Archbishop of Canterbury to host Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The Archbishop of Canterbury will host His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit to London. It will be the second meeting between the two leaders, who first met in Istanbul last year, and in June this year made a joint call for action on climate change. 

During the visit the two leaders will discuss issues facing the Anglican and Orthodox Churches and the wider world, and attend services in Anglican and Orthodox cathedrals. On Monday 2 November the Ecumenical Patriarch will preside at the Great Doxology in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be present at the service. The Patriarch will also be spending time with leaders and members of the Greek Orthodox community in London. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is based in Istanbul, Turkey, is Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, and occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church worldwide. 

His All-Holiness’s visit will begin on Monday when he will meet with Archbishop Justin at Lambeth Palace, before visiting the office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. Archbishop Justin will then join the Ecumenical Patriarch for evening worship at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 

On Tuesday morning the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop will spend time in private discussion on issues facing the Anglican and Orthodox churches and the wider world. These will include discussing joint Christian efforts for the protection of the environment, along with the effects of global warming. 

Equally they will be considering the urgent social and pastoral problems created by the massive migration from the Middle East. They will then participate in a discussion on environmental issues at Lambeth Palace. The session, to be moderated by the Bishop of London, will feature contributions from the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Revd Archdeacon Dr John Chryssavgis, and the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nick Holtam. 

The Archbishop will be providing an initial input. His All-Holiness and Archbishop Justin will then lead an ecumenical prayer vigil for all those affected by conflict, persecution, climate change and the refugee crisis. After meeting with members of the Chemin Neuf and St Anselm communities based at Lambeth Palace, the Patriarch will attend a special choral evensong at Westminster Abbey with Archbishop Justin. 

The Abbey Evensong will have some significant moments: An agreed statement “In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology” (fruit of the work of International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue) will be presented to Archbishop Justin and the Ecumenical Patriarch; both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch will address the congregation; and there will also be a memorial tribute at the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor. Both leaders will then close the service with the blessing.

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