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Congratulations to 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

In a letter to the Bishop Justin Welby, the WCC general secretary expressed his "warmest congratulations" on the announcement made that morning that the bishop was going to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

09 November 2012

Dear Bishop Justin,

I want to offer you my warmest congratulations on the announcement made this morning that you are to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Over the years since I was elected General Secretary at the World Council of Churches I have come to realise the unique role that the Anglican tradition and Communion play in the ecumenical movement, and I look forward to working with you to build on and strengthen our relationships.

I am especially heartened to learn of your long-standing commitment both to the international mission and work of the Church and to the importance of the ministry and work of reconciliation between different communities.

I particularly appreciate your engaged commitment with the people of Nigeria, and your deep desire to help to improve the lives of all people in that country, seeking ways to help them move beyond conflict, especially of an inter-religious nature. Over the last few months the WCC has intensified its own commitment to peace-building between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, and we look forward to continuing to work with you, your staff and the Anglican Communion in this area.

Succeeding Archbishop Rowan Williams is an awesome responsibility. My own ministry has been greatly enriched by the personal relationship that has developed between us, and I am grateful for his continuing friendship. I perceive in you someone profoundly committed to being a leader of the Church for both the present and the future. In the spirit of our shared calling, I trust that as you and I have opportunities to meet and work together we too shall develop a close and productive relationship that will be edifying to us both and to our common ministry.

As well as my congratulations, I want to assure you of my heartfelt prayers for you and your family as you prepare to take up this new, exacting and demanding ministry, to which God is calling you. I know that there will be many challenges ahead for you as you lead the Church of England and the Anglican Communion through the swiftly flowing currents of the early twenty-first century. I pray that God’s gracious and empowering love will surround you over the coming few months as you prepare to assume your new responsibilities.

Yours in our Common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary