Visit to Worcester 'extremely important', says Archbishop of Canterbury - The Worcester Observer

Visit to Worcester 'extremely important', says Archbishop of Canterbury

Worcester Editorial 11th Oct, 2016 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury paid a visit to Worcester as part of a two-day tour of the county.

Arriving at Shrub Hill Railway Station on Friday (October 7), Archbishop Justin Welby made his way to Worcester Cathedral where he was welcomed by an estimated 430 children from 89 schools across Worcestershire and the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley.

Focusing on three priorities; prayer, evangelism and reconciliation, the children took part in various activities across the Cathedral and presented them to the Archbishop.

During a special question and answer session, children from such schools as Christopher Whitehead Language College and Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College grilled the Archbishop on topics including Brexit, refugees, euthanasia, same sex marriage and even the presidential election.

Having returned from a trip to Rome two days before, the Archbishop said his visit to Worcester was ‘extremely important’.

He said: “We have planned this trip for a long time and I am expecting to learn quite a lot about this fascinating diocese.

“The visit to Rome felt very much like a step forward with the relationship between the Anglican community and the Roman Catholic Church. It makes sense to work together. If we build on the wonderful work of Rowan Williams, it is a step forward and could be quite historic.”

Speaking of the decline in church attendance, the Archbishop, who has been in the role since 2012, said:

“Since about the 50’s, I think, church attendances have been going down about one per cent a year, roughly, but the Church of England is deeply committed to renewal and reform.

“Part of that is looking at what the likes of the Diocese of Worcester is doing. There’s a real vision here”

The Very Reverend, Peter Atkinson, the Dean of Worcester, said: “We have packed the Cathedral with children from across Worcestershire and Dudley, it is buzzing with activity. I think he will be delighted to meet them and they will be too.

“He makes visits like this to different diocese of England but that doesn’t happen very often so it is very special. We are all really excited and honoured that he has come to Worcester so soon after his trip to Rome. We are very grateful.”

After his visit to Worcester Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury went to the three counties showground to talk to the rural community and did an interview with Jeremy Vine at the Worcester Arena to an audience of 1,600.

He rounded off his trip to Worcester with a breakfast meeting with nearly 80 business leaders at Worcester County Cricket Club, before travelling to Redditch and various places in The Black Country.


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