New Anglican director for reconciliation

The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed Canon David Porter as Director for Reconciliation at Lambeth Palace.

Canon Porter already works in reconciliation ministry at Coventry Cathedral and will bring his experience to Lambeth Palace and the wider Church. This includes chairing the Northern Ireland Civic Forum's working group on peacebuilding and reconciliation, and serving as a member of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

He will support the Church as it seeks to transform the violent conflicts affecting people around the world.

This will begin with a renewal of conversations and relationships focusing on "deeply held differences" within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop's office said.

Parts of the Anglican Communion have been at odds over thorny issues like women bishops and homosexuality.

Canon David will remain Canon Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral, a role he has held since 2008, whilst working part time on the Archbishop's personal staff.

Canon Porter 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.

"It is a privilege to be asked to take on this responsibility for Archbishop Justin and I look forward to working with him in serving the Church in making reconciliation and peacebuilding a theological and practical priority in its life and witness."

Speaking about the appointment, Archbishop Justin Welby said: "David brings a wealth of experience in reconciliation and peacebuilding from his work in Northern Ireland and through the Community of the Cross of Nails in Coventry.

"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 have always handled our own conflicts wisely, but it is essential that we work towards demonstrating ways of reducing destructive conflict in our world - and also to setting an example of how to manage conflict within the Church."