Archbishop of York speaks at Believe in Boro
15 June 2012
A group of church leaders in Middlesbrough began to reignite their unity movement this January meeting together weekly for prayer. Together they have created a new mission initiative called Believe in Boro which they launched this week with a visit by the Bishop of York and a number of mission events taking place over this week.
Around 800 people attended the celebration on Wednesday eve with Dr John Sentamu as speaker and below is the report from the local paper the Evening Gazette.
"Its not often an archbishop drops in to share his life story. But that’s exactly what happened at a Middlesbrough school last night.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, paid a special visit to King’s Academy in Middlesbrough.He shared stories about his life with hundreds of Christians during an event at the Coulby Newham school. He was launching a four-day celebration of Christianity - and Middlesbrough.
Believe in Boro is bringing Christians of all denominations together.
Dr Sentamu said: “Believe in Boro is a great idea. It’s a chance for Christians across Middlesbrough to come together and show this fantastic town the difference that Jesus makes in our lives."
“God isn’t distant or uncaring - he loves you - and I hope these events will show people a little of God’s love for them.”
Speaking at the school last night, the UK’s first black archbishop spoke of his birth and upbringing in Uganda. He told how he weighed only 4lbs and was baptised on the day he was born because he was not expected to survive. He had been a sickly child but had discovered God at the age of 10. He told the audience: “I have never stopped telling people about Jesus.”
He spoke of growing up in Uganda, witnessing and experiencing brutality and persecution under Idi Amin’s regime.
He said it was a very difficult time but Jesus had never left him, adding: “He has never abandoned me.”
And he said Middlesbrough could be “a very different place” if more people put their faith in Christ.
Reverend Canon Erik Wilson, vicar of St Barnabas’ Church, Linthorpe Road, said: “We may have different ways of doing things in our churches, but by coming together for Believe in Boro, we are saying that we are all part of a wider church family.”
Principal Chris Drew said King’s Academy had a Christian ethos and felt like a natural venue for different denominations to come together.
“There are differences but also similarities. We are here to enjoy fellowship with one another.”
He said it was also a celebration of Middlesbrough.
“I think it is a town with a great deal going for it and tremendous people. Their warmth, their friendliness, their support for one another, is exceptional.”
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