Archbishop’s 2012 Eid message

August 19, 2012 11:02 am 0 comments Views: 89

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent his annual greetings to Muslim communities for the festival of Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday August 19th, marking the end of Ramadan.

“It is a joy once again at Eid al-Fitr to send this message of warm good wishes to Muslim colleagues and communities, and especially to those friends and colleagues with whom Christians have enjoyed working together over the past year.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his final Eid al-Fitr message before leaving the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams reflects on how “our relationship as Christians and Muslims has grown and deepened” over the over the past ten years:

“I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had in these last nine or ten years of growing into a fuller knowledge of our relationship as Christians and Muslims. I have been privileged to be welcomed to a number of great Muslim contexts and institutions around the world and have found myself stretched and challenged.”

“I have found it a great gift to be a small part in the mutual discovery and intensifying of relations here in the UK, and I am aware that we are modelling something here that is creative, fresh, honest and deeply hopeful.”

“It has not been an easy time, and there are huge challenges that we still face together. Nevertheless, we have learned how to quarry together the resources we have of a vision of human beings honoured before God.”

Expanding on the theme of ‘honour’, a word which “we should learn to use more freely”, he says that “Muslims and Christians have been working as never before in international development to serve the world’s poorest people”. Demonstrating how Muslims and Christians are also working together at local levels in service to their communities he mentions the examples of the ‘Near Neighbours’ programme and ‘A Year of Service’ initiative.

Describing a recent meeting with the Christian Muslim Forum, a group which the Archbishop has been involved in since its launch, he said “It was a moving experience to meet with members of the Christian Muslim Forum and to say a formal goodbye to this organisation which has done so much since its beginning in 2006 to foster deep relationships between our communities.”

He concludes his message by expressing the hope that foundations which have been built during his time as Archbishop will continue to support and strengthen Christian Muslim friendship and understanding into the future:

“I pray and trust that the years ahead will see a deepening of these bonds and an even stronger witness to the whole world of real possibilities, of friendship and understanding and simple delight in our neighbours.”

The full text of the greeting is below.


To Muslim friends and fellow workers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr 2012

It is a joy once again at Eid al-Fitr to send this message of warm good wishes to Muslim colleagues and communities, and especially to those friends and colleagues with whom Christians have enjoyed working together over the past year. During the long summer days this year the month of fasting has been particularly demanding. I trust that it has been a time of rich blessing, and that Eid will also be a time of joy and sharing.

As many of you will know, these are the last Eid greetings that I will be sending to you before I leave the position of Archbishop of Canterbury to take up a new role at the University of Cambridge. It was a moving experience recently to meet with members of the Christian Muslim Forum and to say a formal goodbye to this organisation which has done so much since its beginning in 2006 to foster deep relationships between our communities.

As I look back over the last ten years, it is clear that our relationship as Christians and Muslims has grown and deepened. It has not been an easy time, and there are huge challenges that we still face together. Nevertheless, we have learned how to quarry together the resources we have of a vision of human beings honoured before God. The word honour, I believe, is one we should learn to use more freely, and even extravagantly, when we talk about our human world. We honour human beings because God in his creation and in his dealings with human beings honours them.

In practical terms this honouring has meant that Muslims and Christians have been working as never before in international development to serve the world’s poorest people, and I want to recognise the huge amount of financial giving that the Muslim community pours out during Ramadan especially. It has also meant at a local level that Muslims have shared with Christians and others during Ramadan in service to their communities through the ‘A Year of Service’ initiative, in the ‘Near Neighbours’ programme and in many other ways.

I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had in these last nine or ten years of growing into a fuller knowledge of our relationship as Christians and Muslims. I have been privileged to be welcomed to a number of great Muslim contexts and institutions around the world and have found myself stretched and challenged. I have found it a great gift to be a small part in the mutual discovery and intensifying of relations here in the UK, and I am aware that we are modelling something here that is creative, fresh, honest and deeply hopeful. I pray and trust that the years ahead will see a deepening of these bonds and an even stronger witness to the whole world of real possibilities, of friendship and understanding and simple delight in our neighbours.

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