Doing a Lambeth lunch
by Jane Gitau
Current trends of globalisation, much like the Lambeth Conference itself, offer the Church a chance ``to send a signal of openness towards people,'' Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair told Conference participants gathered at Lambeth Palace yesterday for lunch hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Eileen Carey.
Mr Blair, himself an Anglican, commended the Church for its ``tremendous work'' in advancing human relations and international development. He also endosed its contributions to shedding off ``the prejudices that informed the worst part of the value system that used to dominate all our countries in the world'' and leaving ``intact the best of the values of basic justice, of belief in community, the notion of society being importance to advance the individual.''
The Prime Minister urged church and society ``not to go back to the Dark Ages'' calling people not to ``forget the basic values that make life worthwhile.'' Mr Blair also pointed to current British government strides to achieve ``key international development goals,'' specifically ``more access to primary education, lower maternal and child mortality, and reversing the loss of environmental resources to national strategies for sustainable development.'' Mr Blair cited as an example his government's current commitment of £18 million ``to help eradicate polio in East Africa over the next three years.''
Archbishop Khotso Makulu of Central Africa responded to Mr Blair on behalf of the Conference. ``Thank you for the encouragement that your words bring to many of us,'' he said. ``You are saying to us something about the affirmation of people at every level.''
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