[Lambeth Palace press release] The Anglican Church of Burundi offers ‘an inspiring vision’ of rebuilding the country and its communities, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said Jan. 31 on arriving in the Burundian capital Bujumbura.
The archbishop, accompanied by his wife, Caroline, is on a five-day visit to South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet with fellow Primates of the Anglican Communion.
The trip is part of Welby’s plan to visit all of his fellow archbishops around the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office. His desire is to express solidarity, build personal and professional bonds, understand the primates’ work in their local contexts, and lay foundations for good collaboration over the coming years.
Arriving in Bujumbura, Welby said: “I am delighted to be visiting Burundi with my wife, Caroline, at the invitation of Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi. The Anglican Church of Burundi sets before its people an inspiring vision of what can be achieved with the rebuilding of the country and the rebuilding of communities. We are committed to working with you for the long-term stability of the nation to enable real development to take place.”
Speaking in the South Sudanese capital Juba earlier on Jan. 31, Welby joined the call from South Sudanese church leaders for an end to violence in the country, and for healing and reconciliation.
The archbishop added: “The one thing I’ve learned over many, many years of working in conflicts is that reconciliation is done by the people locally – outsiders do not understand enough; but what we can do, and we promise to do, is to accompany and support those like [Archbishop Bishop Daniel Deng Bul] who are leading the reconciliation locally.”