Archbishop of Canterbury honours Asantehene with Cross of St. Augustine

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has honoured Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, with the highest honour of the Anglican Communion for his support to the Church and nation building.

The award is in honour of the Asantehene’s significant contribution to the growth of the Anglican Communion.

The Cross of St Augustine is an award of merit from the Archbishop of Canterbury to members of the Anglican Communion who have made significant contributions to the life of the worldwide Communion. 

The last royal person to receive the special Canterbury Cross was the late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in July 2022 – two months before her passing – for her service to the Church of England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who paid a courtesy call on the King of Asante at the Manhyia Palace at the weekend, extolled his outstanding contribution to the growth of the Anglican Communion in Ghana.

The visit, on the eve of the opening of the 18th Plenary of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC18) Conference in Accra, Ghana, saw the Archbishop of Canterbury travelling to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi in the company of his wife, Mrs Caroline Welby.

The Most Rev’d Dr Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) and Bishops of the CPWA and the Internal Province of Ghana (IpG), including the Bishop of Kumasi, The Rt. Rev’d Oscar Christian Amoah, led the delegation to the Palace after a service at the St. Cyprians Anglican Cathedral.

Archbishop Welby in a citation, before presenting the Cross of St. Augustine to the Asantehene, praised him for “his consistency for the course of the Anglican Church and Ghana”.

He said it was noteworthy to realise that the Asantehene, for many years, had preserved the honour and dignity of the throne and his life over the years, adding that his extraordinary achievements and that of his predecessors continued to show completely in the life of his people even in extraordinary times.

The Archbishop said it was not easy to govern and lead as people continued to be suspicious of authority, especially the youth, some of whom wonder why the old traditions were still valuable in a rapidly changing world.

He said in the United Kingdom, although in the last year “Prime Ministers come and go”, someone who served through royalty and showed respect and love for their people, was someone whose legacy and history remained.

“People will have to look up the names of Prime Ministers, but they will all know that there were two monarchs who both served. And I am sure that you – your majesty – continue to have the affection of your people and their trust not because you dominate but because you serve”.

Archbishop Welby said: “As Christians, the greatest model of service in human history and all the universe is the God who washed his disciple’s feet – the Crucified God; that is how to lead.” 

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, expressed appreciation to the Archbishop and the Anglican Communion for the recognition and said his ascension to the throne “was by the grace of God and I am always mindful of that”.

He said: “I’m also mindful that authority and power should not be used to abuse people or threaten people or to make them feel that you are the be-all and end-all. I always remind myself in this position that I am here to serve these ones that are here; What benefit can they get from where I sit? That is what informs me to come up with policies and directions that will inure to the benefit of Ghana and the entire people.”

He assured of his continued support for the Church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury planted a symbolic tree as part of the Anglican Communion’s commitment to addressing environmental and climate change concerns at the Manhyia Palace

Some 110 delegates representing 39 of the Anglican Communion’s 42 member churches, or provinces are in Accra for the Anglican Consultative Council Meeting. 

Source: GNA

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