Archbishop meets and prays with Birmingham youth workers


Archbishop Justin met with youth workers in Birmingham on Saturday evening, telling them their work would "ensure the future of the Church of England".
Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop of Birmingham David Urquhart hit the streets of Birmingham city centre

The Archbishop spent four hours with the Urban Devotion team, which included informal conversation over a Birmingham Balti.

Before the supper, the Archbishop visited Hope House in Perry Common where he saw very young people praying in three rooms marked Thank You, Sorry and Please.

After visiting the prayer stations the Archbishop prayed for the young people and they prayed for him – their prayers included asking God to look after his family and asking that his work ‘helping people to like each other,’ would be successful.

The Archbishop then spent time at Underground, St Martin’s church youth centre where he met young people who had been struggling at school and at risk of offending who were now working with Urban Devotion and were committed Christians. He also joined local people for worship in the church and spoke about the importance of prayer.

Archbishop Justin said: “Prayer might seem like an inward thing but when we connect with God we are fired out into the community – it’s like an explosion."

He said that the renewal of the church, and therefore the renewal of society, had always been preceded by a renewal of prayer and of communities of prayer like Urban Devotion.

“Your work, more than my work, will ensure the future of the Church of England."

The visit to Urban Devotion in Perry Common was the first in a four-day visit to Birmingham and region. During the visit, the Archbishop will speak at an interfaith conference to tackle poverty, give a lecture on geo-politics, lead services, enjoy a bake-off with Martha Collison and visit schools and industry.

After visiting Urban Devotion the Archbishop spent the next few hours with City Pastors on Broad Street and Southside where he met clubbers and security staff as he patrolled the streets.

The visit to Birmingham reflects the Archbishop’s three priorities for his ministry: the renewal of prayer and the religious life; reconciliation; and evangelism and witness.

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