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Archbishop John Sentamu urges support for USPG

Archbishop speaking to USPG supporters at York Minster

Monday 9th May 2011

Archbishop John Sentamu urged Anglicans to 'dig deep' to support USPG while speaking at its 310th anniversary at York Minster.


Speaking to USPG supporters in York Minster on Saturday, Archbishop Sentamu thanked USPG for its long history of holistic mission.

The Uganda-born archbishop said: ‘I am a missionary child, so I have always been grateful for those who took the gospel to Africa. Some missionaries even died doing so.’

Acknowledging how much times had changed since USPG was founded in 1701, he commended USPG for its versatility through the years and its ongoing ability to reappraise its role.

One current challenge facing USPG in economically difficult days is finance. Archbishop Sentamu noted that diocesan companion links had attracted donations away from USPG – so he urged Anglicans not to forget the Society.

He quipped that ‘the pocket’ is often the last part of a Christian to undergo conversion – ‘We have got such deep pockets, but short arms!’ And so he encouraged Christians to support USPG, especially through legacy-giving.

Going on to note that USPG is an agency embedded in the global grassroots of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Sentamu said the Society had ‘all the necessary networks’ to carry out effective mission.

He concluded: ‘I am grateful to the Lord for USPG and the work it is doing.’

‘A marvellous witness to God’s transforming mission’

The Archbishop said: ‘What a marvellous witness USPG has been to God’s transforming mission in the world.

He continued: ‘In these present times, all mission agencies are going through a great period of reassessment of their role in a rapidly changing world. In this situation, USPG has demonstrated considerable imagination and skill in developing a new strategy – moving from dependency to mutuality in its world mission relationships.

‘USPG focuses its support on indigenous churches, through the local diocesan bishop, and in supporting the local church, which may or may not involve mission personnel.

USPG General Secretary Bishop Michael Doe and our new CEO Janette O’Neill‘I know the agency is now moving to a new phrase in its development, with the appointment of new Chief Executive Janette  O'Neill – the first woman CEO of USPG and its first non-ordained leader since the early eighteenth century.'

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