Archbishop of York to visit Carlisle for missionary journey


The Archbishop of York is set to visit Carlisle next week to explore exciting missional projects across the city.

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell will be in the Diocese of Carlisle on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 September for a missionary journey.

On Tuesday he will attend an evensong service at Carlisle Cathedral and present a University of Cumbria lecture on a theme of pilgrimage.

The following morning, he will visit St Luke’s church in Morton before meeting pupils and staff at Bishop Harvey Goodwin School and then later heading to one of the county’s Restore shops which is run by a Christian charity offering employment opportunities, community support and high-quality second-hand goods. The Archbishop will then take part in a question-and-answer session at St Cuthbert’s church before the day ends with a further Q and A with RE and Year 11 students at Trinity School and a prayer meeting focussed on mission across the city which will be held at St Aidan’s church.  

Archbishop Stephen said: “I’m really pleased to be returning to the wonderful Diocese of Carlisle for a flying visit. I’m especially looking forward to meeting with young people in a couple of schools and hearing what’s on their minds. 

“As Bishop Rob and I meet with people who serve their local communities in different ways, I hope we can be an encouragement as we hear and see the good work being done to help people in need, offering hope and bringing God’s Kingdom here on earth.”

His visit coming just a few months after he and the Bishop of Carlisle toured the Appleby Horse Fair and helped launch a Gypsy Roma Traveller Friendly Churches initiative.

Archbishop Stephen will be joined by the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Rob Saner-Haigh, and the Rural Dean of Carlisle, the Rev Simon Bickersteth.

Bishop Rob said: “It’s wonderful to be able to welcome the Archbishop back to Cumbria so soon after his last visit. I know that he is using these missionary journey days to explore how Christians across the Northern Province are reaching out with the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

“So, we very much look forward to showing him how our faith communities in churches, schools and community shops are both prayerfully and practically growing God’s Kingdom in the city of Carlisle and, indeed, across the whole of our county.”

The Rev Simon Bickersteth, Vicar of St James Carlisle and leader of the Two Rivers Mission Community, added: “I very much look forward to spending time with the Archbishop on this missionary journey day. We are excited that we will be able to show him how Christians across our city are actively bearing witness to their faith both in our churches and in the wider community.” 

This will be his third visit to the county since his enthronement. In March 2022 he visited west Cumbria, paying tribute to the community spirit he witnessed as different groups pulled together to supply aid to those affected by the Ukrainian war.

Regular updates of Archbishop Stephen’s visit will be posted to the Diocese of Carlisle’s and Archbishop of York’s Facebook page.

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