On taking office in March 2013, Archbishop Justin announced three priority areas for his ministry over the coming years.
“If we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer. It starts with a new spirit of prayer, using all the traditions, ancient and modern. When it comes, it will be linked to what has gone before, but it will look different – because it is a new renewal for new times. God’s created community is perfectly designed for its time and place. It almost always comes from below. It comes from Christians seeking Christ.”
Prayer matters, and prayer changes things. History shows that a renewal of prayer can result not just in churches transformed, but whole societies too. Today, all over Europe, new communities of prayer are growing. By making the renewal of prayer the first priority of his ministry, Archbishop Justin hopes to encourage both existing and new religious communities in Britain.
As part of this, from January 2014, four members of Chemin Neuf - a Roman Catholic community with an ecumenical and teaching vocation - have come to live at Lambeth Palace to share in the daily round of prayer, as well as hospitality, which necessarily underpins everything else that happens here.
“Reconciliation doesn’t mean we all agree. It means we find ways of disagreeing – perhaps very passionately – but loving each other deeply at the same time, and being deeply committed to each other. That’s the challenge for the church if we are actually going to speak to our society, which is increasingly divided in many different ways.”
Reconciliation is about our relationships - with God and with each other. It involves people, communities and nations learning to live together with deeply-held
differences – in a spirit of love and respect. It is to work for justice and seek truth in the light of God’s mercy and peace. For Christians this is not optional: it’s the very heart of the gospel. As we are reconciled in Jesus we now share this gift of God with each other and the whole human family.
Reconciliation transforms how we live with the inevitable conflict life brings, while itself bringing us into conflict with all that excludes and diminishes people and communities. On the journey of reconciliation enemies become friends and hope replaces despair.
Archbishop Justin’s ministry of reconciliation is focused in three areas:
“Making evangelism a priority is not simply a growth strategy, or a desperate attempt to fill empty churches. It is about faithfully and effectively witnessing to Jesus Christ, who is himself the principal agent of the good news. When the Church engages in evangelism imaginatively – through prayer, listening, proclaiming and responding – people become disciples of Jesus and churches grow.”
Archbishop Justin has made evangelism a priority because it’s the only response there is to what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. As Christians we know
that Jesus proves God has chosen to be for all people – offering his love to each of us without conditions. Through his life, teaching, death and resurrection, Jesus shows that God has completely changed this world, these communities, and our lives.
So many people are living with no knowledge of what God has done to entirely change their situation. Evangelism means sharing this good news, because it’s too good to keep to ourselves.
Archbishop Justin is listening to voices from throughout the church, and developing ideas for how he can support this sharing through evangelism and witness: