The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu led a mission in Whitby Deanery from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 June 2017 where he joined a 'Forest Schools' Class at Sleights Primary School; boarded and met passengers on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's Whitby to Goathland steam train; gave an address as part of the WW1 Commemoration event at Fylingdales; and led an outdoor service at Whitby Abbey.

The Archbishop said, “Whitby has a fantastic Christian heritage, not least in the person of Hilda of Whitby who founded Whitby Abbey. Following in Hilda’s footsteps, I shared my love of God in Jesus Christ with the people of Whitby throughout this mission weekend. I want to encourage those who may be thinking of finding out more about the Christian faith to come along.”

We're thrilled that Archbishop Sentamu will be joining our weekend commemorating two bellringers from St Stephen's, Richard Duck and John William Lowther, who lost their lives in World War One. The church is at the heart of the village and this weekend is a great example of how we work together

Fylingdales Churchwarden Anne Hutton

This was the ninth Deanery Mission Weekend in the Diocese of York this year. The Archbishop was joined on the road by the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, and Archdeacon Sam Rushton.

The mission began on Friday morning when the Archbishop visited Whitby's Caedmon College for a Q & A session with students, before leading an assembly at Ruswarp Primary School. In the afternoon, the Archbishop joined pupils at Sleights Church of England Primary School for their 'forest schools' learning. Bishop Paul visited Castleton School and Archdeacon Sam attended a WW1 Veteran Tea Celebration at the Trinity Centre before addressing a Rotary Club at the Saxonville Hotel at lunch time.

Saturday began with a breakfast testimony at Cranberry Swamp CafĂ© where Whitby Street Angels were celebrating their first five years before the Archbishop met passengers on board a steam train from Whitby to Goathland. He headed for a pop-up gazebo on the village green at Goathland, offering an opportunity to ask about faith and to meet with the Archbishop. At midday, the Archbishop arrived at St Stephen’s Church, Fylingdales, where he gave a talk on the theme of sacrifice as part of the WW1 Commemoration weekend. He went on to St Hilda’s Church, Whitby for a Messy Church event at 3pm, and joined a bring-and-share meal in Lythe Village Hall in the evening.

On Sunday, the Archbishop preached at the 10am Deanery Eucharist Service at St Mary’s Church, East Cliff. Following the service, the Archbishop and clergy processed from St Mary’s to the grounds of Whitby Abbey for an outdoor Service of the Word led by Archbishop Sentamu. The Archbishop met staff and visitors in the Visitor Centre at Whitby Abbey before a picnic lunch in the grounds.

For more pictures from Saturday click here.