Archbishop Justin Welby’s message to all those celebrating Rosh Hoshanah.
It was an extraordinary experience to spend ten days in the Holy Land in May this year.
What helped to make the visit so unique was the willingness of [United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth] Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to provide his own personal guided tour of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. His breadth of historical understanding and knowledge was combined with his reflections of spending time living in the city himself. We finished with an act of prayer side-by-side at the Western Wall – an unforgettable moment.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 2017.
Photo: Lambeth Palace
As we look back on the year that has been, the growing depth of trust, friendship and mutual respect between us has been a joy and a privilege to share. In the midst of all that frequently feels challenging and often bleak in increasing polarisation in society, it is vital that we commit to nurture and deepen our relationships beyond the confines of our own faith communities and across the country more generally.
At a time celebrating new beginnings, it is important that we recognise and mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Council of Christians and Jews, which continues to engage in innovative and creative work on relations between our two faith communities. The privilege of being one of the presidents of CCJ allows me to appreciate and highlight the history of a shared commitment to combat the evil of antisemitism.
May I take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Rosh Hoshanah as you celebrate and give thanks to God for all that has been and for all that is to come. Please be assured of my prayers for the gift of this time.
Archbishop of Canterbury