Diocese meets the needs of local communities’ - Archbishop’s visit to Sussex was a great success
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited Sussex on a three-day tour of the Diocese of Chichester where he was welcomed at many venues across the county and met hundreds of people. Watch the video which captures clips of his visit
He engaged with students, community & church leaders, refugees and prisoners as well as connecting with clergy from rural churches.
Over the weekend the Archbishop shared his views on many issues facing local communities including Ukraine, refugees, homelessness, the current state of the housing market and how parishes are responding to local needs.
He was particularly impressed with the work taking place at All Saints, Hove where he attended an International Women’s Network Day.
All Saints was able to apply for Strategic Development Funding from the Church Commissioners and the Archbishop could clearly see the impact this money had on the church’s work in the community.
During the visit, the Archbishop drank mint tea and shared a falafel salad lunch and met with individuals and refugee families staying in local hotels. He also talked to many of the organisations, including the church, who support these efforts.
In the Q&A sessions held at the schools he visited he was engaged with the questions students asked. He answered questions about his own faith journey and about religion & science, explaining why the church was involved in the synergy between science and theology.
In Hastings, hundreds of people attended an event to hear the Archbishop speak and respond to questions.
In Lewes, the mayor and other civic and community leaders attended a reception with the Archbishop where questions were asked about the needs of the community and the importance of working in partnership.
Nikki Kerr, the Director of Fundraising for Family Support Work, (FSW) a diocesan partner charity, talked about the hardship of families and how isolated families were unable to afford transport and what can a community do to help. The Archbishop said that advocacy and action were needed.
He suggested that simply running a bus service and enabling people to get to places would be a start.
Archbishop Welby also visited inmates at Ford Open Prison and led a service in the chapel. He was able to see first-hand the work of the chaplaincy team and how it supports prisoners.
At Chichester Cathedral, after Evensong, the Dean of Chichester held a reception at which everyone was invited and the Archbishop was joined by the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner as they met many local community invitees.
Jo Shiner, Chief Constable of Sussex said: "It was amazing and a really inspirational sermon at a time when the world absolutely needs it."
The Bishop of Chichester gave his thanks for the Archbishop’s time and for sharing something of his faith to the people of Sussex. He said ‘What a wonderful weekend it has been. Archbishop Justin said how much he has discovered that is good and beautiful and wonderful in the Diocese of Chichester. He has shown us how faith can be nurtured in other people. He has also encouraged us in our faith. Thank you, we are so encouraged.’
You can view many more photos taken over the three day here on our Facebook page