Archbishop standing outside holding an A4 sized book with 5 pictures on the front

Year 2 pupils from Howden Church of England Infant School in the East Riding of Yorkshire wrote to the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell asking questions ranging from ‘Do you like pizza?’ to ‘Have you ever met God?’

The children each wrote a letter to the Archbishop with their questions which were then gathered together to create a book.  

The Archbishop was so impressed with all the time and effort that had gone into their written project that he decided to record a video of his answers to share with the class.

Headteacher Miss Cawthorn, explained that the letters arose from learning about belief in RE lessons and said, “We have been thinking about our own beliefs as well as finding out about other peoples’ beliefs in our community and the world.  We decided to write to the Archbishop to find out more about what he believes. The children really enjoyed coming up with questions then writing their letters and were surprised and excited to receive answers via a video message!”

Archbishop Stephen said, “I was so impressed by the questions that the children were asking. A huge number of them and so varied! I was asked what my favourite part of my job is – telling others about Jesus, and whether I like broccoli – not particularly! The children had obviously spent a lot of time thinking about what to ask and also shared some of their own experiences. I was especially moved by one who didn’t think they would feel brave enough to stand up and speak in front of a big group, and asked what it is like to have so many people looking at you in church.

"I pray that the children of Howden Infants, and children all across the Diocese, will continue to be inquisitive, grow in confidence and know that Jesus the light of the world is with them, all the time and everywhere.”

The Diocese of York’s year long Children of Light Festival begins this weekend with a pre-recorded commissioning service, available to watch from 20 March. You can find out more about resources available for churches, schools and households, planned events and more on the Diocese of York’s website


The Archbishop answers some of the questions from Howden CE Infant School

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