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Archbishop of Canterbury calls on Christians to make New Year resolutions ‘heroic’

01 January 2020

RNLI/Ailsa Anderson-Cole

The Archbishop of Canterbury with some of Dover’s RNLI crew

The Archbishop of Canterbury with some of Dover’s RNLI crew

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Christians to take up a “heroic” New Year resolution and “resolve to reconnect” with lost friends or family.

In his New Year message, broadcast on BBC1 at 1 p.m. today, Archbishop Welby praised the 70 volunteers involved with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Dover, in the diocese of Canterbury, whom he described as a family.

“When their pagers go off — day or night — they’re prepared to risk everything to rescue whoever needs their help,” he said. “There are so many ways we can connect with others. It could be by joining a voluntary organisation or a charity. It may be sorting food in a foodbank or joining a lifeboat crew.”

He continued: “Christian faith doesn’t promise us a comfortable life. Christ promises us hope, meaning, peace, purpose, and joy — but not comfort. It’s about following in the footsteps of Jesus, who took the risk of connecting with people who were separated from him.

“We rightly think of lifeboat crews as heroic, although they may be embarrassed to hear that. Yet every time we reach out and connect with someone, it is an act of heroism. Don’t underestimate it. It could be someone you know. It could be someone you’ve always wanted to connect with but never have. It could be someone you really disagree with.

“Let’s go for a heroic New Year’s resolution. Let’s resolve to reconnect. To reach out to just one person we don’t know, or from whom we have drifted apart. Pick one person. Pick up the phone. Send them a text. Meet them for a cup of tea.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Year Message is due to be broadcast on BBC One at 1 p.m., and BBC Two at 4.30 p.m., on Wednesday 1 January.

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