The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, delivered the annual Church of Ireland Theological Lecture at Queen’s University, Belfast, on Monday February 8.
Speaking to students, university staff, clergy and members of the public, Archbishop Welby encouraged the packed Elmwood Hall audience to focus their hearts on reconciliation. The topic is a high priority for the Archbishop, who has worked and written extensively on reconciliation and mediation projects.
Prior to the lecture, the Archbishop visited the Church of Ireland and Methodist Chaplaincy on Elmwood Avenue, meeting with students, chaplains past and present and other guests, including the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, and Connor Diocesan Development Officer Trevor Douglas.
Welcoming the Archbishop and the audience to the lecture in the Elmwood Hall, Bishop Abernethy congratulated the Chaplaincy at Queen’s on 60 years of community and Christian worship at the heart of the university campus and commended the Chaplaincy Redevelopment Project.
Archbishop Welby was introduced by the Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Patrick Johnston, who told the audience: “He [Archbishop Welby] is no stranger to the challenges societies in conflict face and the role reconciliation plays in lasting peace.”
The Archbishop spoke for more than 50 minutes before engaging in a lively question and answer session, discussing a diverse range of topics including Northern Irish society, conflict, human behaviour, theology, and the Archbishop’s own ‘perfect Sunday.’ This section was hosted by the Rev Barry Forde, Church of Ireland Chaplain at Queen’s.
The Church of Ireland Theological Lecture takes place annually. Tickets for this year’s event sold so quickly it had to be moved from the Great Hall to the Elmwood Hall.
The full audio of Archbishop Welby’s lecture and the subsequent Q&A, along with a link to the Lambeth Palace website providing a full transcript are available at the link below: