Photo Credit: Francis Wong KC/Lambeth Palace
Archbishop Justin Welby hailed the church’s ‘pioneering’ work with refugees and migrants, which he said offered ‘leadership to the whole Anglican Communion’.
He was spending two days in Hong Kong at the start of a 10-day visit to Anglican Primates in the region, which will also include Japan and Korea.
The Archbishop is visiting every Primate in the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office, so that he can get to know each of them in their local context, personally and professionally, in order to foster friendship and mutual understanding .
Arriving in Hong Kong on Saturday, the Archbishop said: "I am hugely excited to be visiting the Anglican Church in Hong Kong with its impressive record of Christian witness and service. This witness extends across cultures and nationalities, while its pioneering work with migrants and refugees offers leadership to the whole Anglican Communion."
The Archbishop was a guest of the Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Most Revd Paul Kwong.
In a sermon preached at St John's Cathedral, the Most Revd Justin Welby said that during Kingdom season, as Advent approaches, we ask ourselves, 'What do we look like as God's people?' In answer to this question, the Archbishop said God's people are repentant, faithful, and recognise that we cannot completely control our lives, which ultimately are controlled by God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ.
During his stay the Archbishop also participated in the opening service of the Synod of the Diocese of Hong Kong Island.
Archbishop Justin was visiting Hong Kong at the invitation of the Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.
Leaving Hong Kong this morning, the Archbishop flew to Japan, where he will spend two days before travelling to Korea. He will spend five days in Busan, where he will attend the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches.
The Archbishop's visits to Primates have not replaced official provincial visits, which will resume in 2015. However, the Archbishop is keen to meet Primates and bishops in more informal settings, often travelling without an entourage and staying as a private guest. This enables him to reach a greater number of people and places than would otherwise be possible, not least those that might be perceived as isolated or remote.
He has said that such relationships are the essential basis for growing collaboration and trust at a wider level across the Communion.
By the end of this year, the Archbishop will have made personal visits to Anglican Primates in East Africa, the Middle East, the West Indies, Central America and the Far East.
The details of his visits to the remaining 27 Primates, which will take place throughout 2014, will be announced next year.