Diocese of Portsmouth

    Archbishop to visit our diocese for three days

    31 Aug. 2023

    THE Archbishop of Canterbury will visit churches, schools and communities in Portsmouth diocese for a weekend in October.

    The Most Rev Justin Welby will meet churchgoers and non-churchgoers from across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight between October 13-15.

    It’s the latest in a series of visits the Archbishop and his team has made to dioceses in the southern province of the Church of England. He has previously made similar visits to Guildford, London, Chichester, Truro and Salisbury diocese over the past few years. (He is pictured above meeting worshippers in our cathedral at an anniversary service for the Sisters of Bethany in 2016)

    Archbishop Justin said: “I’m really looking forward to my trip to the Diocese of Portsmouth, to meeting people who are serving God in local communities, and seeing how the Holy Spirit is moving in churches, schools, care homes, and beyond.

    “I know the people of the diocese are sharing the good news of the Kingdom in new and exciting ways, so more and more people might know the love of God in Jesus Christ. It will be a privilege to be alongside them in October.”

    The Archbishop is planning to spend one day and night on the Isle of Wight and a couple of days on the mainland.

    He hopes to visit two Isle of Wight secondary schools where pupils will be given the chance to ask questions. On October 13, he hopes to visit Christ the King School in Newport in the morning, and The Bay C of E School in the afternoon.

    He’ll share his faith in Jesus at a mission event at Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge that evening, and answer questions about faith at an event that will also feature his favourite hymns and worship songs. And on the Saturday morning, he'll meet those who minister in the island’s churches before a visit to inmates the Isle of Wight Prison.

    On the mainland, he’ll have a Saturday lunchtime session with representatives from various community groups at St Luke's Church, Southsea, a church that opened its building to sole workers, refugees and theological students over the past few years. He'll then visit St Margaret's Church in Southsea in the afternoon to take part in a family fun day. This is a church that has revitalised its outreach to the local community, using a soft play area, community cafe and community shop.

    On October 15, he’ll join worshippers at St Wilfrid’s Church in Cowplain, as they celebrate their 100th anniversary. The service will also involve the Bishop of Portsmouth and previous vicars of the church. He'll answer questions in a session after the morning service and share lunch with worshippers.

    That afternoon, he'll travel to Gosport to see how Christ Church is reaching out to children and young people via innovative worship and community outreach. And he’ll then take part in an Evensong held at St Peter's Church, Petersfield, that evening. He'll meet and worship alongside the Anna Chaplains who are renewing Christian discipleship among the elderly in care homes and their communities.

    You can see the full programme here.

    The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost, said: “We are delighted that the Archbishop is coming to journey alongside us in mission. We are in good heart, looking to Jesus and seeking God’s kingdom.

    “We hope the Archbishop’s visit will shine a new light on our life together in Christ, and encourage bold endeavours in evangelism, discipleship and service for the common good.”

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