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Climate Change High On Agenda For Archbishop Of Canterbury’s Visit Here

Climate Change High On Agenda For Archbishop Of Canterbury’s Visit Here
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of Polynesia Winston Halapua
February 21
10:55 2018

The 105th and current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will be in Fiji next week for a three-day meeting with climate change topping the agenda.

This was confirmed by the Anglican Church’s Archbishop of Polynesia, the Most Reverend Winston Halapua.

Archbishop Halapua said Archbishop Welby would be joined by leaders of the Anglican Church in Oceania for a three day fono (meeting). This is the first time in over 40 years that an Archbishop of Canterbury would visit Fiji.

“When we met last year as Primates (Archbishops), it (climate change) was one of the most important factors that brought all primates together to agree we support climate with one voice,” Archbishop Halapua said.

“A letter was hand-delivered to the Prime Minister as the President of COP23; all gave their prayers and support to the Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 president.

“It was a wonderful letter. The one who wrote on our behalf was the Archbishop of Canterbury and he is to land here, in our Vanua.”

Archbishop Halapua said Archbishop Welby would hold discussions on issues that the five Oceania Primates believe are amongst the most pressing for the Oceania. These issues include climate change and violence against women and children.

Archbishop Halapua, who has championed the need for action on climate change in the worldwide Anglican Communion, sees the Archbishop of the Canterbury’s visit to the fono as a ‘golden opportunity for them to make their voice stronger and more effective, heard and understood on the international stage.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has continually encouraged Anglican leaders to meet together in regional groupings and when he heard of next week’s fono he jumped at the chance to take part.”

He said one of the purposes of the meeting would be for the provinces – Australia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Aoteroa (New Zealand) and Polynesia – to hear about the actions taking place in their respective parts of the South Pacific and to co-ordinate and unify them.

He added that on climate change in particular, he longs to get to a place where ‘we no longer make statements’ and say instead, ‘this is the action we will take together.’

During Archbishop Welby’s visit

The Archbishop of Canterbury arrives in Suva on Thursday March 1.

The Saturday morning session is expected to be a key moment for the fono with presentations from the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum reporting on last year’s COP23 summit. Professor Elizabeth Holland, Director of the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) would also be presenting. Archbishop Welby would also be joining other Archbishops on same day for a symbolic event whereby they would board the Uto ni Yalo and sail out in the Suva Harbour and celebrate Eucharist.

A talanoa would be held about the church’s role later that afternoon promoting the safety of all people.

While in Suva, he would brief the Oceania leaders on the plans for the 2020 Lambeth Conference, a once in a decade gathering of Anglican Bishops, held in the United Kingdom. He would deliver a public lecture on reconciliation at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on March 3.

All talanoa sessions of the fono would be held at the Mast, the new Diocese of Polynesia Centre at 7 Des Vouex Road in Suva.

A cultural welcome scheduled for March 2, an open lecture on Saturday and Sunday morning worship would be held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce



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