31 March 2024

Archbishop of Canterbury wishes King and Kate well in Easter sermon

31 March 2024

The Archbishop of Canterbury has wished the King and Princess of Wales well in an Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral.

Justin Welby encouraged the congregation to “pray” for Charles and Kate, who are both undergoing treatment for cancer, and commended their “dignity” in responding to the diagnosis.

Mr Welby also praised the royals’ “lack of selfishness” in speaking of their health.

Beginning his sermon, he said: “In each of our lives, there are moments which change us forever – sometimes it is individual.

“We have watched and sympathised with, and felt alongside, the dignity of the King and the Princess of Wales as they have talked of their cancer and in doing so, by their lack of selfishness, by their grace and their faith, boosted so many others.”

On Sunday, the King made his first significant public appearance since announcing the diagnosis when he attended the annual Easter Mattins Service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Buckingham Palace publicly announced the King had been diagnosed with cancer on February 6.

Kate announced she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy in an emotional video message released on March 22.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson has since said the princess and her husband were “enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’s message”.

Mr Welby also used his annual Easter Day Holy Communion address to call for “love in action” to help those caught up in conflict, including children in Gaza and Sudan, hostages held by Hamas and people in Ukrainian cities.

He said: “Whether it is the evil of people smugglers, or county lines in our schools, or the pain and suffering in a family riven with grief or rage or substance abuse, Jesus, the God-man, who experienced every pain and temptation, is calling you and me to love in action.”

He added the church “is not party political” because its members hold different political views and instead acts “because of what God says”, citing the Church of England’s involvement in more than 30,000 social projects and 8,000 food banks.

“Let us seek action amongst the starving children of Gaza and Sudan – and the parents who try desperately to find food for them, action for the hostages held by Hamas, for those in the trenches and cities and fears of Ukraine, in at least 30 but probably closer to 50 other places of armed conflict, action for the 25-30% of children in this country in poverty,” he said.

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