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Suffolk: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, helps diocese celebrate centenary

PUBLISHED: 19:03 30 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:03 30 March 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday

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The work and message of the Church is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said as he officially launched the centenary celebrations for the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese at the weekend.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday

Hundreds of guests packed into the cathedral at Bury St Edmunds on Saturday for a midday Eucharist service with the Archbishop, which has set the mood for a year of festivities and celebrations.

The centenary will celebrate the successes and good work of the diocese over the past century, but it will also be a time to look to the future of it in Suffolk, a future Archbishop Justin was adamant was extremely bright.

“I think it (the church) is as relevant as it ever was and it always will be,” he said. “We are standing next to a statue of St Edmund and it’s as relevant as it was in that time. It carries with it the good news of the love of Jesus Christ and that is never irrelevant.

“When you are putting a vicar into a parish or a new bishop there is a little speech about proclaiming the gospel message and it is getting the church out in the community which we do very well in Suffolk.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday
Archbishop Justin  meeting those that took part in the  after the memorable service The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launching the Centenary of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a midday Eucharist service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday Archbishop Justin meeting those that took part in the after the memorable service

The service took place in the middle of a weekend visit from the Archbishop, during which he met many people and saw the work of a host of community projects, which included the Ipswich Town Pastors.

Bishop David Thomson, Acting Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “We are delighted that the Archbishop can be with us. His presence reminds us that we are part of God’s great mission to renew the world in the life and love we see in Jesus Christ.

“The theme for our Centenary is Pilgrims in Time. In the company of the Archbishop we give thanks for our journey so far, celebrate God’s presence with us now, and look with adventurous confidence to the future.”

The visit from the Archbishop was one of the main aspects of the centenary celebrations – but there will be plenty of other events in the coming months to help mark the milestone.

This will include a flower festival at the cathedral in July and a Pilgrimage to Kagera in November.

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