Archbishop Daniel Yinka Sarfo
Bishop Susan Goff
Bishop Paul Bayes
As bishops we met today to discuss progress in the Triangle of Hope. We affirmed the direction of travel as outlined in the Nairobi paper of 2017 (below). Our focus is on a relationship of reconciliation and of repentance for the evil of the Slave Triangle.
We will support and extend initiatives that have this focus. Specifically:
We thank, support and encourage all our colleagues whose hard work has built the Triangle and established it in each of our dioceses.
We reaffirm the great value of the Youth Pilgrimages over the years, and we rejoice that these now extend to all three of our dioceses.
We welcome the exploration of relationships between Theological Education Institutions in the three dioceses and beyond.
We further welcome the extended exploration of relationships, for example with Coddrington College Barbados, since this builds directly on the focus on slavery and modern slavery.
However we are aware of the risk of extending the Triangle too widely. The relationship is built on personal contacts and connections, and we do not want to see these diluted by the inclusion of additional partners, projects and initiatives beyond the Triangle itself.
We agree to commend the Triangle to the Lambeth Conference and to the Communion as a whole, as an example of good practice in building trust across Dioceses from different parts of the world.
In short we thank God for the gift of the Triangle of Hope and we commit ourselves, in faithfulness to the call of God in Jesus Christ, to carry the Triangle forward into the future.
As Diocesan bishops meeting in conference we thank God for the friendship and mutual support we enjoy in Christ, as colleagues within the Anglican Communion.
We warmly welcome and commend the "Triangle of Hope" initiative in our three Dioceses. Each one of our Dioceses was directly involved in the dreadful Slave Triangle. We remember and acknowledge with sorrow that human beings were captured and enslaved for financial gain with no regard for their dignity and humanity. We view this history with great pain and in penitence before God, the God who wills in Christ to bring freedom and justice for all. We stand together, determined that the horror of slavery, and its memories of inhumanity, oppression and anguish, must not and will not be forgotten.
We commit ourselves to learn from these memories and to ensure that the lessons are shared and embedded in our lives and in our Dioceses. We also stand together in opposing all forms of slavery today, and we are wholeheartedly committed to doing all we can to help those caught in its chains, and to advocate for justice and freedom and for an end to all modern slavery and human trafficking. We are grateful to our colleagues in each Diocese whose hard work has laid the foundation for this new partnership of freedom and justice.
We pray for those who will meet in Virginia in October to carry the work forward. We are particularly excited by the opportunities for developing our relationship through the engagement of young people as well as adults. For example we would rejoice at the involvement of our Mothers' Union/Episcopal Church Women members, and of our many young people's groups and their leaders whose commitment to this work gives us hope for an ever-richer community of learning, justice and love across the world Church. Specifically we welcome and support the current emphases and initiatives of the Triangle of Hope as our colleagues have shaped them.
1. A commitment to sustained teaching and preaching in the Dioceses on the freedom and dignity of all human beings in Christ.
2. (Our meditation and teaching will begin with a deep consideration of the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, as found in the book Genesis, and in particular the narrative of forgiveness found in Genesis 50:15-21.)
3. An explicit ownership and commitment by our Synods and Councils to the aims and tasks of the Triangle of Hope.
4. Supporting and developing a number of specific projects, including the following:
Expanding the existing Youth Pilgrimage, which currently involves Virginia and Liverpool, into a tri-partite Pilgrimage involving all our three Dioceses.
Building an online presence so that the work, teaching and fruit of the Triangle of Hope may be readily available to all.
Establishing a relationship of ongoing prayer, undergirded by shared resources and common liturgical and devotional texts.
Exploring a number of exchange programmes, for example between parishes or theological education institutions.
As bishops united in faith within the worldwide Communion we are delighted and proud to support and encourage all this. For us it is an expression of the Christian hope for a future where all are saved and all are free, free from slavery and from all oppression.
We commend this work to the grace of God and we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, confident that by God's grace the work will prosper.
+Daniel Yinka Sarfo Bishop of Kumasi and Archbishop Primate (The Church of the Province of West Africa)
+Shannon S Johnston Bishop of Virginia (The Episcopal Church)
+Paul Bayes Bishop of Liverpool (The Church of England)
- Details of Triangle of Hope inspired ongoing conversations between Theological Colleges and Seminaries across the three dioceses.
- The work of Archdeacon Emeritus Jennifer McKenzie, former board member and her connected work at Virginia Theological Seminary.
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