Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at Jubilee House in Accra. Archbishop Justin was joined by the Primate of the Anglican Province of West Africa, Archbishop Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo.
The Archbishop thanked the President for Ghana’s hospitality as the 18th plenary of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-18) meets in Accra this week. Many of the topics being discussed at ACC-18 were being brought to life by being in Ghana, the Archbishop said, including the Anglican Communion’s work on modern slavery and human trafficking, climate change and healthcare. The Archbishop said Ghana was playing a leading international role in these areas.
The President said that he was honoured that Accra is hosting ACC-18 and that many of the subjects being discussed are priorities for Ghana. He spoke of Ghana’s experience of welcoming refugees from Chad and Burkina Faso, as well as its leading role in healthcare around the world. He also spoke of the many young Ghanaian men and women who have been victims of human trafficking. The Archbishop updated the President on the Church Commissioners’ recent report into its predecessor fund’s historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery and its new funding commitment of £100m in response to the findings. The President praised this work and said it was worthy of commendation to other churches.
Reflecting on recent discussions about human sexuality and identity in the Church of England and Anglican Communion, the Archbishop said there are deep disagreements within the Church of England and around the Communion. He said that his plea was for all to remember that at the heart of these discussions are people for whom Jesus Christ died, and for the Church to find ways to enable every person to meet with Christ.
The Archbishop presented the President with the gift of a cross, saying it reminded him of the God who went to the cross for us all. Bishop Anthony Poggo also presented the President with an engraved chalice to thank him for his generous welcome and hospitality to the Anglican Consultative Council and all its members.
At the end of the meeting, the Archbishop prayed for the President, his family, his staff and the people of Ghana, that they would know the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.