The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has returned from a three week visit to Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand in which he discussed how to share the gospel and discipleship.
On his return to the UK, Archbishop John said, "it was wonderful to return and see familiar faces as well as new ones. Meeting people who have a heart for their communities and a desire to promote the common good and work together in this was truly heart-warming.
"My prayer for The Anglican Church in Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand), New Zealand and Polynesia is that they will be confident in the message that they have to share about our Creator God who loves us and wants us to know him more through his Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every Blessing!"
The Archbishop began his visit in Fiji, where he met with Archbishop Fereimi Cama and the country's President Jioji Konrote and spoke about climate change with the Head of State.
He spent time with clergy, preached at a Eucharist service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva, the capital of Fiji, and visited St Christopher's orphanage in the Fiji city of Nakasi where he planted trees and met the staff and children who live there.
In Samoa, he blessed a new airport and runway and met the Head of State and then the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, and then spent time with church leaders and parishioners thinking about how the church in Samoa can share the gospel in today's world and hear how people worked together to rebuild community following the damage by the Samoa earthquake and tsunami in 2009.
Sentamu then travelled to Aotearoa New Zealand where he received a traditional Maori welcome and was hosted by Archbishop Don Tamihere and spent time with local clergy with a focus on evangelism, discipleship and family.
His schedule concluded in Christchurch with several Ash Wednesday services in schools and concluding preaching at a joint Catholic-Anglican service and marking ashen crosses on the foreheads of people outside the damaged Anglican Cathedral in the Square.
The Most Revd. Philip Richardson, Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia said, "It has been such a joy to have Archbishop John and Reverend Margaret with us over the past few days. They are wonderful friends of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. They understand so much of who we are as a church.
"Over the years they have visited us, experienced our life, listened with great care and have a deep appreciation of both our history and our aspirations. They are a part of us and always will be."