Archbishop John Sentamu of York visits Cheshire

Archbishop John Sentamu of York enjoyed a two-day visit to Cheshire meeting young people and dining at a farmhouse WORDS BY STEPHEN REGAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORNELI FLEUR

Archbishop John Sentamu of York enjoyed a two-day visit to Cheshire which saw him out and about on a Knutsford farm, joining young people making music in Macclesfield, giving an inspirational address at Chester Cathedral and witnessing good work at the YMCA in Crewe.

The Archbishop’s tour began with a visit to a church-led project that offers training and activities to residents of the Moss Rose estate, Macclesfield. He saw how youngsters learned music, bike repair and other skills and was impressed by how the community had got behind the creation of the �18,000 ‘Cre8’ centre.

He also visited the nearby St Barnabas’ Church where he saw pupils from the new joint Church of England/Roman Catholic primary school of Christ the King, and other local schools, engaged in artistic activities.

In company with the Bishop of Stockport, Dr Sentamu travelled to Clay Bank Farm, Allostock, Knutsford, for lunch with the Agricultural Chaplaincy Team. Among the guests were Bishop Peter of Chester, and Canon Keith Ineson (Agricultural Chaplain, Churches Together in Cheshire) who told of the great distress to hit rural Cheshire following livestock epidemics and other crises in recent years.

At the lunch – hosted by farmers Tony and Pamela Garnett – the Archbishop heard how members of the Agricultural Chaplaincy team help people in rural communities, several of whom are suffering greatly because of livestock infected by TB.

A private afternoon visit to Thorn Cross Youth Offenders Institution at Appleton Thorn, Warrington was also arranged. The Archbishop was due to talk to the Rev. Shawn Verhey and other members of the chaplaincy team about their work on restorative justice projects and other issues in prison chaplaincy.

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Dr Sentamu’s visit concluded with a tour of the newly rebuilt �5.3 million YMCA building in Crewe. The centre has a football academy and there is a caf�, a suite of internet-connected computers, plus a range of vocationally-focused training schemes, covering catering and hospitality and horticulture. It also offers art classes, Thai boxing and gym sessions, as well as supported accommodation for 55 homeless young people aged 16-25.


The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012  issue of Cheshire Life 

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