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Archbishop to Visit China

Tuesday 1st August 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has announced today that he is to visit China this autumn. The visit is at the invitation of the senior leadership of the post-denominational Protestant Churches in China. It will take in five cities, including the capital, Beijing.

Dr Williams' visit will take place from 8-23rd October 2006, starting in Shanghai before continuing inland. It is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the Church in China and the varied context in which it is developing. The wide-ranging programme will include opportunities to engage with religious leaders, academics, government officials, NGOs and business leaders on the contemporary challenges facing both Church and society. It will build on the visits of previous Archbishops of Canterbury in 1983 and 1994.

Dr Williams said:

"I am greatly looking forward to my first direct encounter with China. I very much welcome this opportunity to come alongside the Church in China, as well as to gain a fuller appreciation of China's remarkable development in recent years and its unique cultural heritage. I am most grateful to Presbyter Ji Jianhong, the Chairperson of the National Committee of the Three Self Patriotic Movement, and to Revd Cao Shengjie, the President of the China Christian Council, for their invitation."

The programme is still being finalised; further information will be made available in September.

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