Archbishop of Canterbury at Derby Cathedral
Derby Cathedral welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to a Civic Service on Sunday 25 September.
In an address to a packed Cathedral, reflecting on his three day pastoral visit to the Diocese of Derby, Dr Williams made reference to recent redundancies in the manufacturing industry and the continuing consequences of an economic downturn and insisted that local churches were firmly in the business of listening: “The Church is working in a city shattered by bad news and looking to bring real change. [Wherever I went] the church is not pushing answers at people but listening attentively.”
Dr Williams reminded his congregation that “The Gospel is not attractive to people who think they have it all sorted.” Jesus found that people who had nothing to worry about were the last to respond to the challenge laid down to them.
The Archbishop added: “In the Diocese of Derby, over three days, I have seen the Church listening to people, aware of the need for change and a Christian community aware of their own vulnerability.”
The Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, led the service accompanied by the Dean of Derby, Dr John Davies.
William Tucker, HM Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, read the first lesson.
The Cathedral Choir led the music, singing a Eucharist setting by Bruckner (in E minor).
At the end of the service the Diocese presented a gift to Dr Williams and members of the congregation were able to meet and chat with the Archbishop.
The Dean of Derby, Dr John Davies, commented: “It was wonderful to welcome the Archbishop to Derby Cathedral. All who were present sensed in Rowan Williams an integrity, a warmth and a compassion which made his time here hugely special.”