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Archbishop: Sudan 'is Not Forgotten'

Monday 27th February 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has begun an 8 day visit to Sudan by telling the Christian community that they have been very much in his prayers.

"Day by day we remember you in our prayers. You are not forgotten here and when I return it will be a joy to share with fellow Christians in Britain what I have seen here and what I have learnt from you."

The Archbishop of Canterbury was preaching at a displaced people's camp at Al-Gariya on the outskirts of Khartoum. In his sermon on glory he outlined the role of the Church.

"As we try to show one another the love of God we make a light in the darkness; we make it possible for those who live in darkness or despair to see glory. Wherever we are, whatever the difficulty, whatever the challenge before us, we are still able to make that light shine".

Later, in Khartoum itself, Dr Williams addressed a packed gathering under canvas in the compound outside the offices of the Episcopal Church in Sudan. After greetings from church and civic leaders the Archbishop praised the Church for its faithfulness during the conflict.

"Let me say I have not come simply to speak good news, I have come to hear the good news that you have to speak to me, because for many years our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan have spoken good news to the whole of the Christian Church. Their courage, their witness, their endurance have been a gift to us all. We see all the time how the Church here makes its contribution to peace - to lasting peace.

The calling of God's Christian people here in this country is to be beautiful, because they are messengers of peace - the calling of God's people here is to say, in this place, at this time, 'we can live so that the others can live also'".

Dr Williams said that the Church would have its part to play in the reconstruction of the country:

"I shall want to hear about how you will come to have a full share in the good things of this country; and I shall need also to learn what must be done to make sure that, when displaced people are able to return to their homes, there will be real homes for them to live in - there will be roads, there will be food, there will be water. We know how urgent these needs are and that is what we shall pray for and work for with you".

Dr Williams' visit to Sudan continues tomorrow with the dedication of a new Anglican Cathedral in Renk. On Wednesday he will be visiting a World Food Programme project in Malakal.

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