From the Archbishop of Canterbury: Statement on the Windsor Report

October 18, 2004

[ENS, Source: Anglican Communion News Service] As you know Archbishop Robin Eames has presented to me the report of the Commission he has been chairing and which was published earlier today. Now that it is in the public domain, I wanted to say a few words as President of the Anglican Communion, on whose future working arrangements of course the report focuses.

The first thing I want to express is my immense gratitude to Archbishop Eames and the team he has led. Their task was never going to be a simple or straightforward one and he has led the work with typical energy and devotion. The Commission has not only produced a report but a unanimous one and that in itself counts as a considerable achievement and a sign of hope.

I hope too that everyone with the well being of our Communion at heart will now take time to study the report - and to pray and reflect upon its proposals which, as the Commission has made clear, offer neither easy nor simple solutions to real and demanding challenges. If we are serious about meeting those challenges, as I know we are, then we have to do all we can to continue to travel this road together.

Within the Church of England we too will want to consult and reflect and as Archbishop of Canterbury I shall need to play an appropriate role in that process.
So, there is plenty to digest and there should be no rush to judgement. We want voices round the Communion to be heard and we will be putting in place a careful and wide-ranging process for gathering responses.

I too will continue to pray study and reflect on the report and to seek God's guidance on the fundamental aim of strengthening our understanding and commitment to our common life. I share the Commission's longing for a renewed and re-energised Communion, better able to work in co-operation. May God help us to move towards that goal in faithfulness and confidence.

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace, London