Category : Archbishop of Canterbury

News about, sermons, letters, commentary by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

(Church Times) The idea of the Parish is not threatened, says Archbishop Justin Welby

The parish is “essential” and is not under threat, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In an interview last Friday for the Church Times, Archbishop Welby responded to the Save the Parish campaign by stating: “There is no ‘threat’ to the parish. . . There is no conspiracy to abolish the parish.”

It was “rubbish”, he said, to suggest that the parish system was outdated. “We are the Church for England. If we are going to be for England, we have to be in every community, or as many as we can possibly manage. We have to be open to every person, not just the congregation, precious as they are.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Archbishop, Pope and Church of Scotland Moderator write to South Sudan’s leaders

When we last wrote to you at Christmas, we prayed that you might experience greater trust among yourselves and be more generous in service to your people. Since then, we have been glad to see some small progress. Sadly, your people continue to live in fear and uncertainty, and lack confidence that their nation can indeed deliver the ‘justice, liberty and prosperity’ celebrated in your national anthem. Much more needs to be done in South Sudan to shape a nation that reflects God’s kingdom, in which the dignity of all is respected and all are reconciled (cf 2 Corinthians, 5). This may require personal sacrifice from you as leaders – Christ’s own example of leadership shows this powerfully – and today we wish you to know that we stand alongside you as you look to the future and seek to discern afresh how best to serve all the people of South Sudan.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, --South Sudan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Church Times) Archbishop of Canterbury endorses urgent plan for church-planting

THE Church needs to plant churches to “let Jesus out”, the Archbishop of Canterbury told a conference last week.

MultiplyX 2021, hosted online by the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication, secured an endorsement for an urgent programme of church-planting from both Archbishop Welby and the Archbishop of York, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, who emphasised the historical precedent for the work.

“Every church we ever go to has been planted at some point or another,” Archbishop Welby said. “In every generation, if we are going to make a difference, we have to get the church out. And we have to get out of the church as it is normally seen. . . To quote Pope Francis, we have locked Jesus into the church and we need to open the church and let him out.” New churches “go out because there is no choice, because there is no one coming in”.

He diagnosed a need for culture change. “It’s a new discipline for quite a lot of people, Anglicans, that we are meant to witness. That we are not meant to leave Jesus inside the church when we go out, and pick him up again when we come back in the following Sunday but to go with him. . .”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(The Big Issue) When the Archbishop of Canterbury sold The Big Issue

JW: I come from a family of both parents being alcoholic and my mother stopped drinking half a century ago and never went back. My father died of it. What happens if vendors who struggled with a similar thing go back on the booze or the drugs?

LW: For me, personally, I understand if people slip up because I’ve learned addiction is not so black and white as I thought it was. I’ve been quite lucky in life. I did a lot of my silly stuff when I was younger and I haven’t really got any addictions, except maybe to chicken. I don’t mind if my vendors fall, it’s about getting back on the horse. That is what I try and teach them. As a guy who has failed quite a lot in life, I teach people to get off your high horse in life and get yourself a pony – when you fall off it doesn’t hurt as much.

JW: I couldn’t agree more, I think that’s really good. I shall use that!

LW: I’ll be honest, you doing this is really going to help me get my voice out there. We really need to change the way we think as a society.

JW: We need to change the way we think, we really do.

LW: We’ve spoken about this and it’s in your book [Reimagining Britain]. We don’t want to go back to normal because normal didn’t work, did it? We want to have a better life now and we’ve got a chance of starting something.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture

(Eleanor Parker) St Augustine, Apostle of the English, Britain’s day-star

[On 26 May] the Lord took
into the other light Augustine,
joyful in heart, he who here in Britain
humbly brought men
to the will of God, as the wise one bid him,
Gregory. I never heard of such a man before,
of anyone who ever brought
such splendid teaching across the salt sea,
brilliant bishop! Now he rests in Britain,
in Kent, near the throne,
in the glorious monastery.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, England / UK

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Augustine of Canterbury

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

The BBC Story on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘personal apology’ over charity abuse

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a “full personal apology” to the survivors of abuse by former barrister John Smyth QC in the 1970s and 80s.

