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SUNDAY LIVE BLOG & VIDEO: Archbishop of Canterbury in Cornwall

By WBJeff  |  Posted: November 17, 2013

  • Truro Cathedral

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Followers will be wondering - will the Archbishop of Canterbury get on board with local skaters tonight?

The Most Reverend Justin Welby was due to end his three-day visit to Cornwall with a Bible study at Launceston's skate park this evening.

It will cap off a day when the leader of the Anglican Church was to meet worshippers to lead a service at St Petroc's Church in Bodmin after a parish communion in Liskeard.

Yesterday, The Archbishop ended a busy day meeting local dignitaries at The Eden Project. He had led a service at Truro Cathedral and met clergy, readers and worship leaders from across the county at Truro Methodist Church.

Before that, he hopped on board with crew of the Penlee lifeboat at Newlyn to lay a wreath at the site of the Solomon Browne tragedy.

He had also been to St Mary's Church, Penzance, for an act of worship, walked about in the town, including a stop at The Giving Shop to meet volunteers, and started the day being quizzed by students at Penwith College.

On the first visit to the far west of Cornwall by an Archbishop of Canterbury in more than 100 years, he said: “It is very distinctive and I wanted to come here early to learn about what Bishop Tim (The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro) is doing here.

“It is very different. There is an extraordinary history of spirituality here which is nothing like the rest of the south of England.”

The Archbishop mingled with students, both from the college and local schools, including Humphry Davy and St Marys’ Church of England, while enjoying a buffet breakfast in the college’s Zennor building which enjoys spectacular views over Mount’s Bay.

Among those he talked to was Penwith College student Lucy Tyreman, who studies chemistry, physics maths and further maths.

She said the Archbishop was “very easy to talk to”.

“He asked me about what I was doing at the college and my plans for university,” she said. “His reaction when I said I was doing maths was the same as most people - “That must be tough,” he said.

The Archbishop then faced a thought-provoking question and answer session from the students: on the Church’s plans to set up a credit union the Archbishop raised a laugh when he said he would not be sending out large vicars with dark glasses to collect bad debts while, when asked if religion was important in society, he said it was “irreplaceable and essential”.

When asked how an omnibenevolent God could allow natural disasters such as the recent typhoon in the Philippines the Archbishop replied: The Archbishop replied: “I don't have an answer, I just know God doesn't walk away from us.”

Regarding the worst and best parts of his job he said paperwork was his least favourite and he also confessed that he could not understand why a fuss was made about him as an Archbishop.

“It embarrasses me but it does mean I get to meet so many amazing people.”

The Archbishop also told the students that they were in a “fantastic college - it’s a marvellous and motivating place”.

Anyone who meets the Archbishop is encouraged to post their pictures and thoughts on the social networking site Twitter using the hashtag ABCCornwall.


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