Welby to visit Israel
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to visit Israel in May, accompanied by his wife Caroline.
The couple spent their honeymoon there and Archbishop Welby is said to be “thrilled” at the prospect of returning.
For security reasons few details of the trip have yet been confirmed, but it is known that the Archbishop will give a major speech on the theme of reconciliation at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa.
The visit, expected to last for up to 12 days, will take in Amman, Jerusalem, Haifa and Acre, as well as Bethlehem.
A member of the Archbishop’s staff, who have made a number of preliminary trips to Israel, said the Archbishop hoped to have meetings with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and, possibily, with Benjamin Netanyahu.
During the visit the Archbishop will be installed as an episcopal cannon at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, with members of many different Christian denominations present at the service.
He is also expected to visit the Kotel and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and hopes for a possible meeting with Israel’s chief rabbis.
On the advice of the Foreign office, his delegation will not speak to Hamas leaders or Israeli settlers.