The official agenda, which was finalized on Saturday, changed Sunday to a meet-and-greet day, pushing back the first business session to Monday. On Sunday, the primates gathered in a Palestine Hotel conference room for prayer and conversation—what one staffer called a “mini-indaba.” After an afternoon introductory session, the primates were scheduled to take part in a 4:30 p.m., service at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in central Alexandria’s Liberation Square. The colonial-era church will be re-consecrated as a pro-cathedral of the Diocese of Egypt, and a formal group photograph was to be taken of the gathered primates.
At the last primates’ meeting in February 2007, a number of primates declined to receive Holy Communion due to their theological differences with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. A group photograph outside the Zanzibar Cathedral also was cancelled. Bishop Jefferts Schori is not scheduled to arrive in Alexandria until early on Monday morning.
Representatives of 35 of the Communion’s 38 provinces will be present during the course of the five-day meeting. Two of the primates—the Most Rev. Samuel Azariah, Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, and the Rt. Rev. John Gladstone, Moderator of the Church of South India—will not be attending due to scheduling conflicts. The Most Rev. Edward Malecdan, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, was refused a visa by the Egyptian government and will not be able to attend.
Three provinces are currently without primates and will be represented by their senior bishop: the Rt. Rev. Errol Brooks, Bishop of Northeastern Caribbean and Aruba for the Church of the Province of the West Indies; the Rt. Rev. Albert Chama, Bishop of Northern Zambia for the Church of the Province of Central Africa; and the Rt. Rev. Charles Koete, Bishop of the Central Solomon Islands for the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
Ten new primates have been elected since the 2007 meeting, and eight of them will be present. They include the Rt. Rev. Paul Sishkir Sarkar of Bangladesh; the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz of Canada; the Most Rev. Paul Kwong of Hong Kong; the Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo of Myanmar; the Most Rev David Moxon of New Zealand; the Rt. Rev. Purley Lyndoh of North India; the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa; and the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak of the Sudan.
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