Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Warm welcome to Archbishop of Canterbury


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Yesterday this country welcomed the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby and his wife Mrs Caroline Welby to these shores. We are pleased that His Grace has chosen this country and diocese as the first to be visited by him outside Britain since his enthronement on March 31.
A highlight of this visit will be the presiding and preaching at Christ Church Parish Church later today, in a Eucharist service at 7 p.m., after which the Archbishop and his wife will meet the Barbados clergy and their wives.
We deem it important that this visit should be made to our island, as he is now the fifth archbishop within recent times to have visited with us; and although the Church of England was disestablished here since 1969, we are still of the view that matters of faith are critical to the moral and social welfare of our people and country.
There are, for sure, many who feel and with justification that the downward descent of what might be called the moral timbre of our society has coincided dramatically with the reduced exposure of our younger folk to Sunday School.
Before its disestablishment, the Anglican Church played an important role in moral and religious guidance, but an increasing materialism and growing obeisance of a sort to the secular approach to life and its problems seem to be the new order!
The Anglican Church is particularly fortunate that at a time of increasing challenge to the relevance of faith to the modern world, His Grace brings to the leadership of the community of Anglicans a large and varied experience of the world.
He is a graduate of Cambridge University in history and law and spent 11 years as an oil executive, where his experience in dealing and managing high finance will have sharpened his appreciation of the need for modern business to understand its ethical role.
Indeed, his pamphlet Can Companies Sin is one of the seminal contributions to the debate on how the captains of industry should conduct themselves generally and particularly in difficult recessionary times. In a sense he is an archbishop who by training and inclination is made for these times!
This is also an important visit to our island since the necessary publicity will generate some further visibility in Britain, which is one of our principal tourism markets. Additionally, it will not harm our tourism effort if the resultant publicity extends to and encourages some of the 80 million Anglicans worldwide to consider this island as a possible holiday destination
In welcoming His Grace, we also remind ourselves with pride that his religious studies were undertaken at the University of Durham, with which our own Codrington College has had a long and honourable association as a highly recommended place for the training for the priesthood.
We wish His Grace and His wife a pleasant holiday in our midst and we trust that in addition to the mutually beneficial exchanges on religious and spiritual matters, the warmth of our climate and the friendliness of our people will so refresh him and his wife that this visit will be the precursor to other future visits.


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