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Mission must ‘seek to heal hurts of world’ – London conference told
Added on Thursday 30th June 2011

patrick comerford-mission mustMission cannot be reduced to personal evangelism and one–to–one encounters and has no purpose “unless we have an understanding of what Good News is and have a vision of what the Kingdom may be like,” Canon Patrick Comerford, lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin, told the recent annual conference of Affirming Catholicism held in Saint Matthew’s Church, Westminster, London.

He continued: “If the Church is to have an integrated approach to proclamation, then it must be in both Word and Sacrament; it must provide example in discipleship; it must seek not only to invite people to be Christians but also to invite them into the Church; and it must have a vision of the Church as a foretaste of the Kingdom.”

Canon Comerford told the conference that, in its mission, the Church must “seek to heal the hurts of the world and to reconcile its brokenness.”

A member of various USPG boards, he went on to say a major portion of the mission agency’s financial resources was devoted to health care and educational projects because it was a “part of Christian responsibility to share our resources.”

Referring to the fourth and fifth points of mission as defined by the Anglican Communion, Canon Comerford told conference delegates that people who “seek to transform unjust structures of society” and who “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth” need to be affirmed “as engaging in mission, as missionaries.”

Canon Comerford’s paper was entitled “Prayer, mission and building the kingdom: the work of USPG.” The conference – ‘Thy Kingdom Come! Prayer and Mission in the building of The Kingdom’ – was also addressed by Bishop Musonda Trevor Mwamba of Botswana; Janet Morley, author of All Desires Known and Bread of Tomorrow; and Bishop William Mchombo of Eastern Zambia.

The President of Affirming Catholicism is the Right Revd Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester

Canon Patrick Comerford (right) at the Affirming Catholicism conference with (from left) Canon Charlotte Methuen, Keble College, Oxford, and Ripon College, Cuddesdon; the author, Janet Morley; and Bishop William Mchombo of Eastern Zambia.