The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, is to address next month’s Lambeth Conference, the international convention of Anglican bishops convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury every 10 years.
“It is certain that this is the first time a Jewish leader has addressed a Lambeth gathering at the personal invitation of the archbishop,” said Canon James Rosenthal, spokesman for the Anglican Communion.
“The conference will be looking at the theme of the ‘Covenant’ and we look forward to hearing Dr Sacks on the role of the Covenant in the Old Testament, part of our own Judeo-Christian heritage.”
He said that the Chief Rabbi and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams “work closely with other interfaith leaders in Britain and beyond throughout the year and they are personal friends.
“The Anglican Communion has ongoing official dialogues with Muslim and Jewish leaders as well as other Christian communions,” explained Canon Rosenthal.
Sir Jonathan has also been invited to address the European Parliament in the autumn.
The Lambeth Conference — a three-week period of study and discussion — has been clouded by divisions within the Anglican Church.
A number of conservative bishops are intending to boycott the event in protest at compromises over gay rights and the ordination of women. Instead, they will be attending next week’s Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem.