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Archbishop of Canterbury to champion the environment

Posted on: April 15, 2016 3:15 PM
Archbishop Justin Welby, sporting a Green Anglicans tee-shirt, addresses young Anglicans from Central Africa and Southern Africa at an environment conference ahead of the ACC meeting in Lusaka
Photo Credit: Gavin Drake / ACNS

[ACNS] The Anglican Communion’s network of environment champions has received a boost with the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has agreed to be its honorary chairman and patron. The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, heads the network, and revealed the news during a discussion about the environment at the Anglican Consultative Council’s meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, today.

The environment – and particularly the effects of climate change – has featured heavily during the two-week ACC-16 meeting. Before ACC members had begun to gather in Lusaka, young Anglicans from Southern Africa and Central Africa gathered for a youth conference on the environment sponsored by the Christian development agency Tearfund.

Archbishop Justin Welby attended the event to hear from the young people about their concerns for the environment and their proposals for how churches can respond. A small delegation from the youth conference attended today’s plenary discussion on the environment to press their concerns to ACC-16 members.

During the discussion, Archbishop Makgoba announced that Archbishop Justin had agreed to act as the public face for environmental issues within the Communion.

“It is a great privilege to be asked to be the honorary chair and patron of the Anglican Communion movement on the environment,” Archbishop Justin later told ACNS. “Trips like this [to the ACC in Lusaka] reveal more and more clearly as one listens to those in the Communion the huge life threatening seriousness of the matters that are being faced.

“It has come upon me with fresh force during this ACC and I am very honoured to be allowed to have a role.”