Compass Rose Society members meet in London, visit Southern Malawi diocese

October 13, 2009

At the annual meeting of the Compass Rose Society, held in London September 29-30, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams reviewed with members his recent trip to Japan and described efforts to coordinate the work of Anglican relief agencies throughout the communion.

Following the meeting, 15 members, including the society's president, Suffragan Bishop Philip Poole of York-Credit Valley in the Diocese of Toronto, traveled to Blantyre, Malawi, to visit the Diocese of Southern Malawi and its bishop, James Tengatenga.

The Malawi program included visits to parishes, clinics and schools in the diocese and the annual celebrations at Magomero, which mark the 1861 introduction of Christianity into the area by missionaries traveling with David Livingstone. On Sunday, Poole preached at St. Paul's Cathedral in Blantyre. "Seeing the abundant ministry of the church in Malawi in the midst of such scarce resources affected members profoundly," a CRS press release said.

Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani was to be the society's guest speaker in London, but his permit application to use the Tel Aviv airport was not granted by the Israeli authorities in time for the meeting.

Dawani, a Palestinian, was denied access to the airport after completing the usual and customary protocols required by Israeli authorities, the CRS release said.

Poole expressed his disappointment at the decision. "It is difficult to understand what interest was served by keeping Bishop Suheil from attending this international gathering of Anglicans," he said.

Dawani's prepared remarks were read to the CRS members. He described a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-lingual diocese situated in a multi-faith and ecumenical world. He described the diocese's work of pastoral care, improvements in education and health care and furthering relationships between Christians, Muslims and Jews in the land of the Holy One.

The Compass Rose Society supports the ministries of the Archbishop of Canterbury by providing annual financial support and enhancing communication within the communion through personal contact. Founded in 1997, the society takes its name from the symbol of the Anglican Communion.

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