Issued by Lambeth Palace
Over a thousand people came onto the streets of Norwich today to welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as he began his five-day prayer pilgrimage leading up to his enthronement next Thursday.
Addressing the crowds, the Archbishop recalled his fond childhood memories on Norfolk before leading a prayer against deprivation and unemployment in the region
The Archbishop is visiting five cities in the south of England over five days, inviting people to join him in prayer at each stop along the way. In Norwich this afternoon, Helena Crockford, 46, told the Eastern Daily Press: “This is the first place he’s been to and we should be here to encourage that. It’s a lovely and engaging thing to do and I admire his choice.”
Gordon Baldry, 43, from Taverham, who asked the Archbishop to sign his Bible, said: “I thought it would be a fitting thing to do. It was really nice. I wasn’t sure if he would sign it.”
Click here for a photo gallery of the Archbishop's visit.
Around 80 children from church schools in Harleston and Dickleburgh were at the Forum to greet the Archbishop. They joined the crowd which Archbishop Justin then led through Norwich to the Cathedral, where he spent the afternoon leading prayer different kinds of prayers from the Anglican tradition.
In a video interview this morning, the Archbishop offered a message to the people of Norwich diocese.“I think the key thing is to remember to be centred on Jesus Christ – that’s why we start with prayer,” he said.
The Archbishop has joined forces with a team from the creative prayer movement 24-7 Prayer to encourage people in each location on his pilgrimage to join him in prayer.
“The Church praying together and gathering together to pray is something that draws other people to faith in Christ," he said. "And the way this is being done - which is with 24-7 Prayer, with the cathedral, and with all sorts of different ways of praying – makes it easy for people who might not be regular churchgoers just to come in and to find that they come face to face with God.” Watch the interview here: