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Archbishops of Canterbury and York lead prayers at Nelson Mandela memorial service

Picture: Andrew Dunsmore

Monday 3rd March 2014

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Most Revd Justin Welby and the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu, led the prayers at a national service to celebrate the life and work of Nelson Mandela held today at Westminster Abbey.

Two thousand people attended the service, including HRH Prince Harry; the Prime Minister, David Cameron; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who gave an address; and South Africa's deputy president.

Introducing the prayers, Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Dr John Sentamu said: “Rejoicing in the gift of Christ’s peace, let us pray to the Lord. We give thanks for Nelson Mandela’s exceptional commitment to freedom and forgiveness, and for his determination to turn hatred into love and anger into reconciliation.”

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd Dr John Hall.

In December Archbishop Justin preached at a memorial service for Mr Mandela held at St Martin in the Fields in London. During his sermon the Archbishop said the former South African president "melted courage into forgiveness" to create "the gold of reconciliation".

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