The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, welcomed His Majesty King Charles III to a reception at Lambeth Palace on Thursday, joined by leaders of other faiths as part of ‘Inter-Faith’ week.
The Royal visit, was attended by over 30 faith leaders and community representatives from across the UK, including Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis KBE, and Muslim charity leader Aliya Azam MBE.
They spoke about community relations, and what their different communities are experiencing in the UK, in the light of the ongoing global conflicts, such as in Israel and Gaza.
King Charles also met senior staff from Lambeth Palace and the Lambeth Library – housed in a recently constructed modern 9-storey building to the side of the Palace, containing the archives of the Church of England.
Together with the Archbishop, the monarch was shown displays of some of the interfaith items from the Library’s collection. The objects represented a range of world faiths and included precious Qurans, a Hebrew dictionary, historic religious scrolls dating back to the 13th and 16th Centuries, and letters of friendship between global faith leaders.
His Majesty also met those researching the historic links between the Church of England’s endowment fund and transatlantic slavery.
The last time the British monarch was at Lambeth Palace was more than a decade ago. Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit in 2012, to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
Archbishop Justin, said: “It was a great honour to welcome King Charles to Lambeth Palace Library today. These are challenging times for faith communities in the UK, particularly with the ongoing war in the Middle East.
Today’s visit by The King was a wonderful encouragement to remain united in partnership and friendship – as many people of faith are doing across the country.”
“Jesus Christ calls us to be peacemakers, and that is especially important right now. I hope this visit by The King inspires the Church of England to continue in our calling to love our neighbours and help bring communities together.”