Evangelism and Missions

Twitter chorus of approval greets Archbishop of Canterbury’s new peace advisor

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Lambeth Palace – The Archbishop of Canterbury’s new advisor for reconciliation, Sarah Snyder

Women bishops, homosexuality, divisions between the West and the developing world – these are just some of the issues the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reconciliation chief must master.

A warm welcome greeted the new woman in the post, announced today by Justin Welby.

Sarah Snyder takes over in September from Canon David Porter who has already become chief of staff and strategy at Lambeth Palace.

She will also work out of Coventry Cathedral, where the Archbishop’s reconciliation ministry is based. Her role will have a particular emphasis on supporting the Church in contexts of violent conflict or post-conflict and helping the Church to be an agent of reconciliation and conflict-transformation.

Behind these headlines are serious issues of national and international conflict around the world.

With her many years of expertise in relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims, Snyder, a trained mediator, has vast experience in behind-the-scenes peace-building and dialogue.

Her previous work has included a senior role with Religions for Peace International, affiliated to the United Nations, and she also directed the Cambridge International Summer Schools for faith leaders from conflict zones.

Snyder also works with St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City of London, which helps individuals and communities to work together in a place that has become a symbol of hope around the world. St Ethelburga was small medieval church that was rebuilt for its current use after it was gutted by an IRA bomb in 1993.

Mike Higton, theology professor at Durham university, tweeted:

Corrymeela, the reconciliation community in Ireland, was “delighted”:

Mission theologian Graham Kings said the appointment was “excellent”:

Welby also tweeted he was “delighted” and added in a statement: “Sarah brings a wealth of experience and many gifts to the role which will enrich both her reconciliation work and the senior team at Lambeth Palace. I am also grateful for the continued partnership with Coventry Cathedral where my reconciliation ministry will continue to be based. Events in recent weeks remind us that that reconciliation is more of a priority than ever – this is the hope we offer in the good news of Jesus.”

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