The spiritual leader of the world’s 85 million Anglicans will visit the Northern Rivers for the first time this week during a rare official Australian trip, which formally commenced on Wednesday.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, and his wife Caroline, will be spending a fortnight in Australia, visiting Ballina on Thursday and Lismore on Friday.
He will deliver an open community address on the theme of “Building peace in robust diversity” at Ballina’s Emmanuel Anglican College on Thursday night.
One thousand people from the east coast of Australia are expected to attend the public lecture, which will be followed by a Q&A session.
On Friday he will meet with Lismore locals who were directly impacted by devastating floods earlier this year, including those who provided flood recovery support.
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton Murray Harvey said that after months of preparation, Northern River locals are looking forward to welcoming Archbishop Welby into their communities.
“Large parts of the Northern Rivers were devastated by catastrophic floods earlier this year and those communities will be glad to know that the wider Anglican Communion around the world cares and knows about their suffering,” The Right Reverend Dr Harvey said.
“Archbishop Welby is passionate about climate change and will inspire us in our efforts to respond to the environmental challenges that we face and encourage us to use our voices in calling for effective climate action.
“Hosting the Archbishop of Canterbury is a real honour.
“This is only the second time an Archbishop of Canterbury has visited us – the last time was in 1950.
“I know the whole diocese will warmly welcome him – offering gracious hospitality is part of who we are as Anglicans on the North Coast.
“At Emmanuel Anglican College he is speaking about peace.
“Having heard him speak recently at the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, I know he’s a really great speaker and that people from our schools and parishes and the wider community will be encouraged and inspired by him.”
Archbishop Welby will also be meeting with Lismore mayor Cr Steve Krieg, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lismore the Most Reverend Gregory Homeming and Koori Mail representatives on Friday.
Archbishop Welby and Bishop Homeming will gather for midday prayers at Lismore’s St Carthage’s Catholic Cathedral.
Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns and the Torres Strait Islands are also included in his itinerary.
Climate change and reconciliation with First Nations peoples are at the top of his historic trip agenda
Archbishop Welby will fly to Thursday Island on the weekend to speak with locals about the impacts of rising sea levels in the Torres Strait Islands.
Towards the end of his tour, Archbishop Welby will ordain two Aboriginal women as priests at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Yarrabah, east of Cairns.
On the final day of his official engagements, on Tuesday 18 October, he will visit the trailblazing Wontulp-Bi-Buya College in Cairns, which supports the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander church and community leaders.
Justin Welby was enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury, England in 2013.
He is the most senior bishop of the Anglican Communion, which has provinces in more than 165 countries.
Community members wishing to attend Archbishop Justin Welby’s Thursday 7.30 pm peace address at Emmanuel Anglican College are required to pre-register online.
Attendance at Archbishop Welby’s public address is free; however, a collection will be taken for the 2022 Anglicare North Coast Flood Appeal.
Editor’s note 17/10/2022: Congratulations to First Nations women Valmai Connolly and Petronella Connolly, who were ordained priests, and First Nations woman Ainsley Dangar, who was ordained a deacon, by Archbishop Welby today at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Yarrabah.Jump to next article