Archbishop Justin completes pastoral visit to Jerusalem


Archbishop Justin made a pastoral visit to Jerusalem this weekend to show solidarity with Archbishop Hosam Naoum and the Christian community in the Holy Land. 

Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Theophilus walking through Jerusalem

The Archbishop of Canterbury has completed a four day pastoral visit to Jerusalem. The intention was to show solidarity to Archbishop Hosam Naoum and the whole Christian community in the region after the devastating explosion at the Anglican-run Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, which is overseen by the Diocese of Jerusalem.

Archbishop Justin began his visit by meeting with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilus III, in Jerusalem's Old City. They met the day after the bombing of the Greek Orthodox church compound in Gaza. When they met, the death toll was still unknown and bodies were still being pulled out of the rubble. Archbishop Justin expressed his profound sorrow and both leaders prayed for peace, for all who suffer, and for protection for the church. 

They had a tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and prayed and worshipped together. Archbishop Justin also visited Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzabella, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.  

Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Theophilus praying in Church of Holy Sepulchre

That evening the Archbishop met with all the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, together with other clergy from various denominations. Archbishop Justin again expressed his solidarity and sorrow, but also his comfort and hope at how united the churches have become and what an example they set.

The heads of churches called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to enable the safe passage of food, water and vital medicine. Read the full statement here.

On Saturday, the Archbishop visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital and the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre where he met medical staff, some of whom had been working in Gaza.

Archbishop Justin with Cardinal Pizzabella and Archbishop Hosam

Staff concerns included PTSD in children in Gaza, the difficulty of children being trapped in Gaza and unable to travel to Jerusalem to receive treatment for cancer.

The Archbishop also visited the school attached to Princess Basma for children with disabilities. He heard about groundbreaking work and developments in treatment.

At the hospital, he met with Bishop Sani Azar, Palestinian Bishop of the Episcopal Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land.

Archbishop of Canterbury with church leaders in Jerusalem

On Sunday 22nd October, Archbishop Justin preached and presided at St George’s Cathedral.

His final visit was to meet Chief Rabbi David Rosen with people whose family members were killed or taken hostage by Hamas in the barbarous attacks on October 7th. Read more about this visit here.

During the visit, Archbishop Justin and Archbishop Hosam's gave a joint interview to BBC Radio 4 Sunday, recorded from St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem Listen to the interview here

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