|Prayers for Peace during the FunKey Service|
Friday 24th September
|The Archbishop of York releases doves |
as symbols of peace, St Mary's Richmond
|St Mary's Richmond hums with activity|
|Bishop James adds his prayers |
for all who work for peace
The Archbishop then went on to a meeting with members of Hope Debt Advice at Bedale including Steve Laugher (Chair of Directors), Charlie Hart (Centre Manager) and Lynn Cornu (Volunteer). He heard about the way in which the churches of the area have pulled together to establish a debt counselling service. It covers Hambleton and Richmond districts and parts of Harrogate and offers free, professional advice with no strings attached to anyone suffering anxiety and sleepless nights because of unpaid bills and mounting debt. Getting into debt can happen to anyone if their circumstances change unexpectedly and the service is confidential, non judgemental and completely free. Archbishop Sentamu heard the story of two people who had literally had their lives changed by being able to work with skilled members of the organisation. They spoke of the feeling of lightness and hope in their home after the first visit of an advisor. Hope Debt Advice Is a Christian charitable trust which is affiliated with Community Money Advice and licensed by the Office of Fair Trading to help people with financial problems. You can contact it today on 07582204338.
After lunch, Archbishop Sentamu went on to Harroagte where he met members of Kairos Church, a new network church which has established small groups of Christians who meet for worship, mutual support and Christian study across the Harrogate Area. Each group has a slightly different focus. We heard stories of work and worship with people who are getting themselves settled after a period of homelessness, people who are self-harming, elderly people in nursing homes and children and young families. There is also an intern scheme for people who would like to give a year working with Kairos in some way and a group who go out on the streets to meet people and talk about their faith or just befriend. The Kairos communities are very all-age from 0-90! You can find out more about Kairos on
|With thanks to the Archbishop of York's |
Communication Officer for the photo
Archbishop Sentamu has a wonderful gift for listening, encouraging and responding to people in ways that naturally make them ask, 'What is God saying in this situation?' Whether you are long in the tooth as a Christian believer or someone who has never thought much about Christianity, he has that knack of challenging you to look at the basics of how and why you are doing what you do and to ask what it might be that God is drawing out of you and your particular situation.
We laughed a lot too. At Lunch time he sat down to a slap-up lunch at Bedale Rectory with the Area Deans and Lay Chairs of the archdeaconry and we discussed the proposals for a new diocese for West Yorkshire and the Dales. There are many questions about how it will work but Archbishop Sentamu listened, probed and encouraged in ways that helped us to catch the vision for renewed mission across the communities and churches of this area. There will undoubtedly be many opportunities to rethink how we support mission and ministry more effectively and he gave us some examples. More of this in a few days time as there will be an anouncement about these plans for a new diocese this week, from the Dioceses Commission, to be followed by their full report in about three weeks' time.
A very big thank you to everyone who took part in the day and especially to Archbsihop Sentamu for his encouragement to us and his prayer for us and with us.