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17 November 2013

On Sunday 17 November 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, visited Liskeard as part of a three day trip to Cornwall. This was the Archbishop’s first pastoral visit to a diocese since his public ministry was inaugurated at his enthronement in Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. As the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury he is the spiritual leader of 80 million Anglicans around the world.

The Archbishop presided at a service of Holy Communion in St Martin’s Church, Liskeard. He was accompanied by Bishop Tim, the Bishop of Truro. The service was open to everyone, and the church was packed. The estimated number attending was 450 people.

After the service the Archbishop joined invited guests for a buffet lunch at the Eliot House Hotel, giving him the opportunity to talk to representatives from the local churches and the town. Tea, coffee and cakes was served in the church hall after the service for those who were not able to attend the lunch.

The Rev Canon Tony Ingleby, Priest in Charge of the benefice of Liskeard and St Keyne, said; “We were honoured and delighted to have the Archbishop visit our church to preach, to lead our worship and to talk with many folk from our Church and from the town. Of course ‘church’ goes well beyond the church walls - for instance, teams take Bible Stories dramatically into schools with ‘Open the Book’ - so we included an example of this initiative in our service.”

St Martin’s church is the second largest church in the diocese. During his short visit to Cornwall the Archbishop also visited the Cathedral, and the parish churches in Bodmin, Launceston and Penzance.

We were able to record the Archbishop's sermon during the service and have loaded it here as an MP3 file. Click on the blue box below or the Archbishop's picture here to play the recording.

The Archbishop was talking on the gospel reading where the women went to anoint the body of Christ, only to be met by an angel who told them that Jesus had risen. He told them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus has gone ahead of them to Galilee and they were to follow.

The message was that our job is to see what God is doing, to get alongside God and to join in.

(1) We need to listen to God so we move from "what shall I do" to "whom shall I obey". To do that we must learn to listen: through prayer, through studying the bible; and through fasting (which could be giving up something other than food such as TV, to make the space in our lives to hear God).

(2) We must gather with others and see what Jesus will do.

(3) We must go out and obey what Jesus has told us to do. We don't have to know all the answers to all the questions we may be asked. Just tell people what Jesus has done for us.

The church's new life grows from the new lives of its members.

Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon

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