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Archbishop praises work of narrowboat chaplains

Friday 19th June 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury met with Waterways Chaplains at the start of his three-day visit to St Albans diocese.

Archbishop Justin with Waterways Chaplains on the Grand Union Canal near Watford, 18 June 2015. (Photograph: Arun Kataria)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised chaplains working on the water who, like Jesus, go out and minister to people in need.

Archbishop Justin Welby met a group of chaplains on narrowboats on the Grand Union Canal, near Watford, yesterday, on the first of a three-day visit to the Diocese of St Albans. He also met Gerry Dowsett, a canal dweller who fell on hard times and was befriended by the Waterways chaplains.

The Archbishop said: "The Church exists to go to people, not to wait for them to come into church. Jesus Christ went out to people. And so the work of the chaplain is to go to people and not hang around and wait, which, of course, people on boats never will come in because they just go straight past."

The Waterways Chaplaincy initiative, which started in Watford through the town centre chaplaincy, now operates across the country.

Watch a BBC London News report on the Archbishop's visit to the Waterways Chaplains (starts at 16mins. Available until 7pm, 19 June).



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