Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, are expected to arrive in Canada on Monday, April 7, for a ” personal, pastoral visit,” with Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The brief visit is a part of Welby’s personal commitment to visit the primates (senior archbishops) of the Anglican Communion, to meet them and learn about their provinces prior to the next meeting of all the primates.
No major public events are planned, in keeping with Welby’s request that the visit be a private one. His itinerary for April 8, the one full day of his stay, will include a morning visit to the Sisters of St. John the Divine Convent, a private luncheon in support of Canterbury Cathedral and an afternoon meeting with General Synod leaders at the national office, followed by a reception with staff. Welby will then go to the Cathedral Church of St. James in downtown Toronto for an ecumenical vespers service at 4:30 p.m. and a meeting with ecumenical leaders from Canadian churches.
In the evening, he will attend and speak at a reception and dinner with Canadian Anglicans involved with the work of the Anglican Communion at Cathedral House.
He will leave early the following morning, to meet in the United States with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of The Episcopal Church.
Welby-who has had a long ministry in conflict resolution-announced his intention to visit every primate across the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office soon after he was enthroned. He has said that his visits are aimed at fostering friendship and “mutual understanding.” The 75-million strong Anglican Communion has been trying to heal divisions in theological differences over such issues as sexuality and the ordination of women.
Welby has already travelled to Barbados, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, among other countries.