Smyth, who died aged 77 in 2018, violently beat boys who attended Christian summer camps.

Justin Welby said: “I am sorry this was done in the name of Jesus Christ by a perverted version of spirituality and evangelicalism.”

Survivors who recently met Mr Welby welcomed him “taking responsibility”.

In a statement issued by Lambeth Palace, the archbishop said: “I continue to hear new details of the abuse and my sorrow, shock and horror grows.

“The Church has a duty to look after those who have been harmed. We have not always done that well.”

He said the Church’s safeguarding team will investigate every clergyperson which they suspect “knew and failed to disclose the abuse”.

Mr Welby worked in the evangelical Christian camps for public schoolboys run by Smyth, but denies any knowledge of the abuse at the time.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Church of England, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Violence, Youth Ministry

An FT Profile of the Archbishop of Canterbury–‘We have a national case of PTSD’

In his book, Welby depicts Britain as a country that has become embarrassed by its Christian roots. Since 1983, the proportion of Britons affiliating with the Church of England has halved to one in five. In the US, 28 per cent of people say that the pandemic has strengthened their faith. In the UK, it’s just 10 per cent. Joe Biden mentioned God four times in his inauguration address, while in Britain the Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food banks, no longer talks about its church origins. The footballer Marcus Rashford has won the support of millions by calling for free school meals for children during lockdown, but who knows he has “God puts you on a path in life” tattooed on his chest? “Oh, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Welby. 

Does it sadden him that people aren’t more open about their faith? “In some cases, it does. In one sense the pendulum has swung so far that you have to justify to people the idea that it’s remotely a good idea to do any work with you at all.”

But “in one sense it doesn’t matter because God sees, and that’s the key thing. I mean, we’re not Unilever — we don’t have to put the brand on every bit of product.” In most of the world, he emphasises, faith is still the default. “For over 80 per cent of the world’s population, the idea that someone is not to be trusted because they hold a faith is just bewildering. They just think that’s bizarre!”

As God has been pushed from public view, Britons have seemed to cast around for replacements: pets, yoga, the philosophy of Jordan Peterson. “He’s a really good writer. And a really good speaker. I think he’s fascinating,” remarks Welby. Are people trying to compensate for a God-shaped hole? 

“I think there’s an anxiety caused by the fact that it’s very ­difficult to discern the rules and values [of society]. And in one sense I’m not really worried about that, because the rules and values were extremely hypocritical in many ways.”

Read it all (from the long line of should-have-already-been-posted material).

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) Let’s question, but not have a culture war, says Archbishop of Canterbury

It is a “golden-age myth” to assume that politicians are more corrupt now than they used to be, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In an interview with the BBC journalist Nick Robinson for the Political Thinking podcast, posted on Friday, Archbishop Welby said: “They [politicians] get things wrong; they mess up. Politicians are human beings. If we want perfect politicians, there won’t be anyone sitting in the House of Commons. We’ll never have another Prime Minister. We can’t have a Royal Family. There’s nobody who can rule if we insist that they’re faultless and flawless.”

The “vast majority” of politicians whom he had met privately showed “a passion about trying, despite all the grit in the system, to make some good progress”.

Asked whether he was reluctant to attribute motives to politicians, but to focus instead on their mistakes, Archbishop Welby replied: “I’m perfectly keen on attributing motive occasionally. . . I spent 20 years on reconciliation work in the middle of conflicts and I’ve met some very evil people indeed. And I had no doubt at all who they were in it for, and it was themselves and what they got out of it, and it was terrible. . . Of course, there’s people like that, and sometimes they get to the top, and that is really worrying.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alphege

O loving God, whose martyr bishop Alphege of Canterbury suffered violent death because he refused to permit a ransom to be extorted from his people: Grant, we pray thee, that all pastors of thy flock may pattern themselves on the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep; through him who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter Sermon 2021

The truth sets us free. Lies bind us, enslave us. And no lie binds more tightly than the lies of death. If death is telling the truth, then we may as well live for ourselves. Then the last year is yet another cruel period of history taking from us those we loved, ending lives cruelly and tragically.

But because Jesus who was dead is alive: death is a liar. The truth of Christ is the reality, we have certain hope and a changed future. We will be reunited with those we love. We are offered forgiveness and freedom to live God’s new life as a gift – to be taken or ignored.

How can we respond? We live in a new world in which everything is changed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That has been true for this country for over 1,500 years. It cannot be ignored or forgotten. Not to respond is to respond.

For each of us. We can receive this new reality. Jesus, crucified and risen, is alive today and brings life and hope. The joy and purpose he gave to the disciples is exactly the same as is offered to us today.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Easter, Eschatology, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Ecumenical Easter Letter

Across the world we look towards the promise of the vaccine, and rebuilding society after the tumult of the last year. We take our places as salt and light in the world, remembering that, as Christians, we are called to keep our eyes fixed not on ‘normal’ life, but on the eternal life Jesus promises us in His Kingdom. That is our ultimate hope and our salvation. May we find comfort and hope in the God who died for us, and may we proclaim His name in the confidence that He is risen indeed.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Ecumenical Relations, Holy Week

Archbishop Justin Welby’s reflection on Radio 4’s Thought For The Day on the first anniversary of the UK’s national lockdown

One of the great songs of lament to God in the bible begins “by the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept.”. An anniversary is a time to lament, to mourn, to sit and weep for what could have been and is not. Pause for a while today, remember what has been lost, above all who has been lost. Lament – for to do so is to honour and treasure. As a Christian I follow and love Jesus Christ who loved and mourned his friends, his country, suffering.

Anniversaries are also moments of new beginnings. It is just a day. But it is also a moment. And one of the signs of being human – of being spiritual as well as material – is that we make moments that pass into moments of significance. The anniversary calls on us to ask where we are going?

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, History, Religion & Culture

A Rowan Williams sermon on the life and ministry of Oscar Romero on Archbishop Romero’s Feast Day–‘Life has the last word’

And so his question to all those who have the freedom to speak in the Church and for the Church is ‘who do you really speak for?’ But if we take seriously the underlying theme of his words and witness, that question is also, ‘who do you really feel with?’ Are you immersed in the real life of the Body, or is your life in Christ seen only as having the same sentiments as the powerful? Sentir con la Iglesia in the sense in which the mature Romero learned those words is what will teach you how to speak on behalf of the Body. And we must make no mistake about what this can entail: Romero knew that this kind of ‘feeling with the Church’ could only mean taking risks with and for the Body of Christ – so that, as he later put it, in words that are still shocking and sobering, it would be ‘sad’ if priests in such a context were not being killed alongside their flock. As of course they were in El Salvador, again and again in those nightmare years.

But he never suggests that speaking on behalf of the Body is the responsibility of a spiritual elite. He never dramatised the role of the priest so as to play down the responsibility of the people. If every priest and bishop were silenced, he said, ‘each of you will have to be God’s microphone. Each of you will have to be a messenger, a prophet. The Church will always exist as long as even one baptized person is alive.’ Each part of the Body, because it shares the sufferings of the whole – and the hope and radiance of the whole – has authority to speak out of that common life in the crucified and risen Jesus.

So Romero’s question and challenge is addressed to all of us, not only those who have the privilege of some sort of public megaphone for their voices. The Church is maintained in truth; and the whole Church has to be a community where truth is told about the abuses of power and the cries of the vulnerable. Once again, if we are serious about sentir con la Iglesia, we ask not only who we are speaking for but whose voice still needs to be heard, in the Church and in society at large. The questions here are as grave as they were thirty years ago. In Salvador itself, the methods of repression familiar in Romero’s day were still common until very recently. We can at least celebrate the fact that the present head of state there has not only apologized for government collusion in Romero’s murder but has also spoken boldly on behalf of those whose environment and livelihood are threatened by the rapacity of the mining companies, who are set on a new round of exploitation in Salvador and whose critics have been abducted and butchered just as so many were three decades back. The skies are not clear: our own Anglican bishop in Salvador was attacked ten days ago by unknown enemies; but the signs of hope are there, and the will to defend the poor and heal the wounds.

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Posted in --El Salvador, --Rowan Williams, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Preaching / Homiletics

(Tablet) Welby condemns ‘sins of male violence’ amid vigils for Sarah Everard

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Testimony after testament from women over recent days have shown us something we have known and ignored for far too long: the profound impact of the sin of male violence, intimidation, harassment, sexism and abuse carried out against women. It is these sins – and the culture that perptuates and condones them – that need our urgent repentance, our fervent prayer, and our resolute action as men.”

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme that Ms Everard’s death was a tipping point, and acknowledged the Churches’ role in fostering a culture of male dominance. “We have used scripture to make women submissive to men. . . We have contributed to that pervasive culture that women and girls are lesser than men and boys and we have got a big part to play in redressing that,” she said.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Violence, Women

Archbishops launch new Commission on Families and Households

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have today announced a new commission to explore what support families and households need to flourish in today’s society.

This new Commission follows the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community, whose final report ‘Coming Home’ was published in February 2021. This new Commission will aim to build on that work, formally beginning its work in May and look to report in winter 2022.

The origin of the Commission lies in Archbishop Justin’s 2018 book ‘Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope’. Building on a key chapter, ‘Family – Caring for the Core’, the Commission aims to articulate and address the pressures and challenges facing families and households, whilst also highlighting the good and the positive in terms of what works well and how that can be built on, drawing on Christian tradition.

It will aim to offer practical and deliverable ideas on what enables families and households to thrive and prosper as the cornerstone of every community in our society.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding comments by the Primate of Nigeria

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology

Report on housing crisis ‘challenge to the soul’ of the Church of England – Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Justin Welby told General Synod members that the recommendations of the Archbishops’ Commission report Coming Home presented a ‘profound challenge’ to the Church of England along with other groups, including the Government and developers, to tackle the housing crisis.

Speaking at an informal online gathering of the General Synod, the Archbishop outlined the seriousness of the crisis, saying that an estimated eight million people are living in unaffordable, sub-standard or overcrowded accommodation.

He said Coming Home was ‘not the end of the process, it is only the end of the very beginning of the process’ of tackling the housing crisis. “We have a long way to go,” he said.

He said that at “the heart of the Church’s message” was that that “our mission to the country is that we carry the good news of a God who intervenes who comes and is part of our life and there is the complete change in us that is caused by meeting with God.

“If we take that seriously, then we listen to what Jesus says when he says ‘your heart will be where your treasure is’.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(H Post) Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Kensington: Only A Shared Long-Term Vision Will End Our Housing Crisis

To solve the housing crisis, we need a similar long-term goal. Our housing crisis is really an affordability crisis. We don’t just need more houses, we need more good quality houses that people can genuinely afford.

What if we were to set a target for the number of truly affordable homes we need in 20 years’ time? What if we were to work out the financial gap between the cost of providing them and what they would cost at normal market prices? What if successive governments then had the task of planning ahead how to meet that gap by whatever means necessary?

The Church of England is stepping up to play its part. We own land and property and are looking to make some of that land available for affordable housing, and inviting others to do the same, even though it is bound to mean an element of sacrifice. Jesus taught us that there are two simple tasks at the heart of human life: to love God and to love our neighbour, whoever they happen to be. If that neighbour doesn’t have somewhere safe, stable and satisfying to live in, then we must do all we can to help them find that.

