The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and wife, Jane Williams, had a hectic day in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
The Archbishop's engagements got under way with a dialogue with religious and political leaders in the morning. The religious leaders who met him included the bishops of other churches such as Susaipakiam, Samuel Mar Irenius, Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Vasantha Kumar and Thomas Mar Anthonios. The political leaders who met him included Education Minister M.A. Baby, Public Works Minister M. Vijayakumar, Ports Minister V. Surendran Pillai, and Congress leader V.S. Sivakumar. Swami Jnana Tapaswini of the Shantigiri Ashram, Palayam Imam Moulavi Jamaluddin Mankada, jurist K. Narayana Kurup, M.M. Philip, general secretary, and Bennet Avraham, treasurer of the Church of South India Synod, A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, vice-chairman of the CSI's South Kerala diocese and Col. Jaipaul Devapally of the Salvation Army were among the others who held discussion with him.
The Archbishop had a meeting with the ecumenical youth of the Kerala United Theological Seminary, Kannamoola, and with women in the LMS Compound thereafter.
The highlight of the Archbishop's programmes was a visit to the St. Joseph's cathedral at Palayam. The visit by the head of the Church of England to a church of the Catholic Church was described as a historic event by Church circles here.
The programmes of the day ended with his participation in the graduation ceremony of the Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College at Karakonam in the district.
He will be gracing the golden jubilee celebrations of the CSI South Kerala diocese being inaugurated by Uthradam Tirunal Marthanda Varma, head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore, on Sunday evening. It will be followed by a cultural programme. Prior to that, he will be participating in a thanks-giving service at the Mateer Memorial church here.