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Anglican primates meet, focus on unity

13 January 2016

Primates from across the Anglican Communion are meeting 11-16 January in Canterbury at the invitation of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The leaders of the 38 provinces are gathering for the first time since their meeting in Dublin in 2011. Within the Anglican Communion, the primates’ meeting is understood as one of the four “instruments of communion”.

Archbishop Welby has acknowledged deep tensions within the communion, even in his address opening the meeting. As he called for a spirit of Christ-like love for one another, he encouraged a focus on expressions of unity through mission. “[W]ith all our grave difficulties we face a world in darkness, lostness and suffering, knowing that we serve Jesus who sends us and that those whom he sends he equips. Our responsibility this week is therefore to be making the church more ready for action, as a body around the world.”

During meetings with the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, and the Archbishop Welby in London before Christmas, Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, offered his assurance of prayer for the meeting, which he reiterated in a message to the primates as the meeting began.

Message by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit: “Greetings to the Primates of the Anglican Communion

London meetings build on ecumenical momentum from Paris (WCC press release of 18 December 2015)

Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the pilgrimage of justice and peace (WCC press release of 16 September 2014)