We were delighted to welcome amongst us the Archbishop of York whose title is: The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell last Friday afternoon. He is the first Archbishop to visit the school, pastorally, for many years. As ‘The Visitor’ to the College he was here to encourage us. When his flight was cancelled on Thursday evening, the scheduled Diocesan welcome had to be cancelled, too. It was therefore a great relief to wake up on Friday morning to better weather!
Archbishop Stephen was accompanied to school by our Bishop Peter and his own Chaplain Reverend Dr Jenny Wright. He was greeted and welcomed at the door by the Principal, Katie L and Tomas G. ‘Rev where should we take him?’ was Katie’s question. A quick tour round, focussing first on the Art School to meet Mr Kelly whose artwork will be installed in Chapel. Great conversations were had there. Then secondly, to the Library to meet Mrs Murphy. The Archbishop has written many books, one of which we are using in Chapel for morning services during this Lent – Walking the Way of the Cross (book image). He was impressed with Mrs M’s Word Wall and asked, ‘Was there a Manx word?’ There isn’t yet but there will be soon!
A Service of Celtic Evening Prayer was chosen by Chapel Wardens. The Archbishop is an energetic communicator. He told us three stories about love which were powerful, as was his poem. It was a very different approach to preaching. His passion for the Gospel and for young people was good to witness. ‘We meet God in the face of Jesus who in love sacrificed himself on the Cross’, indeed.
The school gave him the Celtic Blessing: Deep peace of the running wave to you…
There was tea in the Principal’s study after the service. Archbishop Stephen met with the newly Confirmed, Joe, Arne and Lucy.
He told us he will return – ‘would he please come for the art installation?’ ‘If we can find a future date.’ I am hoping timings will align.
We have been greatly encouraged by his visit.
Reverend Erica, Chaplain