28th Jun, 2022

Archbishop of Canterbury begins four-day 'homecoming' tour of Coventry and Warwickshire

Felix Nobes 2nd May, 2018

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury has begun a four-day ‘homecoming’ tour of Coventry and the region.

The Archbishop, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, was welcomed to the city on Wednesday (May 2) to celebrate the 100th Centenary of the Diocese of Coventry.

It also happens to be the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

He returns to the region he called home for 15 years and to Coventry Cathedral – where he was ordained in 1992.

For his first order of service, he made a grand entrance to the Coventry Transport Museum in a rain-soaked classic 1968 Rover 3.5 V8 TC.

Children from local faith schools and the Bishop of Coventry, the very reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, greeted the Archbishop as he gave his first address.

The Archbishop’s trip follows the Royal visit and coincides with the city’s celebrations after being awarded UK City of Culture 2021.

Mr Welby was a curater in Nuneaton and then a rector in Southam during his early years in the diocese.

He later served at Coventry Cathedral from 2002 to 2007, where he became the Canon for the Reconciliation Ministry.

A decade later he is frequently seen wearing the Coventry Cross of Nails.

He will visit some of the region’s schools and charities in Coventry, Rugby and Southam.

On Wednesday, he took part in a ‘Nourish’ meal at St Peter’s Church, Hillfields.

‘Nourish’ is a meal organised by the charity Together For Change and encourages people to bring dishes from their own cuisines and share it with people from other cultures.

In the evening, he was due to visit the Belgrade Theatre and meet leading representatives and performing artists from Coventry’s cultural scene.

The theme for many of his tour’s events concerns how faith and the arts can enhance the city’s reputation as the ‘City of Peace and Reconciliation’ – and how it aspires to be a place which learns from history to build diversity.

The highlight of his ‘holy trip’ will be the Centenary Festival at Coventry Cathedral on Saturday (May 5).

The all-day occasion will see celebrations and tributes to the Archbishop as well as other prominent individuals in the Diocese.

Mr Welby will also lead a service for the 50th anniversary of Tearfund – a Christian relief charity.

The festival starts at 10.30am and will conclude at 4pm.

The Diocese of Coventry said: “The Archbishop will return to Coventry to meet people throughout the city and county who profoundly shaped his mission and ministry for fifteen years.

“The diocese, in its current form, was created in 1918. At the same time, the old parish church of St Michael became the cathedral of the new diocese.”

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