The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby is visiting the Diocese this week, just a few days away from the 100th anniversary of the ending of WW1 and this, combined with his passion for reconciliation, has contributed strongly to the shaping of his programme.
The full programme cannot be published in advance but we will update the website as the visit goes from place to place.
Wednesday 7 November
The Archbishop arrived in Norwich on Wednesday 7 November. He started his visit to our Diocese with a visit to St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral for an ecumenical act of worship.
At 4.10pm, he was at the Revelation Resource Centre in Norwich reading from his book ‘Re-Imagining Britain’. Bishop Graham James oversaw this event, which also included ten minutes of questions/responses.
At 5.30pm the Archbishop attended Evensong at Norwich Cathedral followed by an evening of exploration into the subject of reconciliation.
In the context of the WW1 anniversary, the evening highlighted not only our world’s need for peace today but also the fact that every single one of us is called to be a peacemaker. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, Jesus tells us. “Love your enemies”. But what might this actually look like in your life and mine? We hope this event offered lots of ideas.
At 6.30pm, everyone was able to spend time moving around some specially devised Stations of Reconciliation.
At 7.15pm, Bishop Graham chaired ‘Reflections on Reconciliation’ and with opening contributions from a richly diverse panel including Pastor Rolf Stahl from Koblenz, Norwich’s German twin-town; Dr Marian Prinsley, Vice President of the Norwich Hebrew Congregation; those who will speak about the need for reconciliation in a world peopled by homeless refugees and also in a divided Church.
In response to these initial reflections, the Archbishop made his own presentation before leading us into a time of gathered silence and prayer. There was then more time for people to make their pilgrimage around the Stations of Reconciliation before Compline brought the evening to a close.
Thursday 8 November
Today, Archbishop Justin is in the east of the Diocese.
At 11am there was a short service at Caister Lifeboat station. were contributions from the children of Caister Junior School, including a dramatisation of the 1901 Caister lifeboat disaster, as well as an address from the Archbishop.
Following the service the Archbishop boarded the Caister offshore lifeboat (one of the fastest in the country) and lay a wreath at sea for all those who have died at sea in wars over the last 100 years. The Lifeboat Station was filled to the brim!
This evening, there will be a unique opportunity to hear the Archbishop in conversation with BBC Look East’s Andrew Sinclair about being a Christian disciple. Everyone is invited to come along to enjoy a light bite of fish and chips at Great Yarmouth Minster at 7.30pm. You may even be served your fish and chips by the Archbishop himself!
Both events are free to attend, and everyone is welcome to come along. To attend the evening at Great Yarmouth Minster please book your free place here.
Friday 9 November
The Archbishop will be in the west of the Diocese visiting the Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham. At 11.15am he will take part in the liturgy of the cross at the outdoor Calvary Crosses.
He will conclude his visit of the Diocese by taking part in the Big Sing for Peace where hundreds of Year 6 children from local schools will be raising King’s Lynn Minster’s roof in song. This event will also include a conversation between Archbishop Justin and Richard Benda, a peace activist and academic who grew up in Rwanda.