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Archbishop to visit Liverpool

Thursday 24th January 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to visit Liverpool this weekend. During his visit Dr Williams will give a lecture at the Anglican Cathedral, attend the Holocaust Memorial Day at the at the Philharmonic Hall and preach at Choral Evening Prayer at the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. He will also be the guest of the Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Clark, at a Town Hall Reception, visit the ecumenical community L'Arche, and meet with Diocesan staff and volunteers.

Dr Rowan Williams said of the visit: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to spend some time in Liverpool and honoured to have been invited so early on in its time as the European City of Culture. Liverpool is renowned for its sparky creativity and the very strong community ties which bind it together in a rich diversity grounded in historically strong Christian roots".

On Saturday the Archbishop will visit the L'Arche Community based in Kensington. L'Arche was started more than forty years ago in France by former Royal Navy officer Jean Vanier for people with learningdisabilities.  The Liverpool Community is one of 130 across the world and nine in the UK, started in 1976.  There are now five houses in Liverpool shared between people with disabilities and assistants,living together as a family, sharing meals and household chores.

On Saturday evening Dr Williams will deliver a lecture entitled 'Europe, Culture and Faith' at Liverpool Cathedral, full text of which will be released under embargo in due course.

On Sunday morning the Archbishop will lead the worship in one of the inner-city parishes, after which he is to be the guest of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Paul Clark, at a lunchtime reception at Liverpool Town Hall. At 3.00 pm he will join other faith leaders, including the Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, at the National Holocaust Memorial Day in the Philharmonic Hall. Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated on 27th January each year on the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

At 5.00 pm the Archbishop's visit will conclude with a celebration of Choral Evening Prayer in the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral at which he will preach. 2008 is the 100th anniversary of the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which developed from an Octave of Prayer devised in 1908 by the American Episcopalian clergyman Paul Wattson, and Spencer Jones, the Vicar of Moreton-in-Marsh in England. The annual celebration is one of special significance for Churches in Liverpool with their special history of ecumenical co-operation and collaboration.

The Archbishop will return to London on Sunday evening.

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