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Media Statement 09.11.12:

Posted on 9 November 2012

Press Release from Reform

Rod Thomas, the chairman of Reform, an evangelical body within the Church of England, today welcomed the announcement that the new Archbishop of Canterbury is to be the Rt Rev'd Justin Welby. Prebendary Rod Thomas has written to Bishop Justin congratulating him on behalf of the whole Council of Reform.

"Bishop Justin's appointment will open a new and encouraging chapter for the Church of England's gospel ministry," Rod Thomas said.

"Bishop Justin is an enthusiast for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and we look forward to the way in which he will embrace the opportunities he will now have for communicating that. He also has great credibility as a mediator and a friend of Africa, so we will be praying that as a result he is able to heal some of the rifts that have opened up in the Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality.

Bishop Justin's appointment comes at a time when the Church of England finds itself divided over the issue of women bishops. The vote later this month could well fail to provide a sufficient majority for the draft Measure on Women Bishops. We hope that the new Archbishop will be able to promote a more realistic dialogue between all those involved, so that an agreed way forward is found."

The Reform Council has assured Bishop Justin of their prayers as he prepares for his new role.

END

Note to Editors

Reform is a network of evangelicals within the Church of England. It has some 1500 members, a third of which are clergy. Its Council consists of clergy and lay members.

Prebendary Rod Thomas has been chairman of Reform since 2007. He is the vicar of St Matthew's Church in Plymouth and is a member of the General Synod.

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