The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, experienced a cross-section of rural and town life as he visits the Deanery of Beverley – the parishes in and around the historic market town and its surrounding villages – for a Mission Weekend from Friday 11th May to Sunday 13th May 2018.

Friday 11th May

The Archbishop’s day began at St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Beverley, where he spent time with staff and pupils.

Dr Sentamu will visited the St Michael’s Centre which is attached to St Michael’s Parish Church, Cherry Burton, and the Open Door Community CafĂ© (ODCC) on its first day of opening to the public. ODCC provides a place for young and old and those feeling isolated to find an easy place of community with affordable, good-quality food and drink. Archbishop Sentamu met the customers and volunteer staff, and joined them in sharing faith stories.

The Archbishop went on to Bishop Burton College for a question-and-answer session with local residents and students at the nationally-respected land-based college, which is the only college in the UK to hold Centre of Vocational Excellence status in both Agriculture and Equine, and in 2017 was accredited as the Outstanding BTEC College of the Year.

Dr Sentamu returned to St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Beverley, where he visited the school’s brand-new building which has recently brought together the infants and juniors from their previous split sites. He met with staff and Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 7-11) with parents for an open gathering at which the Archbishop spoke.

Dr Sentamu will joined regulars and local church members at ‘The Monks Walk’ pub for an evening of Beer and Hymns, at which he gave a short talk.

Saturday 12th May

The Archbishop of York took part in Morning Prayer at All Hallows Church, Walkington before going on to All Saints’ Church, Lund where he joined the monthly ‘Bacon Butties Drop-In’ which began last September after the re-ordering of the church’s nave area to provide flexible space and facilities for church and community use. The drop-ins attract local people of all ages, bringing a wide variety of people into the church, which has resulted in two infant Christenings since they began. Dr Sentamu met the volunteers who run the drop-in and the bi-monthly Board Games Afternoon which is following it on the same day this month. He spoke briefly and encouraged those who aren’t churchgoers to think again about the place of faith in today’s world.

The Archbishop joined a bring-and-share lunch with the theme ‘Being Community’ at Walkington Village Hall, where he sat down and talked with friends and neighbours of church members from the four churches of Walkington, Bishop Burton, Rowley and Skidby (farming folk, those who work in Driffield/Beverley/ Hull/York and retired people) and spoke briefly about his own life and faith. The ‘Meet the Archbishop’ event followed a similar one to meet the Rector, the Reverend David Messer, who arrived in mid-2017.

Dr Sentamu went on to St Leonard’s Church, Molescroft where there was a short service, followed by afternoon tea for all.

In the evening the Archbishop joined the Church Lads and Girls’ Brigade and their parents at St Mary’s Church, Beverley for a talk and Q & A session.

Sunday 13th May

Dr Sentamu was at Beverley Leisure Centre to bless those taking part in the B&A Scaffolding 2km Fun Run, and then moved on to Beverley Minster to start and bless the Pittaway Beverley 10km race. The Archbishop then spent the remainder of the morning with the volunteer hospitality team there as they welcomed and provided refreshments for the runners and supporters, and went on to the Hog Roast lunch at St Mary’s Church Beverley.

In the afternoon the Archbishop of York was president and preacher at a service in Beverley Minster commemorating St John of Beverley, (died 7th May 721 and buried in the Minster), an English bishop active in the kingdom of Northumbria. John was the bishop of Hexham and then the bishop of York (which was the most important religious designation in the area), and went on to found the town of Beverley by building the first structure there, a monastery. He was associated with miracles during and after his lifetime, and was canonised –made a saint – in 1037.