2018 Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year Message


2018

The archbishop of Canterbury visits the London Ambulance Service and the city's Borough Market. Despite the tragic events of 2017, the archbishop finds hope for the coming year.


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Transcript


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All right, tell me exactly what's happened.

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The ambulance will be there as soon as possible.

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All right, take care.

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This is the specialist operations centre,

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part of the London Ambulance Service.

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I've had the privilege of meeting some of the amazing staff here.

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It's used for training and becomes operational

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when there's a major incident in London.

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-Hi. Justin.

-I'm Will.

-Will.

-I'm Ben. Nice to meet you.

-Ben.

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-Simon.

-Simon.

-Tyler.

-Tyler.

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It's very nice to meet you!

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On the 3rd of June, as the terrifying events unfolded

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on London Bridge and in Borough Market,

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staff took over 100 calls from those caught up in the atrocities.

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I'm the old-person representative here.

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THEY LAUGH

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So, I'm the operations officer for the Hazardous Area Response Team.

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So, how quickly did the first ambulance get to Borough Market

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and London Bridge?

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It's three or four minutes we were there

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in terms of the first response.

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SIRENS WAIL

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It wasn't just London and Manchester that suffered last year.

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All over the world, we witnessed the horror

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and devastation caused by terrorism.

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You don't actually think about, you know,

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what you've actually just dealt with until probably a day or so later.

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And then, when you see it on the telly or in the paper or...

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Yeah, that's right,

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-because, you know, we're blind, we don't see...

-Oh, absolutely.

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..anything, we're just going by what we hear on the screens.

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And there have been other terrible tragedies.

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I visited Grenfell Tower while it was still burning.

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I remember the desperation and sorrow.

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SIRENS BLARE

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Then there are those whose suffering will never make

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the news, people who are struggling to find work or

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relying on food banks, those who are bereaved

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or coping with poor mental health or physical illness.

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When things feel unrelentingly difficult,

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there are often questions which hang in the air.

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"Is there any light at all?" "Does anyone care?"

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Every Christmas, we hear from the Bible in the Gospel of John

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the extraordinary words,

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"The light shone in the darkness,

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"and the darkness has not overcome it."

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We see this light in the resilience of Borough Market.

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Today, it is as crowded as ever,

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and the people who work there are vibrant and welcoming.

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Anything to drink, young man?

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Er, a cup of coffee.

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-"Young man"!

-There's always someone older! Remember that!

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We see it in the faces of the hundreds of volunteers

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who turned out after Grenfell simply to help strangers in need.

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We see it in the heroism of the ambulance crews, police,

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Fire Service and security forces.

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I will never forget the image of a group of unarmed police officers

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sprinting flat out towards Borough Market

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as so many were running in the opposite direction.

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So often in 2017, the depth of suffering

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was matched by a depth of compassion as communities came together.

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We love Manchester!

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-ALL:

-We love Manchester!

-We love UK!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Which stories will define us, the horror or the response,

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the darkness or the light?

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It is a choice, but not one we have to make alone.

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Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, weeps for our struggles,

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works for our healing and invites us to walk in his light.

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He is right there with us in the midst of everything.

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May I wish you all a very happy new year.

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For his New Year message, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, visits the headquarters of the London Ambulance Service and the city's Borough Market, both affected by terror attacks in the past 12 months. Despite those tragic events of 2017, the archbishop finds hope for the coming year.


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