Hundreds pack Worcestershire church for archbishop prayer tour

The Archbishop of Canterbury with Himbleton Church of England (CofE) Primary School students
The students got the chance to meet Archbishop Welby on his first trip to Pershore Abbey

Hundreds of people flocked to a church service which was led by a group of children and included a special guest - the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The pews of Pershore Abbey were filled as Himbleton Church of England (CofE) Primary School pupils addressed the congregation on Saturday.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby attended the service as part of his prayer pilgrimage tour.

He commended the "buzzing" community in the Worcestershire town.

Speaking to Radio Hereford and Worcester Archbishop Welby said: "It's the most amazing place, it is an incredible community and is buzzing with life.

"As a building, it is spectacular, your eyes are drawn upwards by the way it is designed and it is a good place to pray."

During the service, hundreds of paper planes embossed with prayers were released across the church.

The children spoke about prayer reflected on what it means to them while the archbishop's tour was focused on prayers for peace and justice throughout the world in 2024 and beyond.

The archbishop added: "The worship this morning was quite profound, the children had thought about it and spoke clearly and confidently, it was exceptional."

Gemma Martin, headteacher of Himbleton CofE Primary school said: "They did amazingly, I'm so proud of them. It was a big step for them but they did so well and embraced the opportunity.

"It's an experience that will stay with them long beyond today."

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