From Lambeth Palace
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has agreed to become a patron of a charity which supports Christians in the Holy Land.
Archbishop Justin said he is “very pleased” to take over from his predecessor, Dr Rowan Williams, as a patron of the Friends of the Holy Land, which supports Christian communities in the region.
The charity, which was established in 2009 to help ensure the long-term survival of Christian people and communities in the Holy Land, does “essential work”, said the Archbishop.
The ecumenical, non-political charity’s other patrons currently include the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, and the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Barry Morgan.
Accepting the invitation, Archbishop Justin said: “I am very pleased to have become a patron to the Friends of the Holy Land. I support the essential work this charity is doing in the Holy Land, giving practical help and moral support to those in greatest need.”
Peter Rand, National Vice-Chairman of the Friends of the Holy Land, welcomed the Archbishop's decision.
He said: “We are grateful that the Archbishop has agreed to become a patron, and to show his support for the Christian people of the Holy Land by supporting the work we do there. I have no doubt that the Archbishop will encourage and motivate other concerned people to join us, and that as a result we'll be able to take on more projects to help the Christian people of the Holy Land overcome the difficulties they face, and remain as a resilient community in the land of Christ.”
Dr Williams, who stood down as Archbishop of Canterbury in December 2012, has agreed to remain a patron of the charity in a private capacity.
On a recent visit to Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Archbishop Justin dedicated a new flagship diabetes clinic part-funded by the Friends of the Holy Land.
The clinic, which is open to all faiths, adjoins St Andrew’s Church in central Ramallah. It is focused on treating the complicated consequences of diabetes among Palestinians.
After opening and blessing the clinic, the Archbishop said that such healthcare projects were “one of the most important works being done by the Anglican Communion worldwide.”
Notes to editors:
- Friends of the Holy Land was established in 2009 to support the Christians in the Holy Land. It works in close cooperation with the Christian churches in the region and in the UK. Its work is entirely non-political and is carried out with the backing and blessing of Anglican and Catholic Bishops in England and Wales. Read more: http://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/
- Watch a video of Archbishop Justin blessing the Arab Episcopal Medical Centre in Ramallah: http://youtu.be/6hZiF6eyEA8
- Read more about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent visit to Egypt and the HoyLand: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org.uk/holyland