Thirty years ago, ideas such as the minimum wage as a way of fighting poverty and the need for radical policies on climate change seemed fringe issues – cranky policies proposed by a few wild and weird figures on the edges of political life. Now they are mainstream, and every government has to sign up to them. We need the same for housing.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture

New bishop for the environment appointed by Archbishop of Canterbury

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, has accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme with a charge to lead bold, deliberate, collaborative action across the Church to tackle the grave existential crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Bishop Graham will work with the Mission and Public Affairs department of the Church of England to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme, including the commitment to net-zero carbon impacts across the Church of England by 2030 set by General Synod in February 2020.

He will succeed the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, who retires later in the year.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecology, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Churchwarden Patrick Kidd Expresses Some Concerns about recent C of E leadership amidst the Pandemic

Take the time to read it carefully.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Spectator) The Archbishops of Canterbury and York–the Church in changing times

You can imagine our shock, then, when we read in the media about what is supposedly happening to our beloved church. That the parish system, with its beautiful vision of serving every inch of the country and every person in it, is being systematically dismantled. That clergy are being made redundant. That there are plans to somehow centralise everything and for services, even beyond Covid, to be online rather than in person.

So let us try to set the record straight. There are no plans to dismantle the parish network. We are committed to our calling to be a Christian presence in every community.

Throughout our history, some churches have closed and others have opened. We weep at the former and rejoice at the latter. But it is not new. The untold story is that in recent years the Church of England has planted or renewed at least 100 new congregations and churches.

Far from withdrawing from the poorest areas, there is a huge effort towards growing congregations and supporting ministry in those areas — including rural areas, where we invest £10 per head of population compared with £6 per head in urban areas.

Meanwhile, the suggestion that all we do is cut back clergy numbers is not only untrue and unhelpful, it creates unnecessary anxiety. We need more clergy and they are coming forward in record numbers. And where dioceses are saving posts, it is usually through retirements.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Look after the world’s poorest to beat Covid19, says Archbishop Welby

The coronavirus will not be defeated anywhere until it is defeated everywhere, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday morning, after 100,000 Covid-related deaths were reported in the UK, Archbishop Welby said that the UK, like other rich nations, must look after others as well as its own. So far, just under four million people have received the first dose of the vaccine in the UK. About 71.1 million doses have been distributed globally, mostly in the United States and China.

“It is in our own interests that all round the world the vaccine is given,” Archbishop Welby said. “The Government has been very, very good about supporting the COVAX programme; we are the biggest donor to it. . . We are one of the countries with one of the highest levels of infection and death rate in the world, and it is necessary to focus on those in need to stop it spreading.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Year Message

When we hear someone described as a Good Samaritan, we think about that person taking the time to help another. But it’s also a story told by Jesus about someone taking the risk of reaching out to another who was very different to them. Yes, the person needed help – but they also needed connection.

Christian faith doesn’t promise us a comfortable life. Christ promises us hope, meaning, peace, purpose and joy – but not comfort! It’s about following in the footsteps of Jesus, who took the risk of connecting with people who were separated from him.

We rightly think of lifeboat crews as heroic, although they may be embarrassed to hear that. Yet every time we reach out and connect with someone, it is an act of heroism. Don’t underestimate it.

It could be someone you know. It could be someone you’ve always wanted to connect with but never have. It could be someone you really disagree with.

Let’s go for a heroic New Year’s Resolution. Let’s resolve to reconnect. To reach out to just one person we don’t know, or from whom we have drifted apart.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Becket

O God, our strength and our salvation, who didst call thy servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of thy people and a defender of thy Church: Keep thy household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Christmas Sermon

Jesus Christ reveals God leaning into the darkness and defeating it through embracing every aspect of our sufferings and struggles, anxieties and fears.

2000 years later, the darkness has still not overcome the light. Empires have come and gone, tyrants have risen and fallen. Economies have emerged and collapsed. Science has offered us obliteration and solutions. Diseases have swept the planet or been eliminated. Wars have threatened human destruction and good people united for peace. Treaties are made and broken.

