Archbishop of Canterbury Visit To Hereford Diocese

    People News
    7 Oct. 2019

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, will meet young people, climb Clee Hill and visit a brewery on his autumn visit to Herefordshire and Shropshire.

    The Archbishop is visiting the Hereford Diocese from Monday, October 14th to Wednesday, October 16th.

    The diocese - with 420 churches in 356 parishes - covers a huge area, from Ross-on-Wye in the south to Telford in the north. During his visit, the Archbishop will share the mission and work of the church across the diocese.

    The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said: ‘I’m looking forward to being in Hereford Diocese immensely. Herefordshire and Shropshire form part of the agricultural backbone of the country and I’m excited to learn more about the rural economy and how churches are serving in numerous ways.

    ‘I’m also looking forward to visiting towns in the diocese, including Telford and Ludlow. It’s a great joy to be able to visit new expressions of Church, to witness important social projects and see how the good news of Jesus is being communicated in 2019.

    ‘As he retires, I am grateful for all that has been achieved under Bishop Richard’s leadership in the last few years and thankful to him and his staff for all the preparations and anticipate making many new friends on the visit.’

    On the first day of his visit, the Archbishop will begin with a question and answer session with students at Hereford Sixth Form College and meet students who volunteer with Emilia’s Place, where the ‘Lean On Me’ project cares for people injured while on a night out in the city centre.

    The Archbishop will then meet clergy at the lively cafe at All Saints Church, in High Street, before heading for a private visit to meet children at a ‘Messy Church’ session and take part in a celebration of Bible stories and song. His day ends with a sold-out Question & Answer evening at The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford.

    On day two of his visit, the Archbishop will meet farmers in rural Shropshire at a butty van on a farm in Longville, near Much Wenlock and call in on people living in a care home.

    At St Laurence Church in Ludlow, the Archbishop will launch the Hereford Diocese ‘Mission & Mortar’ digital tool kit, which is designed to help parishioners rejuvenate their church buildings. It’s hoped that the tool kit, which has been developed with £38,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will eventually be rolled out nationally.

    Wendy Coombey, Community Partnership and Funding Officer for the Diocese said: 

    'Our church buildings are key to rural community life. They’re sacred and holy spaces, loved by many whether they’re Christians or not.
    ‘But we must make our church buildings fit for the 21st Century – we need more loos, more kitchens, more creative use of the space. With rural areas losing services, such as shops, pubs and schools, the church must rise to the challenge of using our building to help people in all sorts of new ways.’

    From Ludlow, Justin Welby will head for the Sutton Hill Community Centre in Telford and he’ll then stretch his legs on a prayer walk up Clee Hill with a youth group from Cleobury Mortimer.

    In the evening, the Archbishop will share a drink with people at Ludlow Brewery, at a ‘Setting God’s People Free’ event, an initiative which helps people live a Christian life.

    On his final day, the Archbishop will begin with Morning Prayer in Hereford Cathedral and make a private visit to St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree. He will also meet around 200 farmers at the Hereford Livestock Market.

    The itinerary is designed to enable the Archbishop to share the work that’s been spearheaded by the Rt Revd Richard Frith, the Bishop of Hereford, who retires later this year.

    During his five years in the Hereford Diocese, Bishop Richard has aimed to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ. The three diocesan priorities have been numerical and spiritual growth (growing Christians of all ages and backgrounds), contributing to the common good and re-imagining the ministry of the church for the 21st Century.

    The Rt Revd Richard Frith, Bishop of Hereford said: 

    ‘We are all looking forward to the Archbishop’s visit. Our team has put a tremendous amount of work into planning the event so that Archbishop Justin can be part of all the exciting work that’s being done in our diocese.
    ‘There will also be quiet moments to pray and reflect on all the good that’s being done by people working with the help of Jesus Christ to make a difference in our communities.’

    Timetable for where people can see the Archbishop of Canterbury:

    Monday, October 14th

    • 14.45 - Visit to All Saints Church, Hereford
    • 17.30 - Evensong, Hereford Cathedral

    Tuesday, October 15th

    • 10.00 - Service, St Laurence Church, Ludlow - launch of Mission & Mortar
    • 14.50 - Arrives Sutton Hill Community Centre, Telford

    Wednesday, October 16th

    • 07.30 - Morning Prayer, Hereford Cathedral
    • 08.00 - Arrives Green Dragon, Hereford for community leaders’ meeting
    • 12.25 - Meets farmers at Hereford Cattle Market
    • 14.00 - Service of prayer and worship, Hereford Cathedral

    A special prayer will be used during the Archbishop’s visit to the diocese:

    God of our pilgrimage
    Who sent out your apostles
    In the power of the Spirit
    To all the corners of the earth
    Bless us as we welcome Archbishop Justin this week.
    May his presence provoke and encourage us
    To reflect anew on the wonders of your love
    And commit ourselves to fresh works of service
    That your name may be honoured
    And your kingdom built here
    In this our Diocese for Jesus’ sake.