“World Shaped Mission”, by Janice Price and the World Mission and Anglican Communion Panel, argues that the Church needs to move towards a greater mutuality in world mission relationships.
It explains that this can be achieved through a process of giving and receiving “that enriches all and enables the church here at home to participate in God’s mission more purposefully”.
Presenting the report to Synod, the Bishop of Bristol the Rt Rev Mike Hill said it offered a robust theology of “common participation, prophetic dialogue and service, and a transformative hospitality”.
Such an approach would, he contended, “confront the massive forces of fragmentation and alienation”.
Bishop Hill said the future of mission lay in “common participation” and “not retreating into our own ghetto”.
He acknowledged that the Church was still learning about mission in light of the mistakes of the colonial past.
“Whilst many good things came from [colonial expansion], certain unintended consequences arose, which could be summed up as a lack of sensitivity to indigenous culture and spirituality,” he said.
“For this we can be rightly repentant, whilst at the same time seeking to avoid the gloom of a crippling post-colonial guilt.
“World-Shaped Mission is about moving into mature relationships of equal participation in Christ’s body – a far more fruitful course.”
The Church had come a long way in its understanding of mission in the last 20 years, he said, to “now see ourselves here at home to be in mission in our local communities and in national life”.
“England is a mission field. England is our mission field,” he emphasised.
Bishop Hill also spoke of the need to embrace the interconnection of the church at the local and global level.
“So often the attitude is that we are the givers and ‘they’ – those living in poorer countries – abroad are the receivers,” he said.
“So often we fail to understand that we are all part of each other and that we are incomplete without the other.
“Far from being ‘they’, they are in fact ‘we’.”