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Letter sent to Archbishop Robin Eames on publication of the Windsor Report

Friday 15th October 2004

The following letter was written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

My dear Robin,

Thank you for presenting to me the Lambeth Commission Report. Before saying anything further, I must pay the warmest possible tribute to you and your colleagues in this work; I am deeply appreciative of the dedication and skill you have all brought to this task and for what you have achieved. Expectations have been high - and divergent as well - and the pressure on you in these last months must have been very heavy.

I shall continue to read the report with care, but should like to offer a few immediate thoughts, recognising that we shall all have the opportunity in the coming period for more extended reflections.

The road you have travelled in the Commission has not been a simple one and you are not offering the Communion any easy solutions now. As you have made clear, you have kept firmly in view the principle that the goal of any action must be healing and restoration, not punishment, as an end in itself; but you have certainly not commended a passive response.

You have called us to behave in a maturely Christian way so as to become the Church God wants us to be. I hope that the Communion will, at every level, reflect not only on the specific recommendations you set before us but also on the spiritual challenge you present, before we begin to offer our responses. You have given all of us work to do and you do not suggest any short cuts.

I am very pleased that you have been able to stand together as a Commission in commending these proposals. I am well aware that the members of the Commission entered on their  work with a great variety of loyalties and convictions, and represented people looking for very different remedies. That you have been able to offer the Communion a unanimous report gives me great encouragement that the process you have been through as a group may help set a pattern for the Communion itself in the demanding journey that lies ahead.

I commend this report and its proposals for discussion and reflection by our fellow primates, a task which we are due to begin at the Primates' Standing Committee next week. I am sure we will also wish to give serious consideration to facilitating responses to the report from Anglicans and others worldwide.

Our shared aim must be the strengthening of our understanding of and commitment to our common life. May God help us to listen afresh to each other as we think through what you have given us and work out its implications. The Commission evidently longs to see a renewed and re-energised Communion, better able to work in co-operation. God help us to move towards that goal in faithfulness and confidence.

With every blessing and good wish,

+Rowan Cantuar:

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