Archbishop embarks on pilgrimage ahead of enthronement

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby meets well wishersPA

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has embarked on a pilgrimage of prayer towards his enthronement next Thursday.  

Over a thousand people turned out to greet him in Norwich, where he began the five-day pilgrimage.

Reflecting on its significance, he said: "I think the key thing is to remember to be centred on Jesus Christ – that's why we start with prayer."

He continued: "The Church praying together and gathering together to pray is something that draws other people to faith in Christ."

The Archbishop is inviting people to join him in prayer at each stop along the way - in Coventry, London and Southwark, Truro and Chichester. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby with the Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth (left) during a visit to the ruins of the old Cathedral in CoventryPA

In Coventry today, the Archbishop was to be welcomed by the Mayor and joined by local school children.  The group was then due to walk to the ruins of the old cathedral to pray for reconciliation. 

In London on Saturday, the pilgrimage will start at the birthplace of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1161 to 1170, at the corner of Cheapside and Ironmonger Lane in the City.

The Archbishop will journey to St Paul's Cathedral where he will pray for the world.   He will then walk across the Thames past Tate Modern and the Globe theatre to Borough Market, where he will say prayers, before continuing to Southwark Cathedral where there will be prayers in the form of Lectio Divina - or 'divine reading' - and prayers from the Celtic tradition.

The pilgrimage resumes on Monday at Truro, where the Archbishop will be greeted with singing and drumming by children from Archbishop Benson school.  Prayer outside will be followed by a walk to Truro Cathedral, where the time of prayer will be complemented by music. 

On the final day in Chichester, prayers at the cathedral will include meditative music from the Northumbria Community and meditative material from the English mystics.

The pilgrimage ends on Tuesday with Choral Evensong in the cathedral at 5:30pm.  

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