The Big Mission Weekend with the Archbishop of Canterbury: 24 to 26 May 2024

Published: Tuesday December 5, 2023

Bishop RachelDear sisters and brothers,

Seeds of Life

We are delighted to announce that the Archbishop of Canterbury will be with us in this diocese for the weekend of Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May 2024. This is part of his programme of evangelistic weekends in different dioceses.

As you know, our vision of LIFE Together is focused on Jesus Christ’s words as told by John: ‘I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it to the full’. Thus, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ runs through it all as a golden thread, and what Archbishop Justin most wants to do is to come and dwell within our LIFE vision and enable people to go deeper and further in sharing the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ, so that people of all ages and backgrounds may know life in all its fullness.

Obviously, Archbishop Justin can only be present in a few places and a small planning group is already shaping the programme, with the weekend beginning on Friday morning with an event for schools. However, the hope and vision is that, in different contexts across the diocese, you will consider taking an appropriate next step in speaking and living the gospel, creating spaces and opportunities for children, young people and adults to discover the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

Do start praying and thinking about what you might offer that weekend, running alongside the Archbishop’s programme. Hopefully, some people will work together across boundaries and within deaneries, and we will look to share people’s ideas and plans so as to inspire and encourage one another.

Some people may be aware that the Archbishop has initiated a College of Evangelists, which consists of a number of people across the country with specific and varied gifts related to evangelism. A team of these evangelists always accompany the Archbishop on his visits, to be deployed in different places and different contexts. Who actually comes rather depends on what gifts and foci we particularly request. So, if you have an idea of how you might like to use one of these people in your context, please do let Sandra Millar know (ku.gr1708610358o.coi1708610358dsolg1708610358@rall1708610358ims1708610358). The important thing is that this is not about parachuting someone in for a short burst with no connection to what is already happening and what might be built on.

Our Ministry Day, on 5 March 2024 (please note corrected date), will have evangelism as its focus, and the Reverend Canon Chris Russell, the Archbishop’s Adviser for Evangelism and Witness, will be present with us. We also hope to release a number of short films of interaction with the Archbishop over the coming months.

There will be a particular encouragement to keep the days from Ascension to Pentecost (9 to 19 May 2024) as days of prayer ahead of our evangelistic weekend (many already join in with the international initiative ‘Thy Kingdom Come’).

The last thing to say, which is very important, is that this is not primarily a weekend for all those in our worshipping communities to come and meet the Archbishop, however much people might like that! However, we do recognise that people will want the opportunity to come and be together with their Archbishop, so the final event of the weekend will be a special service in the Cathedral on Sunday afternoon during which the Archbishop will be interviewed and will share with us as followers of Christ of different ages and stories. We hope it will also be an opportunity for us to encourage him and pray for him.

We hope that this letter has provoked some excitement and expectancy. We will be sharing and communicating more in the New Year.

With our thanks and prayers as ever as you journey through Advent.

+ Rachel

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