Message of welcome to Bishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury Designate.
I welcome the news that Bishop Justin Welby is to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. I believe that his appointment should give hope to all of us who long to see renewal, reform and genuine unity.
Bishop Justin will bring to the Anglican Communion a special combination of gifts and experience. I know him as a deeply committed servant of Jesus Christ who honours the Scriptures as the Word of God and as a courageous peacemaker. I am confident that these qualities, together with his sustained involvement in business and finance, will enable him to articulate the Lordship of Christ to a watching world as well as to a Communion in continuing disorder.
After the Primates of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met earlier this year in London, we said we were praying for a ‘godly leader of God’s people’ to emerge from the selection procedure for the next Archbishop of Canterbury and I believe our prayer has been answered.
However, it would be unfair and misleading to suggest that one man can resolve the crisis which has beset the Anglican Communion in recent years and we also stated our belief ‘that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves’.
Our proposal, while not intended to deny the honour due to Canterbury as an historic see, is an expression of the truth we hold as vital, that our identity as Anglicans stems first and foremost from adherence to the faith we confess. It is this which gives substance and integrity to our bonds of affection and our efforts to relieve poverty and promote development.
As the Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, I eagerly look forward to working with the new Archbishop of Canterbury as a partner in the gospel to restore much needed conviction, confidence and unity to the deeply fractured Anglican family.
I assure him of the prayers of this Province and the global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as he prepares for this great calling to serve the Church of England and the wider Communion.
The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop and Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans