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Canterbury visits Canterbury

Canterbury visits Canterbury

One of the last international pastoral visits of the Archbishop of Canterbury will be to Christchurch this weekend, November 3rd and 4th.

Dr Rowan Williams will visit a city wrestling with issues including school closures, the devastated Eastern suburbs, and what to do with the Cathedral and heritage buildings.

The visit recognises the historical links of the pilgrims of the Canterbury Association who arrived in 1850.The Archbishop has expressed his support and prayers for the people of Canterbury since the earthquakes began. His visit is about his personal concern as well as symbolic of the support extended to Canterbury by the wider Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Bishop Victoria Matthews, says the Archbishop has a
ministry of presence that will be expressed in Christchurch, "His ministry of presence, a desire to be with people has been experienced gratefully in a variety of different circumstances round the world. Since the September 2010 earthquake, there have been over 10,000 earthquakes and aftershocks in Canterbury, so people are in need of hope and healing."

The Archbishop will be welcomed at the marae of Te Hui Amorangi o Te Waipounamu in Phillipstown on Saturday afternoon, led by the Maori Bishop of the South Island, Bishop John Gray.

Bishop Matthews and Bishop Gray describe the visit as being more about people than lost buildings. The Archbishop will visit the communities of the Eastern suburbs, the red zone, the almost finished new Anglican City Mission, the building site of the Transitional Cathedral, and the remains of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals.

The Archbishop will honour the work of volunteers when he addresses 'The Concert' on Saturday evening. Bishop Matthews says there is a recognised need to build community in the midst of the broken city and its environs, "The greatest need at this time is the enabling of resilience in the midst of brokenness. The door knocking outreach, that assists those who are separated from structures of support and hope, is a major vehicle of support."

On Sunday morning the Archbishop will preach and preside at the Eucharist in Christ's College Chapel, the current home of the Cathedral community. On Sunday afternoon there will be an ecumenical service at St Christopher's Anglican Church in Avonhead prior to his meeting with young adults, (16-30 year olds).


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