In June, Archbishop Ian Ernest, the Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, embarked on a significant visit to the United Kingdom. The visit served as an opportunity to thank existing supporters of the Anglican Centre in Rome, raise awareness about the Centre's vital work, and inspire new contributions towards fostering a hope-filled ecumenical awareness.

Visit to the Diocese of York.

On the 12th of June, upon the invitation of the Archbishop of York Archbishop Ian started his visit to the UK by meeting Friends of the Anglican Centre from the North of England. He was warmly welcomed by Archbishop Stephen his wife Rebecca and members of his staff. On the 13th, the Archbishop of York presided over a meeting with the UK friends. Both Archbishops were thrilled to be joined by Bishop John Flack, a former director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, for this joyous occasion. At this gathering, the continuous and enduring legacy of the Anglican Centre's deep ties with its UK Friends was reaffirmed.

Saint John the Divine, Kennington, London

On the 15th of June, The visit continued with a gathering at Saint John the Divine in Kennington, London, where a substantial gathering of attendees, including many who were previously unaware of the Anglican Centre, congregated. The occasion hosted by Father Mark Williams was a resounding success, highlighting the Centre's mission and its impactful initiatives. Archbishop Ian eloquently conveyed the importance of ecumenism, highlighting the Centre’s role in bridging gaps between different Christian communities worldwide. He further emphasised the Centre’s commitment to participating in the realisation of a vision of Oneness in Christ.

Ripon Cathedral

Additionally, Father John Bennet, his wife Rita and the Dean, the Very Reverend John Dobson hosted a welcoming event at Ripon Cathedral on the 21st of June. This helped in further strengthening the bonds between the Anglican Centre and Ripon Cathedral which has a memorial honouring the pioneering work of Bishop John Moorman as regards the mission of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield

Archbishop Ian’s visit to Mirfield was a poignant moment, given his personal connection to the Community of the Resurrection, where his father, a priest, trained at the College of the Resurrection in the late1940’s and where his illustrious predecessor, Archbishop Trevor Huddleston lived as a monk. . The community welcomed Archbishop Ian for the Midday Office and Mass before lunch. He spoke passionately about the Centre's work and its ecumenical efforts, reflecting on its historical significance and ongoing projects.

The Diocese of St. Asaph, Wales – 25-29 June

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, welcomed Archbishop Ian as guest speaker for the annual Hellins Lecture. Archbishop Ian delivered a compelling lecture on the work of ecumenism in Rome, delving into the historical roots of the Anglican Centre and discussing current projects that exemplify the Centre's commitment to fostering unity and understanding among Christian communities worldwide. This event was particularly well-received, offering attendees profound insights into the Centre’s global impact.

A copy of the lecture is now available to download:

https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/hellins-lecture-2024/

Additionally, Archbishop Ian conducted the pre-ordination retreat in the beautiful setting of St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre for six new priests and one new deacon. This was a time of deep reflection upon the meaning and purpose of ordained ministry. Those who attended were ordained by the Bishop of St Asaph in St Asaph Cathedral on Saturday, 29 June. Archbishop Ian preached during the service to an overflowing cathedral. It was a momentous occasion.

The visit served as a means for the Welsh establishment within the UK friends to be firmly resolved!

This visit to the UK was a pivotal moment for the Anglican Centre in Rome. It provided an opportunity to thank those supporting the Centre, encourage new contributions, and raise awareness about its mission. By fostering a hope-filled ecumenical awareness, Archbishop Ian's visit has strengthened the bonds between the Anglican Centre and the UK friends, old and new, promoting unity. This visit not only celebrated the Centre's achievements but also paved the way for future support and engagement in its vital work.

Revd Fr Dan Harris

Collaborator - ACR