2016 Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year Message


2016

On New Year's Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, shares his reflections on the year ahead.


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Transcript


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CHATTER

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Marsh Academy is a school in my own diocese of Canterbury.

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'Today I've been meeting and chatting to some of the students,

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'an experience I found very uplifting.'

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Sodium hydroxide...

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It is amazing, isn't it?

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Yeah. The water turns... It just stays the same.

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Just stays... Just gets more diluted.

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Diluted, yeah.

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I had the honour to meet privately

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an inspiring boy, who at just 14,

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fled his homeland in North Africa

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after soldiers stormed his school

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and attempted to abduct him.

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He was saved by a courageous teacher, but was

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so terrified that it would happen again, he decided to escape.

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This is just one example of the many desperate journeys

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children are making on their own to save their lives.

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This school represents the best of what we can do in this country.

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It welcomes. It loves. It serves.

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It teaches and equips people

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and demonstrates our ability to live up to our long-established

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tradition of warmth and hospitality.

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We've got ham and turkey. Would you like some of each?

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-Yeah, that'd be lovely.

-Or this is the vegetarian.

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No, I'll stick with ham and turkey.

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Thank you very, very much, Debbie. That's really kind of you.

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You're more than welcome.

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The leisure centre next door, is that for the whole community's use?

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-This is my lovely Year H class.

-It's very nice to see you.

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What we're going to be doing today is we're going to be making some

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indicator using poinsettia.

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-You've put the water in.

-Yeah. We've put a little bit in...

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CHATTER

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'It's not a rich school.'

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Many families in the area are struggling on a day-to-day basis

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and yet this school and surrounding community are astonishingly generous.

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If they can do it, so can we all.

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Visiting here brings to mind a chapel in Canterbury Cathedral that

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was set aside in the 16th century for refugees fleeing

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persecution in France.

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An inscription outside the chapel calls it

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a "testimony alike to the large and liberal spirit of the English Church

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"and the glorious asylum which England has in all times given to

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"foreigners flying for refuge against oppression and tyranny."

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Jesus was a refugee.

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Fleeing as a baby with his parents,

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returning years later to a strange new home.

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He tells us to be those who welcome the alien and stranger,

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the poor and weak. As a nation we have always done so.

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In today's world, hospitality

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and love are our most formidable weapons against hatred and extremism.

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I have met some extraordinary people today,

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from this area and those who have risked their lives to find safety.

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The hospitality of people here brings love, hope and joy.

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If we imitate them, society becomes a far better place.

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I wish you all a happy New Year filled with hope.

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On New Year's Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, shares his reflections on the year ahead. He also visits a school in Kent to meet students from around the world who have faced life-changing experiences and hears their hopes and ambitions for 2016.


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