Archbishop of Canterbury faces 'a challenge for the imagination'

By staff writers
February 17, 2013

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that in his new role he is faced with “a challenge for the imagination”, reports the Anglican Communion News Service.

Speaking in an interview with the Communion’s official magazine, Anglican World, Welby said: “What do we mean by the Anglican Communion, and how does it contribute as a blessing to the world in which we live in its present circumstances?

“That’s something I think Rowan [Williams] has been brilliant at, so have the Primates generally, and the ACC—as we see from the range of subjects covered in New Zealand1. It’s something we need to continue," he added.

“That challenge to the imagination is something that is constantly renewed and we need to be very reactive to it, and not allow ourselves to get bogged down in looking inward,” said Welby.

The Archbishop has been well received since the announcement of his appointment and his taking up his post earlier this month. He will be consecrated in March.

However, the Anglican Communion, which claims over 78 million members, has been riven with division in recent years - notably over authority, the interpretation of the Bible, and sexuality.

Archbishop Welby come from the charismatic evangelical tradition, but with an openness towards others. He has significant management experience outside the church, as well as training and experience in conflict resolution and transformation techniques.

Among his advisers is the highly respected Canon David Porter, who heads up reconciliation ministries at Coventry Cathedral, and has a track-record of working across divides in his native Northern Ireland.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments reported by ACNS are part of his interview in the second edition of Anglican World, a magazine that has been reporting on the life and work of the Anglican Communion for several decades.

Production of the magazine was suspended in 2007, but it was relaunched in November 2012.

Along with the feature on Archbishop Welby, the latest edition features articles on the 100th anniversary of the Anglican diocese of Iran, a major youth conference in Central Africa, the commissioning of the Mothers’ Union’s new worldwide president, and the triennial gathering of Anglicans from around the world, which was this time in Auckland, New Zealand.

* A year’s subscription (four editions) of Anglican World magazine costs £10 including postage and is available from the Anglican Communion Office online shop:

* See a preview of this quarter’s edition at


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