicity with the underlining understanding not to devalue God – by our insensitivity to fellow human.

Bishop Smitha Prasadam of Huddersfield and the Chair of the House of Clergy in the European Diocese emphasised that for a ‘future perfect’ Church the vocabulary is to know who God is and do “church” the way of the missionary God. The God who entrenched symbiotic relational in human formative habit at the onset of creation.

In line with the diversity of human albeit with a purpose to resonate God in our relationship with created beings, various contributions tried to prescribe the way we do “church” between the Imago Dei stance at creation and the Revelation’s multitude of many nations praise worshiping event at a later age in future eternity.… I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could

count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. (Rev. 7. 9).

A communique was presented, and the common consensus is to walk towards building a church where everyone has equal opportunity to contribute and worship. Knowing fully well that God created image in human will definitely express its diversity among the Saint Triumphant.

A Special feature is on multi-directional gift exchange provided by our Diocesan Martyn Snow in his newly publish book – An Intercultural Church for a Changing World. This book is invaluable for anyone seeking to foster more inclusive and harmonious intercultural worshipping communities in our changing and diverse Church.