Archbishop of Canterbury visits the Church of Ireland


Reconciliation "remains constantly in our prayers" says Archbishop on first day of visit to Belfast, Armagh and Dublin

The Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Belfast on Wednesday to spend three days with Church of Ireland leaders, congregations and their local communities.

Archbishop Justin, accompanied by his wife, Caroline, has been visiting reconciliation projects and seeing the work of Anglican churches in their communities in Belfast, Armagh and Dublin.

On Thursday morning the Archbishop joined Irish bishops visiting the historic peace wall dividing the Protestant Shankill from Catholic Falls in West Belfast.

Speaking at the wall, the Archbishop said: "One of the key things in any process of reconciliation is persistence and perseverance, it is always an incredibly long-term process.

"It remains constantly in our prayers, prayers for courage and perseverance, for the leaders, courage to do what they know is right and perseverance to keep on doing it year after year despite the obstacles."

He joined Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, and Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor, in visiting the peace wall at Cupar Way. (watch a BBC Northern Ireland news report here)

Archbishop Justin and Caroline Welby with members of Willowfield Parish Church, East Belfast.

From there the Archbishop travelled to East Belfast to see the work of Willowfield Parish Church. For many years the church been strongly committed to its local community, which still carries many scars from the 30 years of the Troubles.

Later he visited the Dock Café, an ecumenical community-building project in the Titanic Quarter that aims to provide a gathering point for different traditions, and donned an apron to brew some Belfast tea. On Thursday evening the Archbishop preached at Armagh Cathedral.

Archbishop Justin and Caroline Welby with clergy on the steps of St Anne's Cathedral.

On Friday morning, the Archbishop travelled to Dublin, where met with clergy and city representatives at St Patrick’s National Cathedral. There he saw the Cathedral’s ‘Lives Remembered’ exhibition, which calls attention to the brutality of conflict and pays tribute to all whose lives have been touched by war and violence.

Archbishop Justin, who is visiting every Anglican Primate around the Communion, has made reconciliation one of the priorities of his ministry. 

Read more about Archbishop Justin's visits to Anglican Primates 

Read more about Archbishop Justin's reconciliation ministry

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