The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the imminent re-opening of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Jaffa as a story of hope. The church has been closed since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Diocese of Jerusalem is now working on renovating it, with hopes that worship will soon resume there.
Archbishop Justin visited St Peter’s towards the end of his twelve day visit to the region, with Archbishop Suheil Dawani, whose father served in the church prior to 1948. Archbishop Suheil said the church was of great sentimental value to both him personally and the diocese: “This is the third church in the diocese to be revived and re-opened, I hope by the end of the year, after renovations. It will be used by the community here – especially diplomats in the Tel Aviv area.”
Archbishop Justin said he was pleased to share the story of the church’s revival: “There’s something fantastically symbolic about it – first of all, it’s a growing church : re-opening and re-building. The structure’s sound, but it needs the worship, the prayer, the spiritual life to recreate the life of the church which had been caught up in conflict and now will be a symbol of renewal and life – and that’s been one of the themes of this visit. “
Archbishop Justin issued the following plea: “Please pray for this church, for the Diocese of Jerusalem, and for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.”
Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Friday 12th May 2017