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Archbishop to pay a pastoral visit to the Church of the Province of Central Africa

Wednesday 5th October 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams is today embarking on a week-long pastoral visit to the Church in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia at the invitation of the Archbishop of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt Revd Albert Chama.

During the course of the week Dr Williams will meet with bishops, clergy and parishioners to celebrate the life and ministry of the Anglican Church in the region.

The visit will begin in Malawi with a special service of celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Church in Malawi before going on to look at a number of Church initiatives set up to help vulnerable groups in the local communities. These will include a Mothers’ Union literacy circle which is part of a country-wide initiative that has proved to be a highly successful and cost-effective method of increasing the literacy rates in Malawi. The Mothers’ Union also plays a key part in developing sustainable farming methods in the rural communities - teaching local women about permaculture agriculture which enables them to create micro-agriculture and animal husbandry businesses - and so increasing the economic strength of the villages. Dr Williams will have the opportunity to witness at first hand the positive effects of these projects on the farming community in the area.

Whilst in Zimbabwe (9th – 10th October) the Archbishop will preach at a Eucharist at the City Sports Centre in Harare on the Sunday, and meet local Anglicans and their bishops who continue to serve the community despite an environment of disruption, intimidation and even violence in recent times.  Dr Williams will visit grassroots Church projects that provide care for orphans as well as other vulnerable groups such as those living with HIV and related illnesses.

The visit will conclude in the city of Kitwe, located in the heart of Zambia’s copperbelt, where Dr Williams will preach at an outdoor Eucharist in the city stadium where bishops and clergy and representatives of the Mothers’ Union, youth fellowship and many local people will have gathered. He will also take part in a national clergy conference at the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, giving an address on “Opportunities for and challenges to growth in the Anglican Communion”.

Dr Williams returns to the UK on 13th October.

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