Archbishop of Canterbury leads Palm Sunday service

The Archbishop of Canterbury has led a procession in Maidstone to mark Palm Sunday.

The day marks the start of Holy Week and celebrates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem just days before his death.

Sunday's event in Kent began with a parish breakfast followed by the procession of palms outside St Philips Church ahead of the service.

The Most Rev Justin Welby blessed the procession and preached during the service.

He is spending the week ahead of Easter in the Maidstone area visiting churches, businesses and community outreach projects.

Mr Welby said: “Christian faith is rooted in the history of Jesus and particularly the story of Holy Week and Easter.

“This is the most important week of the Church year – because the events we remember and celebrate make us who we are.”

The Archbishop will celebrate Easter Sunday at Canterbury Cathedral, which also hosted a Palm Sunday service.

The Bible says Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, while people waved palm leaves and cheered him.

Ahead of the procession of palms, a prayer gathering was held on Sunday morning with two donkeys and palms followed by a procession from Yeomanry Memorial in Canterbury High Street to the cathedral nave.

The donkeys were loaned by staff at the John Graham Centre in Blean.

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