But the defining event of human history is the coming of the light. As much as we may currently be tempted to imagine this virus as the pivot of our lives – ‘Before Covid and After Covid’ – the pivot for every life, for human history is in fact the coming of the light of Christ.

For all the events of history are judged, are weighed, assessed by this light. It is this light of Christ that is truth and cannot lie. It is this light of Christ that shows the way for a good society, for a good human being, for a good church and at the same time shines hospitably welcoming all to its comfort. It is this light of Christ that offers abundant life that scatters fear and brings hope in a time of Covid, of economic trauma, of war.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christmas, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics

(Guardian) Guarding the apocalypse: inside the fortress of the new Lambeth Palace Library

A dangerous-looking porcupine scuttles across the bottom of a page of a medieval manuscript, amid scenes of fire-breathing dragons, bodies bubbling in cauldrons, and boats deluged by biblical floods. Known as the Lambeth Apocalypse , this 13th-century illuminated text is one of the lurid highlights of the magnificent collection of Lambeth Palace Library , the most important religious archive in the UK and the largest in Europe, after the Vatican in Rome. For centuries, this precious hoard has been kept in a series of leaky, draughty rooms in the palace, gradually filling up every cramped corner. Now, after 400 years, it finally has a purpose-built home – and it’s safe to say that, if the apocalypse ever comes to south London, this fortified building will probably survive it.

“Noah could float past in his ark and the collection would be all right,” says Clare Wright, the Scottish architect behind the £24m new library. “We’ve created a concrete bunker with more bunkers inside, all lifted up above the one-in-1,000-year flood risk level.”

As bunkers go, it is pretty refined. Clad in a sober costume of red bricks, the building stands as a proud bastion at a bend in the busy Lambeth Palace Road, its nine-storey tower poking up above St Thomas’s hospital to peer over at the Palace of Westminster across the Thames. It meets the street with a sheer redbrick cliff-face, its monolithic mass punctured only by a few tiny square windows and the steel gates of a dark grey entrance. Crowning it all is a covered terrace with the air of a rooftop lookout station. This is a public facility, but its primary purpose is clearly the security of the collection. All that’s missing are the cannons.

“Protecting the archive was our main priority,” says library director Declan Kelly. “One of our new trustees asked where the cafe and shop are going to be, but we don’t have either. There’s a little room for readers to make themselves a cup of tea and a small exhibition space, but the emphasis is on safeguarding the collection.”

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Christmas Letter 2020

As the early teacher of our faith Justin Martyr wrote:

He became a human being for our sakes, that becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing. (Second Apology, Chapter XIII)

Christ came to a suffering world to bring healing, reconciliation and hope. As I hear stories of the response of the Church to human suffering in different parts of the world I see that hope made real. Churches and individual Christians are reaching out in love to those in need: most often not from a position of power, but in vulnerability. That is exactly the sort of love that we celebrate at Christmas. Love that gets its hands dirty. Love that is open and generous. Love that, without great ceremony, makes a difference. Jesus Christ, the light of the world, shines even in the darkest times: for that we are thankful and in that we rejoice.

For many in different parts of the world this will be a different Christmas. I pray that wherever Christians are they may find that hope, comfort and joy that comes from Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Advent, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christmas, Ecumenical Relations, Theology

An update on the safeguarding complaint against the Archbishop of Canterbury

A formal complaint made to the National Safeguarding Team, NST, in June, that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not follow correct safeguarding procedure when responding to an allegation against Smyth, has not been substantiated. The complaint referred to Lambeth’s response to allegations which first came to attention in 2013 and information relating to the specific issues raised has been reviewed. Information relating to a further complaint sent to the NST in August, about wider issues, has now also been reviewed and no safeguarding concerns have been identified. All the information reviewed will now be sent to the Makin Review, due to publish next year, for further scrutiny.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

(C of E) Archbishops join interfaith call to PM to allow public worship

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the Bishop of London, have joined national faith leaders in calling on the Government to permit public worship during the forthcoming lockdown in England.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths