Anglican Head to Embark on 16-Day Visit to India

NEW DELHI – The head of the worldwide Anglican Communion is expected to arrive in India on Saturday, according to an announcement by the British High Commission in New Delhi.

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams is scheduled to embark on a 16-day visit to India from Oct. 9 to 24 at the invitation of the Communion of Churches in India, the commission reported.

The Anglican leader is slated to travel across several cities in India, including Kolkata, Ranchi, Nagpur, New Delhi, Chennai, Vellore, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.

During his visit, the archbishop will visit congregations and development initiatives of the Church of North India, the Church of South India and the Mar Thoma Church.

He will also meet civic and religious leaders in many places, including Hindu leaders in Bangalore, where he is scheduled to have a dialogue meeting.

"I look forward greatly to being back in India once more," said the archbishop before leaving London for Kolkata. "Family connections, many friendships and the memory of two inspiring earlier visits mean that India is a special place for me, and I am grateful for the invitation to visit again."

According to Friday's announcement, Williams will be in Nagpur to join in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Church of North India and in Thiruvananthapuram for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Church of South India's Central Kerala Diocese.

In New Delhi, Williams will deliver the Chevening Lecture at the British Council titled "Pluralism and the Dialogue of Religions"

As the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams is the top cleric in the Church of England and the spiritual head of the 77-million-member Anglican Communion.

As a theological writer, scholar and teacher, Williams has been involved in many theological, ecumenical and educational commissions, and has written extensively across a very wide range of related fields of professional study – philosophy, theology, spirituality and religious aesthetics.

Williams has served as Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury and Primate of All England since 2003.