7 December 2022

Christians not called to be unanimous, but to be united: Welby

Kirralee Nicolle

9 October 2022

God is capable of creating a people who can tackle issues of climate change, war and aggession, the Archbishop of Canterbury has encouraged attendees at a Provincial Choral Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The 9 October event featured more than 1000 clergy and parishioners from across Victoria.

Both Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne the Most Reverend Philip Freier and Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne the Most Reverend Peter Comensoli were in attendance, as well as bishops and parishioners from the Uniting and Lutheran denominations.

Archbishop Welby spoke with regret of the Stolen Generations and other effects of colonialism, as well as the early disunity between the Anglican and Catholic clergy in Melbourne.

“The heart of the call of God to all Christian people is not that they are unanimous, but that they are united,” he said.

“God is the one who is capable of transforming his people and creating a people who can tackle climate change, war, selfishness, aggression [and] narcissism.”

Read more: ‘Only good’ can come from relationship building at Lambeth: Bishop

Archbishop Welby said the recent Lambeth Conference had featured bishops from across the globe, with differing levels of education and unique cultural backgrounds. Archbishop Welby said that no matter the culture, gender or sexual orientation, each person in the world had the same call.

“Is it any surprise that we have different views?” he said.

Archbishop Welby said the church needed to look forward to the future in love.

“One hundred and seventy-five years is not only a time of thankfulness, it’s a time of hopefulness,” he said.

Francesca Lamond of Saint Thomas Anglican Church in Bunyip, Gippsland, said she believed she had been led to attend the event.

“I am feeling so blessed and grateful to be here,” she said. “I love being a part of something like this. We’ve stepped into history.”

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