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Sentamu persists with mission event in York despite coronavirus threat

20 March 2020


Dr Sentamu (centre) with bishops outside York Minister after the commissioning service on Thursday of last week

Dr Sentamu (centre) with bishops outside York Minister after the commissioning service on Thursday of last week

THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, chose to continue with the “Come and See’” mission (12-15 March), despite nationwide pressure to cancel public events in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Launched across the diocese and involving 30 bishops, it consisted of events and services designed to engage with churchgoers as well as curious members of the general public.

Dr Sentamu held a service at the Scott Road Community Centre in Selby, on Thursday of last week. He said: “I want to encourage everyone to come and see for themselves the one we call Jesus Christ and the difference he makes to peoples’ lives. Come and see that God loves you more than you will ever know. Come and see how you can find a living faith and see your life transformed.”

Two days previously, he had encouraged churchpeople not to give in to coronavirus fears, citing “Come and See” as an opportunity to evangelise. The events on offer included prayer and praise sessions with an environmental theme, and Q & As with mission teams on subjects such as evolution, the Big Bang, and Christianity.

“The worst thing that happens to most of us on things we don’t understand like coronavirus is fear, but we’re told in the book of John that perfect love casts out all fear,” Dr Sentamu said. “The message we’re trying to say to people is God and Jesus loves you. [When] you get to know him, you begin to love your neighbour in a fantastic way.

“And when you begin to love your neighbour, you can tell other people about the love of God, and therefore they need not be afraid. I mean, we’ve got to do everything we can so that we don’t spread it [coronavirus] to other people. But the truth is this fear terrifies everybody. Don’t be afraid.”

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