Church 'wounded' over gay boycott
For the Anglican church things keep getting out of hand with time. First it was in Israel and now the Lambeth comference, Bishops have heard how the row over gay clergy has left the once united Anglican church into a wounded community with conservative Bishops who have boycotted the event due to this row.
About 250 bishops - a quarter of those invited - have boycotted the event, following the consecration of the gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson.
In a pre-conference sermon, Bishop Duleep de Chickera said the boycott was an indication that "all was not well."
Critics say the conference, starting on Monday, will be unable to end the row.
In his sermon, held the day before the conference formally opens on Monday, Bishop de Chickera, of Colombo, Sri Lanka, said: "The crisis is complex - it is not a crisis that can be resolved instantly.
The journey ahead is a long and complex one, a journey that will demonstrate our prayer, our faithfulness, our mutual trust in each other and of course our trust in God who realises it is possible."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has also acknowledged that the Communion's problems are unlikely to be solved during the conference.
But he criticised those bishops who have stayed away for undermining unity.
Those who will not attend include the Anglican leaders of Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and a group of countries in southern South America.
The most senior Church of England figure to stay away is the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali.
Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, Illinois, said he sympathised with conservative views but wanted to attend the conference so his point of view could be heard.
He told BBC News: "Why have people decided that they want to change the faith that has been delivered to the saints?
"So often those who are maintaining what Anglicanism has always taught are seen as the ones that have to be defensive.
"My question is why do you want to change that which you have vowed to uphold by virtue of the promises you made at your ordination?"
The issue of homosexuality will not be formally discussed until the end of the conference, and no resolution will be held - a move criticised by traditionalists.