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Visit to South Africa and Angola

Thursday 1st March 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to visit South Africa and Angola as part of a visit to the Anglican Province of Southern Africa next week (5th - 13th March 2007).

The visit, announced in the Archbishop's Presidential Address to the Church of England's General Synod on Monday, will take in a special Anglican Communion Conference on the church's contribution to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in South Africa, as well as a visit to Angola.

The TEAM conference (Towards Effective Anglican Mission) is being held near Johannesburg. It is being hosted by the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndugane, and brings together those working from the church to end the scandal of extreme poverty, stop the spread of HIV and ensure proper care and treatment of those affected by the virus. Around 350 people are expected to attend from across the Anglican Communion to discuss how the church can do more as one of the world's largest grass roots development networks.

A key theme is the Christian faith as a powerful component in the transformation of motivation needed to end poverty and face the issues of climate change both in the affluent North and global South. Dr Williams said:

"It is upon the grass roots delivery networks of the churches in Africa that achieving the millennium development goals will depend, to a very great extent". 

Dr Williams will preach at the opening Eucharist in Tsakana and give a keynote address at the Conference on Wednesday (7th March, 2007) on the biblical principles for social activism and programmes by the church.

On Friday 9th March 2007 Dr Williams will travel to the recently inaugurated diocese of Angola. Whilst in the country he will dedicate two schools, attend a Eucharist in a football stadium in Uige, and visit a shrine in memory of clergy and others killed during the struggle for independence from Portugal and in the subsequent civil war. Dr Williams will see at first hand development and human rights work being undertaken in conjunction with the Church. He will meet government and non-governmental leaders as well as those working to encourage better human rights and a wider civil society in a country emerging from the effects of decades of civil war.

Dr Williams said the visit would be vital in coordinating what the churches of the Anglican Communion had to offer:

"The TEAM meeting represents the best opportunity Anglicans will have in the coming year to put the extraordinary human resources of our Communion at the service of the most vulnerable in our world and our own local communities. Angola is one of the youngest and most vulnerable of our Anglican churches. The new Diocese of Angola is growing rapidly and is engaged both in active development work and in a fast-expanding programme of primary evangelisation. I am hoping to hear at first hand of their experience, see some of the aid and development work that they are involved with and take them encouragement from their brothers and sisters across the Anglican Communion."


Notes for editors:
1. Extracts from the programme:

Tuesday 6th March 2007
AM Arrive in South Africa
11.00 TEAM press conference

Wednesday 7th March
11.00 Keynote address at TEAM conference

Thursday 8th March
All day TEAM conference

Friday 9th March 2007
AM Courtesy calls
Transfer to Luanda
Evening Attend evening reception hosted by the British Ambassador: includes church leaders, NGO workers.

Saturday 10 March 2007
AM Transfer to Uige
Visit to All Martyr's Church Eucharist at Uige Football Club Indoor Stadium
Return to Luanda
Dedication of St Stephen's Parish School

Sunday 11 March 2007
1000 Eucharist and reception at a basketball stadium
1800 Ecumenical evening worship and lecture: 'The role of the Church in post-conflict reconstruction'
(To be held at either the Catholic Cathedral or the Methodist Church).
1900 Christian Aid/World Vision dinner

Monday 12 March 2007
0830 Visit Christian Aid Mabor project - an NGO/Church-run women's training programme
PM Courtesy calls

Tuesday 13 March 2007
Return to London

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