22 Jul 2021

The Anglican Centre in Rome: Urgent Appeal


The Anglican Centre in Rome is the permanent Anglican Communion presence in Rome. It is the living reality of our Communion’s commitment to the full visible unity of the Church, working collaboratively with all Christians for justice and peace in the world. It is also the base of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Representative to the Holy See, who is also the Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. He liaises between Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby and works with Anglican Communion and Vatican bodies on joint projects for education, ecumenism, and shared mission. To find out more about the Anglican Centre Rome's projects click here.

We share details below of an Urgent Appeal by the Centre:

rchbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Centre, with Archbishop Justin Welby with Pope Francis

The Reverend Canon James Hawkey, Governor of the Anglican Centre Rome and Chair of the UK Friends of the Centre.

As many of you will already know, last week the Centre launched an Urgent Appeal for funds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Appeal is a global effort, with partners in countries including the US, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand all playing their part. We have already received some wonderful gifts from friends and supporters, along with genuinely moving encouragement from a wide range of people who care deeply about the Centre. We are hugely grateful to those of you who have already given. By next Easter, we seek to raise €200,000 to give the Centre some stability over the next two years, during which time we expect visitor numbers to rebound whilst we continue to grow our global Friends network and seek out other sources of funding across the world.

The situation is quite simple. Our reserves are running dangerously low, and our financial position places the survival of the Centre in its current form at serious risk. Over the last few years, we have taken significant cost-cutting measures, and continue to manage our expenditure very carefully. But for over a year, we have been unable to welcome visitors to Rome or to run courses and events. In such a financial climate, raising money for ecumenism gets harder and harder, and many grant-making bodies which have previously supported us now need to streamline their own giving. It is completely understandable that dioceses, parishes and individuals across the world are under their own serious financial constraints.

Emerging from the pandemic, the Centre has exciting plans. There will be more online learning programmes. The first ever international Anglican ordinands/seminarians course will take place at the end of next May. The Primates of the Communion will meet in Rome for the first time in our history in the spring. Groups from different parts of the world are booked into the Centre for visits and seminars. Your parishes, friends and groups will, of course, receive the warmest of welcomes from Archbishop Ian and his team.

The first thing we now ask of our Friends is to pray for the Centre, and for its work. Prayer underpins everything we do. Secondly, please consider making a contribution to the Appeal yourself. We are already hugely grateful for your donation which directly supports the Centre’s mission. But if you have ever considered making a single larger gift, now really is the time to do it.

You can find full details of the Appeal, including how to give, on the website itself:

If you are a UK taxpayer please don’t forget to use Gift Aid so we can maximise your donation. We will be hugely grateful for any support you can offer.

Also, you may be able to introduce others to the Centre’s work who will share our vision for Christian unity, and who can support us financially at this difficult time. Please do have a think about who you can introduce to the Centre. I will be very happy to hear from Friends directly via the email address at the bottom of this note, or you can get in touch with our Development Officer Catherine Pepinster on

Finally, our former Archbishop, Lord Williams, has agreed to speak at a webinar especially for ACR Friends on his new book Looking East in Winter at some point over the next couple of months. We will of course let you know as soon as a date is confirmed.

Thank you so much for everything you do for the Centre. How wonderful it will be to meet again soon.

With warmest wishes in Christ,

The Revd Canon Dr James Hawkey