King meets Archbishop and faith leaders

King Charles with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Lambeth Palace Library.(Photo: Lambeth Palace/Neil Turner)

King Charles III joined a reception of faith leaders hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on Thursday.

The reception coincided with Inter Faith Week and was attended by over 30 faith leaders.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Aliya Azam of the Al Khoei Foundation, and the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, were among the faith leaders in attendance.

The reception was held at the Lambeth Palace Library in the grounds of the Archbishop of Canterbury's official residence in London.

Lambeth described the gathering as an "opportunity for faith leaders to talk to the King and Archbishop Justin about what their communities are experiencing in the light of global conflicts, and how those conflicts far away affect community relations in this country".

It was King Charles' first visit to the library since his accession to the throne and the first by a monarch since his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, paid a visit in 2012 coinciding with her Diamond Jubilee.

Prior to the reception, the King was shown rare and precious items in the Lambeth Palace Library collection including Qurans, a Hebrew dictionary, historic religious scrolls dating back to the 13th and 16th centuries, and letters of friendship between global faith leaders.

Commenting on the visit, Archbishop Welby said it was a "great honour" to welcome King Charles to the library.

"These are challenging times for faith communities in the UK, particularly with the ongoing war in the Middle East," he said.

"The visit reflects the King's longstanding commitment to supporting all faiths in the UK, which we saw so powerfully at the Coronation. It also continues the exemplary work of Queen Elizabeth II, who championed the Church of England's duty to protect the freedom of all faiths in this country.

"Jesus Christ calls us to be peacemakers, and that is especially important right now. I hope this visit by the King inspires the Church of England to continue in our calling to love our neighbours and help bring communities together."