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Welby visits Mozambique with message of reconciliation

22 November 2022

Archbishop marks the creation of the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola

Lambeth Palace

Archbishop Welby meets mothers displaced by the conflict, along with Bishop Matsinhe and the Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Rob Wickham

Archbishop Welby meets mothers displaced by the conflict, along with Bishop Matsinhe and the Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Rob Wickham

THE Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Mozambique on Saturday, for a visit to mark the creation of the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola (IAMA), which last year became the 42nd Province of the Anglican Communion (News, 27 August 2021)

The trip was not announced in advance because of security concerns: an armed insurgency, which started in 2017, has killed an estimated 4000 people and displaced almost a million more in the East African country (News, 22 July).

On Saturday, the first day of the trip, Archbishop Welby opened a new Anglican church, dedicated to St Mark, in a suburb of Maputo.

On Monday morning, Archbishop Welby met the Prime Minister of Mozambique, Adriano Maleiane, to discuss efforts towards reconciliation, and on Tuesday travelled to the north of the country, where the insurgency is taking place.

A short video was posted on Instagram of Archbishop Welby releasing a dove in the northern city of Pemba. He is also scheduled to meet government officials, Christian and Muslim leaders, and people involved in reconciliation efforts, along with some of those displaced by the conflict.

Lambeth PalaceArchbishop Welby prepares to release a dove during his visit to Pemba in the north of Mozambique

On Sunday, in between these events, a congregation of 3000 gathered in Maxaquene sports hall in Maputo for a six-hour service of thanksgiving for the new Province, which was inaugurated in September last year in a service led by Archbishop Welby via a video link.

This week, the Archbishop posted a video from the service on Instagram, and wrote how “music and prayer lift off the roof to celebrate the new Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola.”

In his sermon, he spoke about the two countries’ shared history of anticolonial struggles for independence. He also referred to the ongoing conflict-resolution work in the north of the country. “This is your treasure to share with the world: the story of reconciliation,” he said.

In the spring, Archbishop Welby published a book on reconciliation in which he offers advice on how to turn destructive conflict into constructive disagreement (Books, 27 May).

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