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Archbishop's new Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs

Tuesday 17th February 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is pleased to appoint the Revd Canon Joanna Udal to serve as the Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs, based at Lambeth Palace.

She said: "It's an exciting time to be involved as we try to build on the positive encounters of the Lambeth Conference and to rebuild mutual trust and recognition.  We're challenged to keep uppermost that God's mission is for the world, as together we seek to be conformed to Christ in our identity and in our common life."

Since 2001, Canon Joanna has been serving in the Sudan as Assistant to the Archbishop of the Sudan, an appointment made jointly through the Church Mission Society and Lambeth Palace.  In this work she has travelled widely in Sudan and internationally, supporting the Archbishop in his public ministry. 

In a period marked by violent conflict in Sudan, peace-building and advocacy have been an important focus of her work.  As a member of the church's Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission, she has participated in peace-building workshops in many parts of the country and in 2008 she facilitated a national peace conference bringing together church leaders and community chiefs and representatives from all parts of the Sudan.

Her work has had a strong ecumenical dimension, contributing to ecumenical advocacy initiatives and in serving as Steering Group Secretary for the joint work between the Anglican and Catholic bishops in the Sudan.  From 2003-5 she co-ordinated a strategic review of theological education in Sudan and more recently she has participated in a feasibility study for the establishing of a church university.

"My time in Sudan has convinced me of the vital importance of our fellowship together as part of the Anglican Communion.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve that Communion in my new role in support of the Archbishop of Canterbury."

Canon Joanna holds degrees in theology and mathematics from Oxford and Durham universities and has undertaken further studies in Birmingham, Rome and in Geneva where she participated in the Graduate School of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey.  She was ordained in 1997 in the Diocese of London where in addition to her parish duties she served as Secretary of the ecumenical body Churchlink West London and as an alternate succentor at St Paul's Cathedral.  In Sudan she has served as a priest at All Saints' Cathedral in Khartoum and in 2007 was also made a Provincial Canon of All Saints' Cathedral in Juba.  Before training for ordination she worked for the international shipping industry in the field of international policy.

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