Archbishop pays tribute to St Wilfrid
Thursday 19th February 2009The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu today challenged all Christians to get involved in active mission.
Speaking at Ripon Cathedral as part of his lecture commemorating the 1300th anniversary of the death of St Wilfrid, Dr Sentamu described mission as the reason that the Church exists.
He said: "Mission is the responsibility of every Christian person. You can't wriggle out of it and say oh, I think I'll leave it to those who are really good at preaching or leading youth groups, or working with asylum seekers. Oh no! We all have different gifts."
Dr Sentamu added, "Some may be good at Evangelism - that is talking about what God has done in Jesus Christ. Others may have gifts of bringing peace and reconciliation to broken families and communities, or bringing comfort to those who are bereaved or in trouble. But remember, every Christian is a member of Christ's body. God calls us to mission at our baptism and gives us the gifts we need."
The Archbishop outlined challenges to mission which include 3.8 million children living in poverty in the UK, increased violence in local communities, the burden of an isolated aged population and a highly fragmented society.
The Archbishop explained: "The Church must be a beacon, by offering the Good News of Christ not just in practical ways but also in a way that embraces the new, that explains the Gospel in a way that is comprehensible and relevant to people today."
Dr Sentamu also paid tribute to St Wilfrid as "an amazing character and a true missionary".