Lambeth reconciler named
CANON DAVID PORTER, Director for Reconciliation at Coventr y Cathedral, has been seconded to the staff of Lambeth Palace to work part time on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff as Director for Reconciliation.
Canon Porter has been working to facilitate discussion between different sides in the debate over women priests. His new post will involve a focus on violent conflict around the world as well as on divisions within the Anglican Communion and the Church of England.
This is one of the first senior appointments announced by the new Archbishop and it provides an important clue about what he sees as his priorities. Reconciliation has been an important element in Archbishop Welby’s past ministry. He has been involved in dangerous negotiations to end kidnappings in Nigeria that have been a problem for the oil industry in the South of the country.
Canon Porter worked to bring reconciliation in Northern Ire- land before he moved to his present post at Coventry. From 2007 to 2011 he was a member of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council. He helped produce a report setting out how to deal with past troubles in N Ireland.
Commenting on his new position he said: “How we live with our deepest differences both within the Church and our increasingly fractured world, is one of the major challenges to the credibility of Christianity as good news.”
Speaking about the appointment, the Archbishop said: “Conflict is an ever-present reality both in the Church and wider society. Christians have been at the centre of reconciliation throughout history.
“We may not always have handled our own conflicts wisely, but it is essential that we work towards demonstrating ways of reducing conflict in our world – and also setting an example of how to manage conflict within the Church.”