The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed the Revd Canon Dr Flora Winfield as his new Advisor for Reconciliation.
Flora will be part of the senior team at Lambeth Palace and will lead the Archbishop’s reconciliation ministry, which is one of his three personal priorities along with the renewal of prayer and evangelism and witness.
Since 2017, Canon Winfield has been the Archbishop’s Special Representative to the Commonwealth, a role that was created ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018.
Prior to that, she was the Anglican Communion Permanent Representative to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva. She has served as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Relations, the Secretary for International Affairs at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and as Assistant Secretary General of Religions for Peace. Flora was ordained to the diaconate in 1989, and to the priesthood in 1994.
Archbishop Justin has extensive experience in reconciliation and led Coventry Cathedral’s Cross of Nails centre from 2002 to 2007. He has made supporting the role of the Church as a peacemaker one of the core aspects of his ministry.
Welcoming the appointment Archbishop Justin said: “I am delighted that Flora will be bringing her extensive skills and experience to bear in this key role. She has served the Church of England and the Anglican Communion with wisdom, dedication and creativity for many years. It is wonderful news that she will be leading the reconciliation ministry here at Lambeth Palace.
“Reconciliation is not an optional extra for Christians – it is the heart of the Gospel and the way of Jesus Christ. In our world today, finding ways to disagree creatively and constructively is essential if we are to address challenges from climate change and political division, to armed conflict and global inequality."
Canon Winfield said: “ In the present challenging global environment, we have a real opportunity to make a difference. In partnership with other churches and faiths, and with our exceptional reach into every community, we are called to live out Christ’s reconciling love, drawing together the global and the local. This task of reconciliation is also about recognising the interconnectedness of the challenges which face us all, and resourcing the local church to respond with confidence and hope. I am both honoured and excited to have this opportunity to serve as the Archbishop’s Advisor for Reconciliation.”
Flora will oversee the various reconciliation-based programmes that Archbishop Justin has established since taking office in 2013, including:
Women on the Front Line focusses on the specific contribution of women as peacebuilders in places of conflict. By offering retreats and practical skills, it enables women to find solidarity in sharing their experiences of conflict, helping them access the skills they need to support their communities in rebuilding peace.
The Difference course, which is soon to be piloted in churches around the country, aims to equip Christians to become reconcilers in their communities.
The Archbishop has been personally involved in a range of reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts since taking office. Most recently he jointly led a spiritual retreat for South Sudan’s political leaders at the Vatican with Pope Francis and former Church of Scotland Moderator the Very Revd John Chalmers.
In 2017 the Archbishop joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. The board, which brings together global leaders with an extensive range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts, provides the Secretary-General with advice on mediation initiatives and backs specific mediation efforts around the world.