Presiding Bishop elect Katharine Jefferts Schori meets Archbishop Rowan Williams

rchbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – hosting a discussion that affirmed the Episcopal Church’s commitment to the shared ministries of the Anglican Communion — welcomed Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori to Lambeth Palace October 27 for a 90-minute meeting described as a “cordial and collegial” exchange.

The morning visit, requested by Griswold last spring, provided the Presiding Bishop the opportunity to introduce his successor to the Archbishop in the week preceding the November 1 start of the nine-year tenure to which she was elected June 18.

“I was pleased to see the warmth of cordial interaction between the Archbishop and the Presiding Bishop-elect,” Griswold said after the meeting, where the three shared private conversations for which no observers were present.

Jefferts Schori stated her appreciation for the “frank conversation about challenges in the Communion,” and for “the opportunity to meet together face to face and begin a relationship that we hope will be fruitful and collegial.”

Griswold stressed the importance of relational collaboration, noting that “at the heart of communion is found the reality of incarnation.”

Williams greeted Griswold and Jefferts Schori in the State Room of Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s official London residence since the year 1197. After their meeting in the Archbishop’s office, Williams accompanied his guests downstairs into the palace grounds prior to their departure.

Lambeth Palace also announced that England’s Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt. Rev. John Saxbee, will represent the Archbishop of Canterbury in Washington D.C. at Jefferts Schori’s November 4 investiture as the Episcopal Church’s 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate. The Anglican Communion’s Secretary General, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, will also attend the liturgy, set for the Washington National Cathedral.

After departing Lambeth Palace, Griswold and Jefferts Schori joined the congregation for a noontime Eucharist at nearby St. Matthew’s Church, Westminster. In an unexpected moment, Ephesians 4:1-6 was read as one of the day’s scripture lessons, significant because the passage is also scheduled to be read at Jefferts Schori’s upcoming investiture.

The Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop-elect later visited Westminster Abbey to join the congregation for Evensong.

Jefferts Schori officially concluded on October 25 more than five years of ministry as bishop of the Diocese of Nevada. The House of Bishops elected her 26th Presiding Bishop during the 75th General Convention’s nine-day meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The House of Deputies affirmed the vote the same day.

Canon Robert Williams, director of communication for the Episcopal Church, is travelling with the Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop-elect in London.

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