Sally Axworthy

Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

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15th February 2017 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

Tackling Modern Slavery together

Last week Offer Stern-Weiner, Head of the Modern Slavery Unit at the Home Office,  and I journeyed out of Rome to visit a small and tranquil convent in a historic town set in the beautiful Italian countryside. The reason we were there? To meet five young Nigerian women who had been trafficked from Nigeria to […]

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1st February 2017 Holy See

Stephen Townsend

Deputy Head of Mission

Ecumenism in Music

Last week saw the visit of the choir of Westminster Abbey, for a joint concert with the Sistine Chapel Choir.  This was a wonderful concert, with the two choirs combining to fill the Basilica of St John Lateran with music from both the Catholic and Anglican traditions:  pieces by Giovanni Palestrina showcased the  Catholic style, […]

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25th January 2017 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

BRITAIN AND THE HOLY SEE: THE YEAR AHEAD

January is traditionally a time for New Year’s resolutions and for planning ahead, so it seems a good moment to look at what the year may have in store for the UK and the Holy See.  My starting point is Pope Francis’s address to the diplomatic corps, in which he set out how he sees […]

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28th December 2016 Holy See

Stephen Townsend

Deputy Head of Mission

The Nativity Scene in St Peter’s Square

At Christmas, Nativity scenes make their appearance in churches and homes across the world. In Italy there is a particularly strong tradition of presepio – some churches in Rome have exhibitions of historical and modern designs, and there are some streets on Naples which are full at this time of the year with thousands of […]

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22nd December 2016 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

Pope Francis at 80: The Pope’s favourite words

Pope Francis turned 80 on 17 December. Messages poured in from around the world (70,000 emails) and the Pope celebrated with 8 homeless people. Much has been written about the Pope’s achievements. He is on a mission to change the Church, making it more global, ecumenical, open to dialogue with other faiths, focussed on the […]

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9th December 2016 Holy See

Simona Prete

Policy and Communications, British Embassy to the Holy See

Standing Up against Slavery

On 10 December, the UN will commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The focus this year is “standing up for the rights of others”: a call to uphold human rights in our global community, where each of us can make a difference. The Foreign Office in London and all British Embassies […]

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30th November 2016 Holy See

Fiona Kilpatrick

Global Saint Andrew

How did a simple Galilean fisherman come to be the patron saint of Scotland? The Gospel of John tells us that Andrew heard John the Baptist refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God.  “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him “We have found the Messiah” (that is […]

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29th November 2016 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

How the Vatican does Foreign Policy

One of the things that I have been struck by since starting in Rome in August is the difference in how the Vatican does foreign policy compared to the UK (or indeed most countries). In some ways our foreign policy structures are similar. In the Vatican the Pope decides the policy line; in London, ministers […]

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18th November 2016 Holy See

Stephen Townsend

Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy to the Holy See

The Universality of the Church

On 19 November the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church will gather in the Vatican. This Consistory (from the Latin “con sistore” – to stand together) is traditionally the opportunity for the Pope to gather the views and concerns of the Cardinals from all corners of the world.  It will also be the occasion to […]

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28th October 2016 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

Modern Slavery: A priority for the UK and Pope Francis

On 27 October the Embassy hosted a visit by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, who was at the Vatican to attend a meeting of the Santa Marta Group, a gathering of police chiefs and bishops on preventing human trafficking and modern slavery. This issue is a top priority for the UK, and for Pope Francis. […]

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About Sally Axworthy

Sally is currently British Ambassador to the Holy See. She took up her position in Rome in September 2016, after 5 years at the Foreign Office as Head of Somalia…

Sally is currently British Ambassador to the Holy See. She took up her position in Rome in September 2016, after 5 years at the Foreign Office as Head of Somalia Unit (2011-2013), and then as Joint Head of North Africa Department (2013-2016). She spent most of that time on the UK initiative to help Somalia emerge from civil war; and to establish a Government of National Unity in Libya.

Sally joined the FCO in 1986. Her career has taken her to Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and India. From 2001-2006 she worked at a government regional office in south west England on providing services to vulnerable adults.

Sally is married to Michael, an academic specialising in Iran, and they have four children. When in the UK, they live in Cornwall where Sally enjoys walking and running (very slowly) in the rain and the fog.

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