When the first Lambeth Conference opened in 1867, only 76 of the Anglican Communion's 144 bishops accepted an invitation by the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend because of disagreement about the church in British colonies.
Bishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion have been experiencing hospitality visits and prayer retreats in advance of the formal element of the Lambeth Conference, which is meeting on the campus of the University of Kent.
Amid much media speculation, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has encouraged Anglican bishops on retreat in preparation for the full proceedings of the Lambeth Conference next week to look for common ground.
The scale of the challenge and the glimmer of new possibilities in interreligious understnading is on display at the 16-18 July international interfaith conference convened in Madrid by the Muslim World League.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has renewed his call for global Anglican leaders to focus on the gospel as a message of hope and healing for the world, and to move beyond factional in-fighting as they gather in Lambeth.
Calvinists are being urged to celebrate the 500th anniversary of their founders' birth by working for the unity of the church, promoting social justice and respect for creation, and by addressing war and violence.