[Anglican Communion News Service] Members of the worldwide Anglican Communion are gearing up for the March 21 inauguration of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Canterbury Cathedral.
As staff at the cathedral get ready for this key moment in Anglican history, lay and ordained people from right around the world are also preparing for the big day.
Over the past week the communion’s primates — the most senior bishops from across the Anglican Communion — have travelled to England for the inauguration. Many have made the most of their visit by attending meetings while in the U.K. Primate of West Africa, the Most Rev. Tilewa S. Johnson, visited the mission agency Us (formerly USPG). He also recorded a piece on the Church of England’s new primate for BBC’s Radio 4 Sunday programme. Among other visits the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East headed to a housing project in Lancashire.
All the Anglican Communion Standing Committee members will attend the inauguration. Chairman of the Standing Committee and the Anglican Consultative Council, and Bishop of Southern Malawi, the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga told ACNS, that the inauguration “is an important moment for our Anglican Communion because it marks the beginning of Archbishop Welby’s leadership of our global family.
The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (The Episcopal Anglican Church in Brazil) has said that its members, along with ecumenical partners, are praying for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s big day. A statement issued by the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil said: “We are praying for [his] ministry to be fruitful and to continue the traditional commitment of the Anglican Church in deepening the dialogue and unity amongst Christians and for the common service in favour of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.”
Representatives of the Anglican Communion at the Pope’s inaugural mass on March were travelling back from Rome to Canterbury March 20. These include the bishops of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Rowell and the Rt. Rev. David Hamid; and Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon.
The Anglican Communion’s communicators are also preparing to share the good news of the enthronement with members of their provinces. Aldrin Peloko of the Anglican Church of Melanesia said he is reporting on the enthronement for his provincial magazine and website. The Episcopal Church’s news service ENS will have staff at the cathedral to cover the event. The Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, whose primate is blessing Archbishop Welby during Thursday’s service, is keeping its Facebook followers up to date on the latest news about the enthronement.
Jan Butter, director for Communications at the Anglican Communion Office and editor of the Anglican Communion News Service, said, “Anglicans the world over are looking forward to this special day, and thanks to digital technology more people than ever before will be able to enjoy it.”
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced that it is airing the inauguration on BBC Two television between 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. local time and BBC Radio 4 (LW) between 2:55 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lambeth Palace, the Church of England and ACNS will be tweeting throughout the day using #ABC105, and there will be news articles, photos and updates on www.anglicancommunion.org/acns, www.churchofengland.org and www.archbishopofcanterbury.org as well as their Facebook pages.
For anyone who misses the enthronement, there will also be a feature article in Anglican World magazine.
[Editors’ note: The U.S.-based Episcopal Church will be represented by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, as one of the Anglican Communion’s 38 primates, and her canon to the ordinary, the Rev. Canon Chuck Robertson. Bishops Shannon Johnston of Virginia, Ian Douglas of Connecticut and Andy Doyle of Texas will also participate.]