Category : Archbishop of Canterbury

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

(BBC) Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2018 New Year message praises compassion shown in 2017

The Anglican leader recalled the desperation and sorrow he felt when he visited Grenfell Tower in west London as it burned.

He also highlighted the plight of people who were “struggling to find work or relying on food banks” and those who were bereaved, or coping with poor mental health or physical illness.

“When things feel unrelentingly difficult, there are often questions which hang in the air: Is there any light at all? Does anyone care?” he said.

He cited a passage from the Bible’s Gospel of John: “The light shone in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s Christmas 2017 Sermon

The nature of God who has all power, and from whom all power comes, is to lay it aside for love’s sake and thus without fear, force or manipulation to offer true freedom for every human being. God is showing all truth in its completest form, all love in its purest aspect, the true light of freedom all wrapped up in the baby in Bethlehem.

The light needed witnesses at the beginning and needs them to this day. It is the calling of every Christian to be a witness to the light, in word and deed, in all circumstances.

In Coventry Cathedral is one of my favourite pictures, the Stalingrad Madonna. It was drawn on paper in charcoal on Christmas Day 1942, 75 years ago, by a German medical officer under siege from the advancing Russian armies near Stalingrad. It shows Mary huddled against the terrible cold, holding Jesus, sheltered, to her cheek. Round her are the words “Licht, leben, Liebe” (Light, Life, love). Christ offers life of true freedom in love, in the darkest places his light shines. Every human being is invited to share that life and freedom. Christians are its witnesses.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Preaching / Homiletics

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Christmas Letter 2017

The gospel story, the saving story of Jesus Christ is good news indeed. The Gospel according to St Luke tells us the story of the good news announced to the Shepherds. On the hillsides above Bethlehem the Angel of the Lord appeared and brought good news. The good news was none other than the birth in Bethlehem of a Saviour, the Christ, the Lord.

This year we have learned a new phrase in various parts of the world. This phrase is ‘fake news’. Fake news is dishonest; it is deliberate misinformation published in order to deceive, to confuse and disrupt. Fake news is used as a weapon to achieve dishonest advantage and to subvert honest debate and discussion. It is the antithesis of the good news. Fake news is but lying and does not come from God.

But we like the Angels proclaim good news and, like the Shepherds, we receive good news. The good news is good news for all people, whatever their situation in life. It is good news for politicians and leaders but is also good news for the refugees and displaced persons who continue to flee from danger and seek safety and sanctuary. As St Gregory Nazianzen writes:

He who gives riches becomes poor, for he assumes the poverty of my flesh, that I may assume the richness of his Godhead. He that is full empties himself, for he empties himself of his glory for a short while, that I may have a share in his fullness. (Oration 38. 13)

This is truth and this is good news.

Read it all.

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

Archbishop Justin Welby’s statement on the new Bishop of London

The Archbishop said:

“Bishop Sarah brings to this remarkable ministry in this great city an extraordinary experience and profound gifts which are guided by her faith in Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of all that she is.

“In her calling as a Bishop she has demonstrated that she is a shepherd of God’s people, a guardian of the Christian faith and someone with a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others through her teaching and her actions.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Rowan Williams: Nativity is a powerful reminder of our own vulnerability and weakness

Dr Williams is chair of Christian Aid and called for support for its Christmas appeal as he said, ‘life doesn’t have to be like this. We can build a world with deeper justice, greater fairness, greater security for all.’

He said: ‘One of the most serious forms of powerlessness that anyone can experience is, of course, hunger. Take a country like South Sudan: after years of merciless and bloody civil war, food security has become a major question in South Sudan. This year, a famine was declared. Countless young people faced starvation. It’s not the only place in Africa, or indeed throughout the world, where this is a problem. Places like Burkina Faso are facing some of the same challenges.

‘But South Sudan is particularly vivid in my own memory: I visited there a couple of times in the last 10 years. I’ve seen what life is like in the refugee camps. I’ve seen the feeding programmes, combined with educational programmes, that many local churches and charities take up. The challenge is enormous, and it’s one that we are determined to face this Christmas, and to respond to. A gift of £10 will feed a family in South Sudan for a week. A gift of £40, for a month.’

Read it all.

Posted in --Rowan Williams, --South Sudan, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Christmas, Poverty, Stewardship

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s speech on the role of education today

We have neglected the value of further education within our overall educational landscape for far too long, over numerous Governments and at least since the 1944 Education Act. That neglect is a legacy of the class system, especially in England. The children of privilege are continuing to inherit privilege and this is true not only in our educational institutions but the whole country. It is also true globally, by the way, as seen in the USA and China. Unless we embark on cultural change, involving partnerships in education between businesses, local and national government and the entirety of our education services, I see little prospect of remedying this wrong. Human flourishing, and an opportunity for fullness of life for all those in education, requires flexible and imaginative training that is based on aptitude.

Our trend towards a more inclusive approach to those with disabilities or special educational needs is witness to the way that comprehensive education has improved, and is a welcome step towards an education that seeks the fullest and most abundant possible life for each human being, regardless of their ability—one which draws the best out of every person and leads them out into life. But the academic selective approach to education, which prioritises separation as a necessary precondition for the nurture of excellence, makes a statement about the purpose of education that is contrary to the notion of the common good. At its best, education must be a process of shaping human beings to reach out for and enjoy abundant life, and to do so in such strong communities of widely varying ability but distinctive approaches to each student that they and all around them flourish. An approach that neglects those of lesser ability or, because of a misguided notion of “levelling out” does not give the fullest opportunity to those of highest ability, or does not enable all to develop a sense of community and mutuality, of love in action and of the fullness and abundance of life, will ultimately fail.

One area that I am most concerned about, which we on these Benches see most clearly through our parish system across the whole of England, and which was highlighted in Dame Louise Casey’s review into opportunity and social integration in December 2016, is how the handing down of poverty and deprivation between generations presents a barrier to achieving social cohesion as well as social justice.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(ACNS) Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes in Anglo-American diplomatic Twitter row

In a rare political intervention, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has explicitly criticised the US President Donald Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right extremist group. Archbishop Justin said “it is deeply disturbing that the President of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists.” The UK Prime Minister Theresa May also criticised the US President, but was slapped down by Mr Trump, who told her to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

The original tweets were posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a minority political party with virtually no support in Britain outside its estimated 1,000 followers. In a 2014 parliamentary by-election in the Rochester and Strood constituency, Fransen received just 56 of the 40,065 votes cast. She is currently awaiting trial in Belfast on charges of using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” and in Kent for inciting racial hatred.

She and her followers have stormed mosques and carried out what they call “Christian Patrols” – marching in paramilitary-stule uniforms carrying a large cross in areas of the UK populated by people who – either themselves or through their ancestors – have roots in south-Asian countries. She claims to be Christian but it is not known if she attends any church. Her actions and those of Britain First have been condemned by Christian leaders from across the denominational spread.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, --Social Networking, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Office of the President, President Donald Trump, Religion & Culture

(AAC) Stephen Noll–The Canterbury Bait and Switch

In a follow-up interview, …[Archbp Justin Welby] claimed that his entire ministry is one of reconciliation and then applied that to the divisions within the Anglican Communion over sexuality. “Our challenge” he said, “is to work our way forward, holding on to the truths that are given to us through Jesus and in the Scriptures; and yet never sinking to the level of demonising or hating people because they are homosexual.”

So what precisely are the truths given to us through Jesus and in the Scriptures? At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, 570 bishops stated that “[this Conference] in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage” and that “while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation” (Resolution I.10).

Justin Welby has refused to commend this Resolution and, so I argue, intends to relegate it to the dustbin of history. This Resolution – repeatedly affirmed by Global South churches, including the Anglican Church of Kenya, and repeatedly violated by the Episcopal Church USA and others – notably went missing from the October 2017 Lambeth Primates’ Communiqué.

In his interview, Justin Welby proceeded to laud this Primates’ Meeting as an example of unity in difference, skipping over the fact that three of the major Primates from Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, and Nigeria), representing about 40% of the Anglicans in the world, had refused to attend.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement

“Marriage is a special and joyous commitment, one that Jesus celebrated together with friends at the wedding in Cana. I am so happy that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to make their vows before God.

“I wish them many years of love, happiness and fulfilment and ask that God blesses them throughout their married life together.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, America/U.S.A., Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Politics in General

(Christian Today) Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson to approach Pope and Archbishop over British mother jailed in Iran

A former foreign office minister and a senior Catholic have urged Boris Johnson to heed the advice of Tom Tugendhat MP and approach Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury to help negotiate the release of the British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who is imprisoned in Iran.

