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ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WARMLY WELCOMED IN PARIS

Canon Matthew Harrison writes from St George’s, Paris:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has visited Paris as the guest of the Institut Catholique de Paris (Catholic University) which awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his practical contribution to the social teaching of the Church.

“The academic ceremonies were preceded by a service of Sung Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer, jointly presided by the Archbishop and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois. They were joined by representatives from all the main denominations in France; and the service also gave the chance for many parishioners of the Anglican chaplaincies in the Paris area to worship together and to hear their Archbishop. Altogether there were around 400 people present in the university church of St Joseph-des-Carmes and the music was provided by the choir of St George’s, Paris, singing settings by William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons: a beautiful testimony to the Anglican tradition.

“The Archbishop also gave a fascinating lecture on the catholic social teaching, reflecting on what a shared vision for the future of Europe might look like: the full text, which the Archbishop delivered in faultless French, is available in its English version on the Archbishop’s website under ‘Speeches’. It was a moving and prayerful evening and much appreciated by our friends from different church traditions. It also attracted a good deal of press coverage.

“And the Anglicans present were able to show their support for the demanding ministry of our Archbishop: early the next morning he flew to Pakistan to encourage the Christians living in that difficult context.”