MORE FROM THE LATEST MEETING OF GENERAL SYNOD
A question was put to Synod by Sheridan Worsop (Gloucester): Could we please have an update of the sale of Lambeth Palace, Church House and Southwark Worship Centre (Cathedral) as I understand that an offer has been accepted for the Cathedral which was not the best offer received. And can we have assurances that the historic chapel and library of Lambeth Palace will be preserved. Replying for the Commissioners Sir Humprey Goodenough said: “The sale of Lambeth Palace is proceeding, subject to planning permission, to substantially extend it and turn it into a five start hotel and casino. We have accepted an offer on these terms from one of the premier hotel and casino chains of the United Arab Republic. The Archbishop will be housed in a flat to be built at the Palace and will have access to the chapel whenever she wishes. This will preserve the historic link between Archbishops of Canterbury and the Palace. The Library will be preserved and be moved to Church House which we have decided not to sell at the present time, until we can find another venue for General Synod to meet and a suitable place to house the very extensive library. With regard to Southwark Worship Centre we have accepted an offer from the Muslim Council and it will become the South Thames Mosque and Community Centre. Whilst the questioner is quite right that this was not the best offer received, we felt that the building would be ideally suited as a mosque whilst the other bidder, the Ordinariate wanted to retain it as a place of Christian Worship and it was felt that this would not be compatible with our views on this body. The sale to the Muslim Council will further our wish to come closer to the followers of the Muslim faith, an act if you like of ecumenism.”
Sherdian Worsop then asked for time to be allocated for further discussion on this but this was refused by the Chair.
More from General Synod in a later edition.