St Dunstans Church, Canterbury, not only welcomed Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, but also several other bishops, for the Sunday Broadcast service on BBC Radio 4 today.
Vicar Maurice Worgan, parish priest, asked some of his congregation to come along at the early 7 a.m. hour to help join in the singing and prayers at this unique service. The service, arranged by the Lambeth Conference Communications staff with Philip Bilson of the BBC, featured the Lambeth Singers and a local gathering of choristers led by James Whitbourn and Stephen Barker.
The Revd Canon Chris Chivers led the 50 minute service and Archbishop Williams preached the homily. The Archbishops of Cape Town, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Hong Kong and Mexico, took part as did bishops from the USA, the Rt Revd Gary Lillibridge, West Texas and the Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy from Perth, Australia.
Stewards from the Lambeth Conference led the prayers. These young people come from Taiwan, South Africa, USA, and Brazil and are joined at the Conference by stewards from all over the Anglican world, who serve in varying capacities to assist the bishops and spouses gathered from some 150 countries and speaking many languages.
A moving part of all Lambeth services is the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the many languages spoken by the participants.
St Dunstans Church is well-known as the keeper of the head of Thomas More, who defied Henry VIII. The “relic” is buried in the St Nicholas Chapel. Henry II also used the church to do penance following the murder of Thomas Becket.
The broadcast reaches some 1.5 million listeners according to the BBC. Lambeth bishops were also heard on the BBC Daily Prayer and Daily Service daily last week.
The Lambeth Conference continues until 3 August.
Please listen to the service at:
The homily text can be found below: