Archbishop of Canterbury visits St Michael’s and the Heart of the Community project

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited us on Saturday 13th September – as part of his weekend in Bristol and the West.  Archbishop Welby, described the  Heart of the Community project as ‘wonderful’, ‘courageous’ and ‘exciting’.  He said: “This project warms my heart. This is not about a community building: this is about building a community. It is a great example of what the church does best, which is loving and serving and transforming – and it’s about the future. 

“It is a huge project to undertake and I know there is a lot further to go. It is not audacious simply because it’s bold, daring and big, but because it is one of those projects that depends entirely upon God and God moving people’s hearts.  There is a real vision about what this community could be in the future and what is being put together here. The Heart of the Community is happening because it is God’s heart for the community now and over the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years and that is so exciting.  It is wonderful to be here. All of us should look around – any thought that God’s church has no future in this land is a complete delusion.”

As he dedicated the building the Archbishop thanked and blessed all those who had worked on the building, the project team and the vision behind the centre.  “May it be a light for its community, may it be a reminder of the love of God at the heart of the community. May you govern and direct the church and people of this area that it may be a place of help for those growing up, a place of safety for those growing old and a place of flourishing for those in work.”

Bishop Mike has also asked that his personal thanks and appreciation be passed on to colleagues and congregations in the Diocese.  “… the effort and commitment that both individuals and organisations have put into planning and engaging with this pastoral visit has been considerable… I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my personal thanks to you for all that you have contributed in planning and expertise, in prayer and through your physical presence at the events…”

To see the full gallery of photos by Rob Wicks please click here