The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Anglican leaders that he does not want to use the Church’s upcoming conference as a debating ground for homosexuality.

In a letter to communion leaders, Dr Rowan Williams said he felt there was not “much enthusiasm” for reopening the issue which was discussed at the 1998 conference, where it was affirmed that homosexual behaviour is incompatible with the Bible.

The resolution did recognise that different viewpoints should be listened to, and he said he wanted the 2008 event to focus on that.

His letter was written to the 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion and Moderators of the United Churches, he said: “Despite the levels of bitter controversy over sexuality in the Communion, I do not hear much enthusiasm for revisiting in 2008 the last Lambeth Conference’s resolution on this matter.”

“In my judgment, we cannot properly or usefully re-open the discussion as if Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 did not continue to represent the general mind of the Communion.”

Dr Williams told the BBC last week that he fears a spilt in the Anglican Church over gay issues.