Read the Archbishop's greeting:

Your Eminence, dear brother in Christ,

It is with warm greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that I write these words to you on your enthronement as Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. I thank you and our friends of the Antiochian Orthodox Society of Britain sincerely for your kind invitation to attend this very significant occasion.

We are aware that His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, is not yet able to travel due to the eye accident suffered last year and we are pleased to hear that he is recovering well. We are thankful to God for his mercies and will continue to uphold His Beatitude in our prayers.

I am also happy that the Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, will represent me on this particular occasion and will deliver this message.

Your Eminence, we continue to see on a daily basis heart-breaking images of atrocities being committed in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Refugees are fleeing from war and looking for shelter in often hostile places and there are gross violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. We continue to pray for those fleeing from danger, for Christians in the region and all those who are oppressed and persecuted. Into this context the constant message of His Beatitude John X of love, solidarity and unity with your neighbours as you seek to overcome conflict and division in Syria, Lebanon and the region as a whole, is a source of hope and encouragement to many.

Your Eminence, I pray that your ministry will be a significant Christian witness and presence on the British Isles and Ireland, enriching not only the Antiochian Orthodox Community but also all ecumenical partners. May the love of God the Father embrace your church, may the presence of the Incarnate Son bring hope to it, and may the fire of the Holy Spirit continue to be its inspiration.

In the peace of Christ,

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

2 min read

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