Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Congo and Kenya

June 17, 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has embarked on a trip to East and Central Africa, where he will visit the Anglican provinces of the Congo and Kenya, according to a press release.

"I greatly look forward to visiting Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the coming week," Williams said. "Both countries have maintained a faithful witness through traumatic times and still need our prayer and urgent support in their search for democratic stability and hope for all their citizens. The Anglican church in both countries plays a crucial part in this process and I want to pay tribute to the church and its leaders for their consistent witness and generous service."

Williams will be a guest of the Anglican primates in both provinces: Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Church of the Congo and Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya.

In Kenya, Williams will join in with the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Nakuru which will include the presentation of certificates to clergy who have completed 25 years of continuous service, the release said.

He will attend the dedication of a site for the building of the proposed Kenya Anglican University (KAU) near Mount Kenya and visit local development initiatives where churches and their communities are trying to overcome poverty and adapt to climate change, including a successful biogas project in the Diocese of Machakos. He also will participate in a symposium in Nairobi to discuss the church's mission in the 21st century.

In the Congo, the archbishop will visit Bunia, in the east of the country, where he will meet with church and government leaders and young people including former child soldiers, the release said. Williams will then travel to Boga where he will celebrate with the church and community in the founding place of the Anglican Church in Congo. He also will meet with survivors of sexual violence, as well as indigenous people who have been displaced by the conflict from their homes in the rainforest. He will preach at a Eucharistic service at St. Apollo Cathedral before returning to Bunia to visit the new Anglican University of Congo to meet staff and students.