Archbishop prays for work of Christian charity that flies planes in developing countries to reach communities in need.
Justin Welby with members of MAF

The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday visited an international Christian charity which flies light aircraft in developing countries to reach remote communities in need.

Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, who are spending Holy Week in Canterbury diocese, met with staff at the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) Folkestone office to learn more about its work.

During the visit, Archbishop Justin and Mrs Welby spoke with Ruth Whitaker, CEO of MAF UK and other senior staff, as well as Stuart King, one of the founders of MAF and a 93-year-old WWII RAF veteran.

The Archbishop, who flew with MAF during a visit to South Sudanlast year, prayed for the charity's work, which he praised as "invaluable and extraordinary".

Speaking about the profound sense of isolation and abandonment that comes with situations of conflict across the world, he said: “The biggest single thing in conflict is to feel forgotten and abandoned, even when you’re not; your experience is so unique and isolated.”

He added: “We were both very excited to hear that you were in the Canterbury diocese. We’re very, very grateful, thank you for letting us come today, it’s a real privilege to meet you. What you do is invaluable and extraordinary.”

Rooted in the church and working with scores of aid organisations, MAF flies light aircraft in developing countries to enable aid, relief, food, clean water, education and medical assistance to reach isolated and remote communities which could take days or weeks to reach by land.

Visit the MAF UK website.

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