THE Canon Director of Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry
Cathedral, David Porter, is to join the Archbishop of Canterbury's
personal staff. His brief will include finding ways to heal
divisions in the Anglican Communion.
Mr Porter will remain in his post at Coventry Cathedral, and
will be seconded to work for Archbishop Welby part-time, Lambeth
Palace said in a statement. Archbishop Welby was Mr Porter's
predecessor at Coventry Cathedral.
The Lambeth statement said: "The focus of Canon David's role
will be to enable the Church to make a powerful contribution to
transforming the often violent conflicts that overshadow the lives
of so many people in the world. His initial focus will be on
supporting creative ways for renewing conversations and
relationships around deeply held differences within the Church of
England and the Anglican Communion."
Mr Porter has been facilitating discussions between members of
the working group convened by the House of Bishops to resolve the
deadlock on women bishops (
News, 15 February). Lambeth Palace said that he had "extensive
front-line experience" in conflict resolution, including serving on
the Northern Ireland Civic Forum.
Archbishop Welby said: "David brings a wealth of experience in
reconciliation and peace-building from his work in Northern
Ireland, and through the Community of the Cross of Nails in
Coventry. Conflict is an ever-present reality in both the Church
and wider society.
"Christians have been at the centre of reconciliation throughout
history. We may not have always handled our own conflicts wisely,
but it is essential that we work towards demonstrating ways of
reducing destructive conflict in our world - and also towards
setting an example of how to manage conflict within the
Mr Porter wrote in a blog on Tuesday that he had "Anabaptist
convictions", and a "pragmatic approach". He continued: "While an
initial focus [of the Lambeth job] will be on the ongoing conflicts
within the Church over deeply held differences, the ultimate aim is
to look out to a world torn apart by violent conflicts, and enable
the Church to live as the children of God, peace-makers."
The Fellowship of Reconciliation welcomed Mr Porter's
appointment, saying in a statement that it looked forward "to
working with him to inspire and equip Christians to be practical
Primate's message. The Anglican Communion must
not be too inward-looking, Archbishop Welby said this month in an
interview with Anglican World, a magazine published by the
Anglican Communion. He 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 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."