Dr Williams who on Wednesday embarked on a week-long pastoral visit to southern Africa during which he will visit Zimbabwe will preach at a Eucharist also known as a Holy Communion to be held at the 60 000-seater football stadium which of late has been used by churches for their large congregations.
David Brownlie-Marshall, the press officer of the Archbishop of Canterbury said Dr Williams will meet local Anglicans and their bishops who continue to serve the community despite an environment of disruption, intimidation and even violence.
During his visit in Zimbabwe Dr Williams will visit grassroots Anglican church projects that provide care for orphans as well as other vulnerable groups such as those living with HIV and related illnesses.
His first stop during the visit at the invitation of the Archbishop of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt Revd Albert Chama, will be in Malawi where he will preside over a special service of celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Church in Malawi before going on to look at a number of Church initiatives set up to help vulnerable groups in the local communities.
The initiatives include a Mothers’ Union literacy circle which is part of a country-wide initiative that has proved to be a highly successful and cost-effective method of increasing the literacy rates in Malawi.
The Malawi Mothers’ Union also plays a key part in developing sustainable farming methods in the rural communities – teaching local women about permaculture agriculture which enables them to create micro-agriculture and animal husbandry businesses – and so increasing the economic strength of the villages.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will have the opportunity to witness at first hand the positive effects of these projects on the farming community in the area.
During the course of the week Dr Williams will meet with bishops, clergy and parishioners to celebrate the life and ministry of the Anglican Church in the region.
Dr Williams’s visit will conclude in Zambia, where Dr Williams will preach at an outdoor Eucharist in the city stadium where bishops and clergy and representatives of the Mothers’ Union, youth fellowship and many local people will have gathered. He will also take part in a national clergy conference at the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, giving an address on “Opportunities for and challenges to growth in the Anglican Communion”.
Dr Williams returns to the UK next Thursday.