The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion of churches has told Premier he is “very confident” in the future of the group.
The Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon said that “As long as God is alive, there will always be the Anglican Communion of churches.”
“My confidence is not based on the human aspect, but on the divine aspect, in that the church belongs to God, and the Anglican Communion of churches, is a part of God's Church, the universal church,” he continued.
That's despite fears of divisions over theological stances, especially around the issue of sexuality.
Earlier this month, the Church in Wales voted by a two thirds majority to allow the blessing of same-sex marriage. The decision has sparked a lot of controversy within the church with the Evangelical Fellowship in Wales saying the decision is causing many Christians to leave the church.
Archbishop Josiah shared his thoughts on the Church in Wales’ decision: “I am treating it as a decision taken by a member of our family. A decision that does not go down well with a significant number. And again, it is a blessing that they have not come out to say: ‘We are changing our cannon on marriage’”.
However, he also said that “Anglicanism has always embraced different theological positions” and it is important to stress that “Anglicans never say the Anglican Church, we say the Anglican Communion of churches”.
The group which Archbishop Josiah leads is formed of 42 provinces across the world.
“There is always room within the Anglican Communion as long as you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, and you are willing to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour,” he continued.
Archbishop Josiah, who is 72, made the remarks as he announced he will be stepping down from his role at the end of August 2022.
He has served a seven-year term and was the first African to be appointed to the role.
“When I was appointed to this post, I said that ‘my prayer to God is very simple, that I would be able to be a bridge-builder, to create the culture of respect for differences, a culture of accepting people as human beings and loving them for who they are in Christ,’” he said. “Over the past six years, we have seen this prayer come true.”
Speaking on his plans for the future, Archbishop Josiah said he will now focus on improving interfaith relations between Muslim and Christian communities.