Archbishop moves to a fresh Catholic beat

By staff writers
December 11, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury has led an Advent day of prayer and pilgrimage involving drumbeats and electronic presentations beamed onto large screens around Coventry Cathedral.

The day was aimed at cementing links between Fresh Expressions and the Catholic tradition of the Church of England.

Over 500 pilgrims joined Dr Williams, including the bishops of Coventry, Pontefract and Reading.

Bishops, clergy and laity began the pilgrimage to the sound of a deep drumbeat as baptism vows were renewed.

The Creed was said as pilgrims shouted "Yes!" to simple questions asking them to reaffirm their faith and traditional and modern evocative music, accompanied by computer generated electronic presentations continuously beamed on large screens throughout the Cathedral.

The Archbishop spoke of his "great joy" to be involved in the event and stayed for the whole day. Observers said he 'seemed to genuinely enjoy every minute'.

In his address before the Eucharist, Dr Williams said: "a good Catholic theology of the Church starts well back beyond any issues around institutions; it starts by asking how a community embodies, practically and visibly, some of the things we’ve been thinking about".

Dr Williams said that the challenges for mission were huge but he was sure that "a genuine catholic vision of the Church can give us indispensable resources for seeing the Church in its fullness, flexibly and hopefully, because it makes us see it in and only in the light of God’s own action".

Workshops in the afternoon included "Body Prayer in the Christian tradition", "Looking with Mary to God's possibilities" and "Monasticism, New Monasticism and the Contemplative tradition".

The event was sponsored by Affirming Catholicism.

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