Lambeth Palace Visits Manhyia Palace
The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby has called on the King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace.
The first time the Lambeth Palace visited the seat of the Asante Kingdom was in 2014 after the King had called on him in London earlier that same year.
The ceremonial head of the Anglican Communion worldwide is in Ghana for the 18th Plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council taking place in Accra from February 11 to 20 this year.
He arrived in Ghana on Thursday, February 10 and took the opportunity to visit the King in Kumasi ahead of the Conference.
He was accompanied by his wife, Caroline Welby and other West African Bishops of the Anglican Church.
They included Bishop of Tamale, Dennis Bukari Tong, Bishop of Ho, Mathias Mededues, Bishop of Kumasi, Oscar Christian Amoah, Bishop of Cameroon, Thomas Dibo Elango, Bishop of Wiawso, Kwame Kyem-Amponsah, Suffragan Bishop of Accra, George Kotei Neequaye, and Bishop of Liberia, James Selle.
Also were Bishop of Koforidua, Felix Odei Annancy, Bishop of Sekondi, Bishop Alexander Asmah, Bishop of Dunkwa-on-Offin, incoming Bishop of Gambia, Obed Baiden, Bishop of Sunyani, Festus Yeboah Asuamah, and Bishop of Oguaa, Victor Atta Baffoe.
The delegation was led by the Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa, Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Archbishop Ben-Smith said, “When Archbishop Welby decided to visit Ghana for the Conference, he said there was no way he couldn’t have visited his own friend before leaving.”
In his address, the Archbishop of Canterbury appreciated the efforts of Otumfuo in sustaining and preserving the culture and tradition he inherited.
“It is extraordinary to come to an event like this and find that as an old country, you have preserved the honour and dignity of your soil and of your line through the last many many years both yourself and those who went before you during the British colonial period and afterwards. The skilful work of your predecessors and yourself that has mentored the respect in which you are held has remained complete and that is an extraordinary achievement in such difficult times”, he admitted.
His Grace Welby further shed light on the essence of culture and tradition in a country’s life.
“There is no easy way to govern and to lead, not in these times where people are suspicious of authority and particularly the young. Many people wonder why the old traditions are still valuable. What we have learnt in the United Kingdom is that old traditions are valuable because they give stability in a rapidly changing world.”
He observes that service to Asanteman and Ghana characterises the reign of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II who is an Anglican.
“I believe you continue to have the affection of your people and their trust not because you dominate but because you serve. We always remember as Christians that the greatest model of service in human history and all the universe was the God who washed his disciples’ feet- the crucified God. That is how to lead, save and serve. I know of your own faith and thank your Majesty for the example you’ve given and for honouring us with this audience.”
His Majesty in his speech appreciated the visit of Lambeth Palace and could not agree more that leadership is service to the people.
“I came here to serve and the choice of me was through the people and it was only God who chose me to be in this position. I have always said to my people that it is not might or power or my handsomeness but through the wish of God that I came here and I continue to be mindful of that.
“I’m also mindful that authority and power should not be used to abuse people or threaten people or think you are the be-all and end-all. I always remind myself 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 their benefit.”
Otumfuo later hosted a lunch for the delegation at the Palace.
Asante Kingdom And The Anglican Church
Asante Royals are Anglicans and this relationship dates back to Prempeh I, the thirteenth king of the Kingdom when he was taken into exile to Seychelles Island.
Speaking to that, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II recalled that “he came back a Christian and converted all members of the Royal House to the Anglican faith and from there onward we have been loyal and supportive of the Anglican Church”.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini