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The Archbishop of York Praises Cumbria’s “Resilient” Farmers

Lake District National Park Authority’s headquarters

Friday 25th January 2013

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has praised the resilience of Cumbrian famers during a two-day visit to the county.

Dr Sentamu was in Cumbria on Wednesday 23 January and Thursday 24 January to see the work of the Diocese of Carlisle.

He was joined by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome and the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Revd Robert Freeman.

On Thursday morning he met with farmer Brian Armstrong and an ecumenical team of Auction Mart chaplains at Kirkoswald, near Penrith.

Dr Sentamu said: “I would say that farmers are facing a difficult time but the word that comes out again and again from everyone I speak to here is resilience.

“I want the country to hear about this resilience. I will also take away with me the fact that farmers should be respected for keeping the countryside the way it is.”

Earlier the Archbishop heard how Mr Armstrong – whose farm was hit by foot and mouth in 2001 - had worked as a volunteer to offer support to farmers in difficulty.

A local Farm Crisis Network is now in place and the auction mart chaplains also provide help.

Dr Sentamu praised the work of the ecumenical team, adding: “We should really work very hard at our church structures because united we stand, divided we fall.”

Later the Archbishop visited Carlisle’s Trinity School to see completed multi-million pound building work there.

After a question and answer session with pupils, he joined them for lunch in the school dining hall, before performing a blessing in the newly opened Jubilee Hall.

He said: “This is a brilliant, brilliant school. When I was in the Jubilee Hall, I was thinking it is what every child in this country ought to experience. I wish this school every blessing.”

Trinity’s headteacher, Alan Mottershead, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Archbishop of York chose to include our school in his visit to the Diocese of Carlisle.

“The students really took to him. Many asked him for his autograph and wanted to know what his Twitter account was. They had a great experience meeting their first Archbishop.”

Dr Sentamu’s two day tour ended with a visit to the University of Cumbria’s Fusehill campus. He is the university’s first Chancellor.

He heard about ongoing joint work with chaplains, the Christian Union, Youth With A Mission and Network Youth Church, which helps students explore the Christian faith.

Later there was a question and answer session and a filmed interview with media students about his visit to the Diocese and his role as Chancellor.

On Wednesday the Archbishop toured the south of the county. He met with Diocesan team members at the Diocesan retreat centre, Rydal Hall near Ambleside.

That was followed with a visit to Cartmel Priory for a question and answer session with pupils from the Cartmel Priory CofE Secondary School.

And during a visit to the Lake District National Park Authority’s headquarters in Kendal, apprentice workers presented him with a gift of local produce.

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