The Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Central America


Picture of the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury will travel to Central America at the end of May to visit Anglican churches, ecumenical communities and religious and political leaders across four countries in the province.  

Hosted by The Most Reverend Juan David Alvarado Melgar, Primate of the Anglican Church in Central America and Diocesan Bishop of El Salvador, Archbishop Justin will spend 12 days in Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica. It will be the first time he has been on an official visit to El Salvador, Panama or Costa Rica.  

This will be an opportunity to worship Jesus alongside Christians in these vibrant and varied countries, with visits planned to cathedrals and local churches who are spreading the word of God in their communities. There will be a Eucharist celebrated with indigenous communities in Guatemala, and in El Salvador, a pilgrimage is planned to the site of St Romero's martyrdom and the crypt where he is buried. 

With a focus on the often-devastating impact of climate change in the region, the Archbishop will visit the drought-hit Panama Canal as well as an Anglican Communion Forest in El Salvador, to celebrate the fruits of environmental commitments made at the Lambeth Conference in 2022. With the region also affected by mass migration, he will meet with people working in schools, churches and charities to support those displaced by climate change and violent crime.  

Looking ahead to the visit, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: "Central America is a region richly abundant in culture, history and biodiversity, with millions of Christians living and worshipping across many different communities and denominations. I am greatly looking forward to our visit, travelling through Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica, meeting and worshipping with our brothers and sisters who love and bear witness to Jesus Christ. 

"Through prayer and evangelism, the Church is living out God’s call to proclaim the Gospel to his creation. It does this by modelling the love and life of Jesus. And while the Anglican Church in Central America might be relatively small, it is doing big things - and growing as a result. It provides a vital lifeline in a province which is under threat from violent crime and the migration crisis, promoting desperately needed reconciliation in those communities most affected. 

“It is a part of the world disproportionately affected by climate change, which hits health and food security whilst also harming economies and ecosystems - with millions forced to make perilous journeys to new lives. Combatting this is the work of the Church, offering support to those in need, as well as protecting the precious natural environment through initiatives such as Communion Forests which signal hope and restoration. I’m excited to witness the work of the Holy Spirit in these communities.” 

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