CHIPS, the international Christian peacemaking charity, today announced that The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has become Patron in recognition of its work around the world. He succeeds The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu in this role.
CHIPS is a charity of peacemaking teams who have lived at the heart of conflict for over 50 years, in locations as diverse as Cyprus and Uganda, the Philippines and London. Inspired by the life of Jesus, CHIPS believes that the best way to bring about lasting peace is to ‘take both sides’ in a conflict situation. The charity goes where it is invited, living simply among communities and facilitating a wide range of practical, grassroots projects that encourage a change in attitude and help to build a sustainable future together, free from violence.
Currently, the charity’s two main projects are based in South London, where it partners with communities to tackle the root causes of knife crime and other serious youth violence; and Northern Ghana, where its team lives and works among tribes who have been enemies for many decades, helping them build new, positive relationships across the ethnic divide.
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said:
“Reconciliation is at the heart of Christ’s call to those who follow him. It is extremely close to my heart, and one of the greatest needs in our troubled world. The current pandemic, and our conversations as a society about racial injustice, highlight the inequalities and divisions we continue to face. Hearing and responding to Jesus’ call on us to be peacemakers is urgent and vital.
“Having known CHIPS for many years, I am greatly encouraged and inspired by their commitment to the work of reconciliation. CHIPS is a team of courageous people who approach peacemaking in a radical and innovative way: living and working in the heart of conflict for as long as it takes, striving to understand fully the views of different sides. It is a privilege to become a patron of this highly effective organisation in the UK and abroad, and I would encourage Christians to pray for and support their work.”
Elfrida Calvocoressi, Chair of Trustees at CHIPS, said:
“We are very thankful for the Archbishop’s commitment to reconciliation and the example he sets as a peacemaker, and we are thrilled he has agreed to become our Patron.
“We hope our co-operation together might encourage more Christians and local churches to consider their calling as peacemakers, and to partner with us as we work among communities affected by serious youth violence here in the UK and conflicts overseas. We greatly look forward to working with him as we continue and expand our work to make peace in a troubled world.
“We also want to express our sincere thanks to Archbishop John Sentamu for his patronage of CHIPS over the past 15 years. We have greatly valued his support and personal interest in our work in Uganda and around the world, and we extend our very best wishes to him in retirement.”