Mississauga, Ont. -Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is scheduled to make a “personal, pastoral visit” to Canada April 7 to 9 next year, as part of his personal commitment to get to know the primates (senior archbishops) of the Anglican Communion and learn about each of their local contexts.
Welby will meet with the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, in Toronto.
“I think it’s very wise on his [Welby’s] part” to get to know the primates of the Anglican Communion before bringing them all together for a meeting, said Hiltz.
Welby was enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury on March 21 this year. He succeeded Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who retired in December 2012.
No major events are being planned for the visit, as requested by Welby himself, Hiltz told members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), which met here Nov. 14 to 17.
Welby – who has had a long ministry in conflict resolution – has rolled out a plan for visiting every primate across the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office. Welby has said that his visits are also aimed at fostering friendship and “mutual understanding.” The 75-million strong Anglican Communion has been trying to heal divisions over theological differences over such issues as sexuality and the ordination of women.
Since his enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral, Welby has visited Barbados, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea, among others.