Archbishop Justin's message for St Davids
Not being able to visit St Davids in April was one of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s biggest disappointments in lockdown. "I was longing to go there," he says, in a video-message released on the Cathedral’s ‘Chapter Day’, the major annual meeting of its Trustee Body of senior clergy.
Archbishop Justin Welby describes St Davids as "a remarkable place, where people from St David’s time in the 6th century, onwards, have found themselves somehow touched by a sense of God’s compassionate presence – that love of God we best know in Jesus Christ". Recognising the importance of St Davids as a pilgrimage destination, he adds that Jesus Christ "invites us all to be pilgrims at every step of our lives".
The Archbishop also reflects on St David’s famous teaching, "Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard me do", and what it means for him personally, including the reminder that "we have joy in Christ" and need to "retain the reality of our relationship with God".
Describing St David’s words as a ‘practical signpost’ especially during the pandemic, he says ‘through the lockdown, haven’t we seen that the heroes are the people doing the little things - it is the great numbers doing the little things that make for a society that does the big things.’ He draws a parallel with Jesus, who, relatively little known in life, was ‘the hinge-point of history.’
Responding to the Archbishop’s wish that there will be a future opportunity to visit, the Dean of St Davids, the Very Revd Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, said, ‘"I very much hope one day to welcome Archbishop Justin to this ancient site of British Christianity. The Cathedral re-opened fully to visitors earlier this week, and it’s been very evident how it still feeds the faith of so many, today."
Archbishop Justin had been due to come to Wales, including visiting St Davids, in April to mark the centenary of the disestablishment in of the Church in Wales. In 1920 it was separated out of the Church of England, of which it had previously been a part, and became an independent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury is the symbolic head.