Looking forward to Archbishop Justin’s visit

I know that lots of people across the Diocese are looking forward to meeting Archbishop Justin when he visits us over three days 7th-9th October. I am praying that the visit will be a time of great blessing, affirming the incredible life, ministry and outreach of our churches, as well as bringing encouragement to others who seek to find life in all its fullness in Jesus.

Over the course of the three days there will be whole range of different events, from the low-key visit to a group that works each week with refugees, to a large scale invite-a-friend event in Worcester arena.

All events are planned around the Archbishop’s three priorities.

About prayer and the renewal of religious life Archbishop Justin has said, “If we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer. It starts with a new spirit of prayer, using all the traditions, ancient and modern.” Prayer matters, our lives are enriched, and prayer changes things. So during the Archbishop’s visit he will be encouraging us to deepen our relationship with Jesus through prayer, explore different ways of praying, and he will champion the great privilege it is to have the communities of Glasshampton and Mucknell Abbey within the diocese.

About reconciliation Archbishop Justin has said that it “doesn’t mean we all agree. It means we find ways of disagreeing – perhaps very passionately – but loving each other deeply at the same time, and being deeply committed to each other. That’s the challenge for the church if we are actually going to speak to our society, which is increasingly divided in many different ways.” So during the visit the Archbishop will take us to the heart of the Gospel and help us to think about how being reconciled in Christ Jesus demands of us to be agents of reconciliation in our nation, in our communities, in our churches, and our families.

The third priority is evangelism. Archbishop Justin frequently says, "The best decision that anyone can ever make, at any time, in any place, is to follow Jesus Christ." We are called at the end of Matthew’s Gospel to go and make disciples. Having discovered something incredible in our lives, something that transforms us with love and grace, forgiveness and mercy, surely we will want others to experience that something, which is God in Jesus, as well? Evangelism is about sharing that wonderfully good news by our words, by our living, by how we are.

It is sometimes said that other people remember how we make them feel far more than what they hear us say. Archbishop Justin’s visit will, I pray, enable more people to feel what our life together as the Diocese of Worcester is all about so that they will be receptive to hear about what God has done for us in the birth and life, the passion, death and resurrection, of Jesus. Please pray earnestly that the visit will be good news for the sake of the Good News.