Full house for Archbishop

The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting Somerset next month and tickets for his ‘In conversation with’ event at the Cheese and Grain in Frome on Tuesday, 8 November have sold out.

The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells said: “Excitement is building for the Archbishop’s visit as the popularity of the ‘In conversation…’ event shows. I am sure it will be a stimulating evening and that those of all faiths and none who attend will take the opportunity to engage with the Archbishop as we look with hope to the future and discuss some of the challenging issues we are facing as a society.”

Those who missed out on getting a ticket to attend can watch the event live on YouTube. They could also tune in to the Ben McGrail show between 9-9:30 on Tuesday when Archbishop Justin will be taking questions from Ben and his listeners. Ben McGrail will broadcast his entire show from the @St Mary’s Centre – talking to Revd Sue Tucker, midwife Becky Scott some users of the facilities and his regular listeners from Chard.

The Revd Preb Sue Tucker from St Mary’s Chard, said: “We don’t think an Archbishop of Canterbury has ever been to Chard before so we are very excited. The church in Chard plays a significant role in people’s lives, even if they don’t attend every Sunday, there is a real sense that St Mary’s is their church and the fact that Archbishop Justin has taken time to visit us really resonates with them.”

This year the church has welcomed a new curate and opened a new facility for the community, the @St Mary’s Centre. After attending morning Eucharist at the church, Archbishop Justin will tour the facilities of @St Mary’s and meet some people who use the centre.

The @St Mary’s Centre was opened in March 2016. It is the home to the Call the Midwife service that provides a support network for mums-to-be, new mums, and other community groups. The Revd Preb Sue Tucker was prompted to open the centre after she heard that local midwife Becky Scott was looking for a base from which to support her work with mums, mums to be and to promote sexual health among young people. It has since launched classes to teach English as a second language to town residents from Poland and Portugal.

@St Mary’s is based in the former school house in the grounds of St Mary’s Church and has been completely refurbished to provide a modern kitchen, community room, office space and toilet facilities.

Archbishop Justin will be visiting the Diocese of Bath and Wells from 7 to 9 November. He will start his visit in the south west of Somerset, starting at Taunton before moving on to Minehead and into Exmoor. On Tuesday 8 he will visit Chard, then travel to Langport and up to Glastonbury, Wells and Frome. On his final day he will attend a number of events in Bath.

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