Archbishop in Melbourne: Church should pursue ‘positive holiness’


Archbishop Justin Welby preaches at inauguration of new Archbishop of Melbourne during 10-day visit to Anglican primates in the South Pacific.
Archbishop Justin Welby at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged Anglicans to pursue “positive holiness” and seek afresh the call of Jesus Christ.

He said holiness comes from “positive action” that sets us free from “the sins of defensive inward looking”.

The Archbishop was preaching at the inauguration of Philip Freier as Primate of Australia in a service today at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne.

His visit to Australia, the first by an Archbishop of Canterbury since 1997, is part of an extensive visit to fellow Anglican primates in the South Pacific.

Having already included visits to Anglican leaders in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the 10-day trip will end in New Zealand on Friday.

The tour is part of the Archbishop’s commitment to visit all the primates around the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office.

In his sermon, the Archbishop offered a vision of the church overcoming division and “relishing the adventure of being the people of God”.

Archbishop Justin Welby blesses Archbishop Philip Freier during his inauguration service at St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia, 13 August 2014. 

“Positive holiness and liberation means positive action that sets us free from the sins of defensive inward looking, competitive argument,” he said.

“Freedom means openness and confession, of our faults, especially the abuse of power that lies behind the abuse of children and vulnerable adults. It means freedom from demanding authority and liberty to wash feet. It means freedom from questioning the transforming power of Christian discipleship and confidence in proclamation.”

He added: “It is liberty to be diverse and yet full of love for one another. It is humanity in all its rich abundance, relishing the adventure of being the people of God. It is liberty to act in weakness and know the strength of Jesus Christ.”

Read the Archbishop's sermon at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne.

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