News from the Diocese of Southwark
Archbishop talks about the "Priceless quality of Human life" at Greenwich
23 Apr 2012
On Thursday 19 April the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury as they led a group of pilgrims by river from Southwark Cathedral to Greenwich to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Archbishop's predecessor, St Alfege. At the same time the Bishop of Woolwich, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, and the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, led a party making the same journey on foot.
The journey started with a service of welcome at Southwark Cathedral, at which the Dean remarked on the example of St Alfege's Christian witness by refusing to allow his people to pay a ransom for him to the Danes and to suffer on their behalf. In his address the Bishop of Southwark reflected on the act of pilgrimage and on St Alfege's martyrdom but also asked the congregation to pray for the people of Zimbabwe "who know the costly reality today of witnessing to their faith in Christ in the face of ongoing harassment and the abuse of power".
Arriving at Greenwich, the Bishop and Archbishop walked to St Alfege and St Peter's School, where the pupils performed for their guests and the Archbishop talked about reconciliation, telling them not to leave it a thousand years before making friends with enemies.
During the Service of Pilgrimage at St Alfege's the Archbishop spoke about how in Alfege's day there was a tariff to pay for causing hurt or offence which depended on status and how, as long as people thought in those terms, you could never get to the point of universal reconciliation but in the Christian world there was a conviction that human lives were beyond price. The Bishop of Southwark and the Bishop of Bergen, the Rt Revd Halvor Nordhaug, also signed a Declaration of Intent for a twinning agreement between the two Dioceses - building on the existing relationship between Southwark and Bergen Cathedrals.
The Bishop of Southwark's address can be found on the Diocesan website at: http://tinyurl.com/c5qx6mj and photos from the day can be found on the Diocesan Flickr photostream at: http://tinyurl.com/d7mt27a