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18 February 2013

Reconciliation director to work with new Archbishop of Canterbury

Reconciliation director to work with new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland is "delighted" to hear that David Porter has been appointed as the new director for reconciliation for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lambeth Palace announced the new appointment today, in which Canon David will focus on enabling the Church to make a powerful contribution to transforming the often violent conflicts which overshadow the lives of many around the world.

Canon David will continue part-time as the current canon director for reconciliation ministry at Coventry Cathedral.

He brings extensive frontline experience in the area of reconciliation, having served on the Northern Ireland Civic Forum, chairing its working group on peace-building and reconciliation, as well serving as a member of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

Commenting on the appointment, David Smyth, Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland's public policy officer, said: "We're delighted to hear of the appointment. Among other roles, David co-founded Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland, which played a meaningful role in building peace and thoughtfully provoking the local Church into action on this issue.

"We wish him God's wisdom and grace as he takes up this challenging position and look forward to working with him when it comes to unresolved issues around the conflict in Northern Ireland."

An experienced community relations activist, peace-building practitioner and community theologian, Canon David has 30 years of experience in regional, national and international faith-based organisations.

Speaking about his new position, Canon David said: "How we live with our deepest differences both within the Church and our increasingly fractured world is one of the major challenges to the credibility of Christianity as good news.

"It is a privilege to be asked to take on this responsibility for Archbishop Justin and I look forward to working with him in serving the Church in making reconciliation and peace-building a theological and practical priority in its life and witness."

Welcoming Canon David to Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Justin Welby said: "David brings a wealth of experience in reconciliation and peace-building from his work in Northern Ireland and through the Community of the Cross of Nails in Coventry.

"Conflict is an ever present reality both in the Church and wider society. Christians have been at the centre of reconciliation throughout history. We may not have always handled our own conflicts wisely, but it is essential that we work towards demonstrating ways of reducing destructive conflict in our world - and also to setting an example of how to manage conflict within the Church."