The support for Tugendhat’s suggestion comes as Christian Today has learned that neither Lambeth Palace nor Pope Francis has, at the time of writing, received any approach from the Foreign Office. Christian Today has approached the Foreign Office for comment.

Tugendhat, the chair of the foreign affairs committee of MPs and Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, put it to the Foreign Secretary that religious leaders be used to negotiate Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release with the Islamic clerics who run Iran’s judicial system.

‘This poor woman is being used as a political football not only sadly here but in Iran,’ Tugendhat, who is a Catholic, told MPs in the House of Commons yesterday.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iran, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Leicester is the most ‘exciting’ city in the UK – says Archbishop of Canterbury as he arrives for three-day visit

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, has arrived in the city as part of a three-day visit.

He was officially welcomed by city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, at the Guildhall, in front of a host of dignitaries.

Mr Soulsby recalled the Archbishop’s last visit to Leicester for the reinterment of King Richard III.

He said: “I remember there were some nerves on that occasion, but it was an amazing day and it’s wonderful to have you back here.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(NYT Op-ed) Archbp Justin Welby–Our Moral Opportunity on Climate Change

Climate change is the human thumb on the scale, pushing us toward disaster. It is not a distant danger — it is already with us. As we continue to burn fossil fuels, its effects will only grow.

Some years ago I worked in Nigeria, helping to find peaceful solutions to conflicts. Its capital city, Lagos — one of the world’s megacities, with a population estimated at 14 million to 21 million — will most likely experience a sea-level rise of around 35 inches in the next few decades if current warming trends continue.

Even in this best-case scenario, which depends on the global community’s sticking to the Paris climate change agreement, many of the shops I visited and homes I passed during my years in the country will be flooded. The rising waters are already changingways of life and pressuring people to leave their homes. In the coming years, experts predict that millions of peoplein Lagos will be forced to move.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Temple

O God of light and love, who illumined thy Church through the witness of thy servant William Temple: Inspire us, we pray, by his teaching and example, that we may rejoice with courage, confidence and faith in the Word made flesh, and may be led to establish that city which has justice for its foundation and love for its law; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s sermon at Reformation 500th anniversary service

Through the Reformation we learned that we are saved entirely, confidently and unfailingly by grace alone, through faith, and not by our own works. From the poorest to the richest all will come at the end to stand before God, only with the words of the hymn, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to your cross I cling.”

Through the Reformation the church found itself again confronted with its need to be weak and powerless; to come with nothing to the Cross and to admit that, in the words of the Collect in the Book of Common Prayer for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, “without thee we are not able to please thee”.

Through the Reformation the church found again a love for the scriptures, and seizing the opportunity of printing, gave them afresh to the world – telling every person that they themselves should read them and seek the wisdom of God to understand them. In doing so the church released not only reformation but revolution, as confidence grew amongst the poor and oppressed that they too were the recipients of the promise of God of freedom and hope.

Through the Reformation the vast mass of people across Europe and then around the world were drawn to receive the fruits of a missionary movement that did not indefinitely suffer tyranny, and that would not unquestioningly bow the knee to authorities and hierarchies.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Ecumenical Relations, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

(ES) Archbp Justin Welby: Luther’s historic act did so much to shape the world we live in

We have plenty to be grateful for — particularly the way that the Reformation developed our language and communication technologies. The Reformation also paved the way for how faith is now conventionally a personal choice, rather than something imposed by our society. We may take that for granted today but it’s a trend whose roots are found in the tumultuous events of 500 years ago.

It opened the way to the development of much stronger ideas of the nation state — especially the different kingdoms and principalities of what is now known as the United Kingdom, and eventually the development of British identity.

The arts, sciences and literature flourished, thanks to the Bible becoming available in each person’s language, rather than only in Latin. People began to own books, starting with bibles and prayer books.

Economically, there were creative and innovative developments — especially in finance and banking. It became acceptable to charge interest on loans, which led to the sort of economic development that had not been possible before. If you’re reading this on your way home from the City or Canary Wharf, your work is partly down to that German friar.

But as the story of the two cardinals shows, there was also much to mourn, and much for which to be sorry.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History