Archbishops of Sudan and Canterbury to meet

by Jonathan Ball last modified 02 Dec, 2011 05:47 PM

The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS), Dr Daniel Deng is visiting Salisbury and London from 29 November – 5 December.

Archbishops of Sudan and Canterbury to meet

The Bishop of Salisbury with the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan

The Archbishop was unable to attend the enthronement of the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, due to his leading role in peace negotiations in South Sudan. His visit here has been arranged at short notice due to the volatile situation which continues.

Dr Deng seeks to brief the Archbishop of Canterbury and representatives of the Government on the situation in Sudan. The division of the country has led to conflict in disputed border areas as thousands of Christians living in the northern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile were purged by the northern army of President Omar El-Bashir.

The President, who has been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court, has declared that Sudan is to adopt Islamic Sharia Law.

Dr. Deng will travel to London on Thursday 1 December with the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, where he will meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, before moving to the Foreign Office for discussions with the Sudan Unit.

On Friday 2 December it is hoped the Archbishop will take part in the Radio 4 Daily Service which Bishop Holtam is to present at 10.45, before taking part in an open ‘Any Questions?’ evening at 7.30pm in the United Reformed Church, Holt, near Bradford-on-Avon.

Dr Deng will preach in Salisbury Cathedral on Sunday 4 December and return to South Sudan the following day.

The Diocese of Salisbury has been linked with the ECS for 39 years. The Link’s partners currently include contacts in Parliament, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, non-governmental organisations and other international partners.

Bishop Holtam said today, ‘I am delighted to have this early opportunity to welcome Archbishop Daniel Deng and his wife Mama Deborah here. I will do all I can both to assist the Church in its work for peace in Sudan, but also to foster Salisbury’s link with the ECS, which is one of the best things about becoming Bishop here.’

 

 The Archbishop spoke on Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 2 December. To listen please click

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9653000/9653519.stm

 

Bishop rNicholas ecently returned from a visit with the Dean of Salisbury

to the first Provincial Synod for five years, whose final communique is below:

 

Communiqué from the ECS Provincial Synod

All Saints Cathedral, Juba

18 November 2011

 

Theme: Seeing God’s Hand at Work for a New Beginning in the Life of His People

(Rev 21.5)

 

Preamble

The Synod, comprising representatives of the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity

from the 31 dioceses of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, under the leadership of the

Most Rev Dr Daniel Deng Bul Yak convened for the Ninth ECS General Synod between

13th and 16th November 2011 in order to discuss issues of importance to the nation and

to the Church. Parts of our meeting were honoured with the presence of the Special

Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms Hilde Johnson, HE

Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, HE Hellen

Mushal, Central Equatoria State Minister for Social Development and Religious

Affairs, the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev Canon Joanna Udal,

Rt Rev Nicolas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Rt Rev David Jones, Bishop Suffragan

of Virginia, as well as other church partners from the United Kingdom and the United

States. It was the first general synod since the independence of the Republic of South

Sudan

 

Observations and Commitments

The ECS synod reaffirmed its commitment to serving Jesus Christ in both Sudan and

South Sudan through the continued proclamation of the Gospel, through national and

international advocacy efforts for peace and reconciliation between the communities

of conflict in Sudan and South Sudan, and through service delivery in the areas of

healthcare, education and social development.

 

Proclaiming the Gospel

In order to proclaim the gospel, the ECS will continue its efforts of high-level political

and grassroots evangelisation in order to reach all the communities of the Sudan and

South Sudan. The ECS will also continue to adhere to the traditions of the Anglican

Communion through use of the Prayer Book and training to new and existing pastors

on the meaning of Anglicanism.

 

National and International Advocacy Efforts

We strongly condemn the persistent aerial bombardment of civilian territories,

summary executions of innocents, and combat in civilian areas in the Nuba

Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, Upper Nile State and Unity State. The bombs that fall

are indiscriminate; they kill and maim young and old, man and woman, Christian and

Muslim. In short, innocent civilians have become a target and their suffering has

become political currency. We categorically denounce these heinous activities, crimes

against humanity that further traumatise the people of Sudan and South Sudan.

We advise the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to return to

the negotiating table and discuss national issues in a way amenable to peace and

stability. We urge both governments to resolve any differences peacefully and not to

resort to war and killing of the innocent civilians who yearn for peace.

We remind all that the cancer of Western Equatoria State, namely the Lord’s

Resistance Army, persists and requires immediate and committed international

mediation for the most equitable solution for peace. We maintain the position that

peaceful methods of engagement should prevail and urge the Government of South

Sudan and the Government of Western Equatoria to redouble their efforts particularly

concerning civilian protection.

 

The persistent insecurity and conflict caused by conflict between rebel groups and the

South Sudan Army and skirmishes between armed civil groups in Jonglei is an issue of

great concern to the ECS. We want to see a peace in Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest

state by land mass and population, that is real and lasting, and our brothers and sisters

in Jonglei liberated from their bondage of violence.

 

Therefore, in the area of advocacy for peace and reconciliation, the ECS will remain

committed to its national and international partners but particularly to the

Government of South Sudan, the relevant state governments and the United Nations

in order to collectively implement a peace process throughout Sudan and South

Sudan. The ECS will remain a beacon of the hope of Jesus Christ so that the people of

Sudan and South Sudan, traumatised by decades of devastating civil war, recognise the

renaissance of their time and the hope of this new beginning.

 

Service Delivery

The ECS synod believes that the people of Sudan, but especially South Sudan, are yet

to receive and experience the peace dividends proposed in the Comprehensive Peace

Agreement and promised by many particularly during the national elections in April

2010. We remain committed to collaborating with national and international partners

to enhance and extend basic services, namely education and healthcare provision, to

all people in Sudan and South Sudan. We will endeavour to mobilise our own local

resources in order to improve and establish basic services in the two countries whilst

also encouraging our congregations and our representatives in government to do the

same.

 

Stewardship and care for our environment

Finally, we call on all citizens of Sudan and South Sudan to be good stewards over the

land God has given us. We must all do what we can to ensure that our natural

resources and our environment are not destroyed through carelessness or vandalism.

The mass civil displacement we all see and experience due to the old and current wars

in Sudan has resulted in deforestation, pollution and destruction of some of our

precious landmarks. Let us all strive to abide by the guidelines God gives us in Genesis

to protect this beautiful land of ours.

 

Returning to the theme of this statement, the independence of South Sudan is a

miracle in the lives of the people of South Sudan and an example of God’s hand at

work. However, we must trust and believe that God still has more work to do in our

lives. The plight of our Christian brothers remains a point of constant sorrow to the

ECS. Let us all contemplate on the suffering of Jesus Christ whose precious blood

bought us all grace, hope and a new beginning and allow God to work with us and

through us to the glory of His name and for the sake of peace and development in our

land.

 

God bless Sudan

God bless South Sudan

God bless the Episcopal Church of the Sudan

 

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