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Archbishop ‘uplifted by all traditions’

09 August 2013

GRAHAM HOWARD

"00Heaven": above: pilgrims on the Youth Pilgrimage to Walsingham, last week

"00Heaven": above: pilgrims on the Youth Pilgrimage to Walsingham, last week

THE Archbishop of Canterbury said this week that he felt "encouraged and uplifted by all traditions" in the Church. He was speaking after a week-long tour of the country, during which he spoke to Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Anglo-Catholic gatherings.

Archbishop Welby spoke at Hillsong, a Pentecostal Church, at the O2 Arena, in London; HTB Focus, a week away for members of Holy Trinity, Brompton, and its plants, in Lincolnshire; New Wine, a Charismatic Evangelical festival in Somerset ( News, 2 August); and the Youth Pilgrimage to the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Writing on his blog on Sunday, Archbishop Welby admitted that, during mass and Benediction at Walsingham, on Wednesday of last week, "My first thought was 'What a contrast with the past few days.' But my next thought was: 'What's the problem?'"

He continued: "In the Epistle to the Ephesians, we're told that Christ broke down the barriers we put up as humans. People talk about 'extremes' in the Church, and certainly this week featured 'both ends of the candle'. But those ends are held together by Jesus Christ. We show the power of his barrier-breaking by our love for Him, and our desire to make him known in deed and word. . .

"This week I've been encouraged and uplifted by all traditions. I've seen every sign of a hopeful, growing, active, serving, loving Church. . . When Christ is present, our differences break down."

Speaking to young pilgrims during the mass at Walsingham, Archbishop Welby said that the Christian life was "the exact opposite" of having to save the world single-handedly, like James Bond, because Jesus gives Christians "a family, a community. We need to know we belong to it, and to share in it. Because the more we are part of this family, which is the Church, the stronger we are, and the more we can live to change the world."

God had given each Christian "a job to do", he said. "There's a mission for each of us, and we need to know it."

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