Archbishop of Canterbury makes healing divisions a priority for 2020

Justin WelbyLambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging people to make a New Year's resolution to reach out to someone they've lost contact with or fallen out with.

In a New Year's message to be broadcast on BBC One at 13:00 GMT and BBC Two at 16:30 GMT, the Most Rev Justin Welby is to suggest that people make a "heroic new year's resolution" to reach out to others and "start healing some of the divisions that we've seen over recent years".

"It could be someone you've always wanted to connect with... It could be someone you really disagree with," he is to say.

"Pick one person. Pick up the phone. Send them a text."

In his message, the Archbishop will also reflect on the heroism of lifeboat crews - a theme inspired by a recent visit to meet RNLI volunteers at a Dover lifeboat station. 

However, he will use that to draw parallels with the "act of heroism" of reaching out to those we have drifted away from. 

"We rightly think of lifeboat crews as heroic, although they may be embarrassed to hear that. Yet every time we reach out and connect with someone, it is an act of heroism. Don't underestimate it," he will say.

Concluding his message, he will encourage people to "make that connection" with those they have lost touch with and invite them for a cup of tea.

"Let's go for a heroic New Year's resolution. Let's resolve to reconnect," he will say.

"To reach out to just one person we don't know, or from whom we have drifted apart...

"Meet them for a cup of tea. Make that connection. Let's begin cementing our unity one brick at a time."