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The Inauguration of David Richardson, Archbishop of Canterbury's personal representative in the Holy See

Wednesday 7th May 2008

Video and transcription of the Archbishop's blessing for David Richardson at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church, Rome.

The inauguration of David Richardson took place in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica Church in Rome. Pope John Paul II presented Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, with the Minor Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in 2001.
The Church is considered to be Rome's only Gothic Church and was built by Pompey directly over (sopra) the foundations of a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva.

The Very Revd David Richardson succeeds the Right Reverend John Flack, former Suffragan Bishop of Huntingdon, as the Archbishop of Canterbury's personal representative in the Holy See and the New Director for the Anglican Centre in Rome.


Brothers and sisters, you know the new and great commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ that all his disciples should love one another, being of one heart and mind and fellowship in him. To serve the cause of Christian unity is to serve the ministry and mission of the whole Church. It is a privilege and a joy, and in our unhappy divisions it is an urgent responsibility.

Will you actively seek the full, visible unity of all Christian people according to the will of Christ that the world may believe?

We will, the Lord being our light and salvation.

Will you pray regularly for David, and the work he undertakes as part of our common calling to manifest the unity of Christ's Body?

We will.

Will you uphold and encourage him in his service and ministry?

We will.

The God of peace brought again from the dead, our Lord Jesus that great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, make him perfect in every good work to do his will working in he knew that which is well pleasing in his sight. Bless him oh God Almighty, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Dr Williams congratulated David Richardson on his appointment: "I am delighted that someone of David Richardson's stature will be carrying forward the much-valued work of his predecessor, Bishop John Flack. His role at this important time builds on four decades of dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. It will be exercised in the context of the 'many areas of witness and service' which call for 'closer co-operation between us', as Pope Benedict and I affirmed in our Common Declaration last year."

David Richardson responded saying "I am delighted to accept this appointment and honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Governors of the Anglican Centre have placed this trust in me.

"I am also very pleased that this means the Anglican Church of Australia is able to be represented at this key level of the vitally important area of ecumenism.

"Archbishop Rowan and Pope Benedict are two of the great spiritual and intellectual visionaries of our time - men of profound intelligence, learning and holiness - and I am looking forward very much to doing whatever I can in this position to work with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Lambeth Palace in the cause of the Gospel and our shared ecumenical endeavour. I am also looking forward to promoting through the work of the Anglican Centre mutual understanding at every level, particularly in areas of divergent views, and to strengthening the bonds of affection and trust between our two communions."

Biography of David Richardson

David was born in 1946 in Queensland but spent most of his childhood in North Devon and then the Midlands where his father worked as a priest. David finished his schooling in Brisbane.

After studying English literature at the University of Queensland, David trained in theology at St Barnabas' College in Adelaide, Melbourne College of Divinity and then received his postgraduate diploma in Pastoral Theology at the University of Birmingham in the UK.

David remained in the UK and served his curacy at Great St Mary's, the University Church in Cambridge whilst also becoming a chaplain at Girton College in the university from 1976-1979. He then returned to St Barnabas' theological college as Sub-Warden where he taught New Testament Studies, Liturgy and Pastoral Care & Spirituality until 1982.

For the next five years, David was the Rector of St Lucia's in Brisbane. In 1988 David was invited to become the Dean of St Peter's cathedral in Adelaide at which he served for eleven years before becoming the Dean of St Paul's in 1999. Being responsible for two major cathedrals, David has worked with local and national civic leaders and with leaders of other Christian and faith traditions as well as nurturing the life of two major centres of Christian worship.

David's early interest in the world-wide church has been fostered by his experience of being for ten years the clerical representative for Australia on the Anglican Consultative Council (1992-2002). For the last twenty-five years he has also served on the Australian National Liturgical Commission and was its Executive Secretary for fifteen years. David also served for fifteen years on the ecumenical body, the Australian Consultation on Liturgy.

David is married to Margie, a clinical psychologist. They have two grown up children, Emma and Tom.

The Anglican Centre in Rome

The Anglican Centre in Rome was founded in 1966 with the encouragement of Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI. The Centre enables Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogue at every level and encourages the formation of lasting friendships between leading Roman Catholics and Anglicans. The Centre gives opportunities for Roman Catholics to learn more about the Anglican tradition and Anglicans to learn about the Roman Church. A place of study, for groups and individuals, the Centre offers hospitality, dialogue and prayer in the search for unity.

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