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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop's visit to North Africa

Wednesday 28th January 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will visit North Africa from Wednesday 28th January until Friday 6th February 2009.

On Wednesday 28th January the Archbishop will arrive in Libya, where he will meet with local Christian and Muslim leaders and Government officials. The following day he will visit a primary school and a church-run community project in Tripoli, as well as viewing the historical site of Sabratha.

Dr Williams will then visit the campus of the World Islamic Call Society, giving a lecture titled 'How does God reveal himself?  A Christian perspective'.  Following the lecture, the Archbishop will answer questions. 

On Friday 30th January, the Archbishop will visit an historic mosque, before preaching at an Ecumenical service at the Anglican Church Christ the King (Santa Maria) and meeting local Christians. He will then travel to Egypt where he will meet with heads of Diocese and institutional leaders at All Saints Cathedral, in Cairo.

On 31st January he will meet with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, before undertaking a retreat at a Coptic Monastery. The Archbishop will then meet with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who will offer a welcoming reception for the Archbishop and Primates of the Anglican Communion.  On 1st February the Archbishop and Primates will visit the Alexandria School of Theology and afterwards preach at a service dedicating the historic St Marks Church as a pro-cathedral.

From 1st to 5th February the Archbishop will chair a meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion being held in Alexandria, Egypt.

Following the Primates Meeting, the Archbishop will undertake a number of pastoral engagements including returning to the Harpur Community Health Centre, for which he laid the foundation stone in September 2004.  On this visit Dr Williams will lay the foundation stone for a Centre for the Deaf in the 6th of October City in the presence of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Ali Goma'a.  The Archbishop will then visit the School for Deaf Children and the Deaf Training Unit in Cairo.

  • The World Islamic Call Society (WICS) is an Islamic benevolent organisation with members from around the world.  Its mandate is to work with Muslim and non-Muslim organisations to relieve the suffering of millions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean.
  • The Deaf Unit is part of the work of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, and provides an educational and social service to hearing-impaired people in Cairo. There are three main areas of work at The Deaf Unit. The first is a school, the second is a vocational training centre and the third is a deaf club.

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