Archbishop Longley said in his opening address, however, that they had no desire to assume "the functions of a general synod of all the churches:in full communion with the Church of England," but merely to "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action."
The resolutions of the Lambeth Conferences have never been regarded as synodical decrees, but their weight has increased with each conference.
The archbishop opened the conference with an address: deliberation followed; committees were appointed to report on special questions; resolutions were adopted, and an encyclical letter was addressed to the faithful of the Anglican Communion.
It has then met at Lambeth, and after sitting for five days for deliberation upon the fixed subjects and appointment of committees, has adjourned, to meet again at the end of a fortnight and sit for five days more, to receive reports, adopt resolutions and to put forth the encyclical letter.
In addition to the encyclical letter, nineteen resolutions were put forth, and the reports of twelve special committees are appended upon which they are based, the subjects being intemperance, purity, divorce, polygamy, observance of Sunday, socialism, care of emigrants, mutual relations of dioceses of the Anglican Communion, home reunion, Scandinavian Church, Old Catholics, &c., Eastern Churches, standards of doctrine and worship. Perhaps the most important of these is the famous "Lambeth Quadrilateral," which laid down a fourfold basis for home reunion - the Holy Scriptures, the Apostles' and Nicene creeds, the two sacraments ordained by Christ himself and the historic episcopate.