The birth of a new province is a rare event, one that many Archbishops of Canterbury will never have attended, and like all rare and precious events, like even normal but precious events like the birth of a child, it is a new beginning which raises questions and hopes together. As we move to this new beginning we must especially thank His Grace Archbishop the Most Reverend Doctor Daniel Deng. He is the midwife of this Province, who has encouraged and strengthened it to the point we have now reached. Your Grace, we appreciate your work and your love for what is now a Province, your wisdom in its birth.
To be invited to preach here this morning is a privilege of which I could never have dreamed, your Grace Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo Kumar Kuku. I thank you and the province of the Sudan as it begins its life for the honour of being here at your birth. Like all new births it comes with responsibility within Sudan for Christians to make it work, and from outside to support, to pray, to love this new Province.
But what will happen? How will this new arrival survive and grow and develop? It is a birth in which the Church is already adult even at its beginning as a province, with a history and a background, a context of joy and of sorrow like all churches. We would be unusual people if we did not find that our hopes were accompanied by fears, our expectations by worries. If we look 10 years, 20 years, even 100 years from now, what then will this province be? Think how it has changed since the first Cathedral was built here over 100 years ago.
There is much to develop, many opportunities and many challenges.