Head of the Church of England explains how his family is settling in

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In an exclusive column for KentNews, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, discusses how he and his family are settling into their new lives in Kent and how they’re still working out the best takeaway restaurants to frequent...

The last year has been full of surprises – a new job of course being one of them.

But within those surprises have been many blessings, including now having a home in Canterbury where we can spend part of our time.

A base in Kent is hugely important to us. It’s a place where we can come and be refreshed and renewed.

Getting settled hasn’t been all plain sailing; we are still trying to figure out which is the best takeaway in Canterbury – and still getting lost most times we step out of our front door. But we feel deeply privileged to call this place home. We can see now why it’s called the Garden of England.

We keep nudging each other, slightly in awe, and saying: “This place is amazing. It’s so beautiful.”

From Romney Marsh to Dover, from the Medway Towns to the North Downs, there is so much to visit, and so many people to meet – the daunting thing is whether we will manage to do it all.

In addition, the Diocese of Canterbury, which is the oldest in the Church of England, is extremely important to me as an archbishop.

As the months and years unfold, I’m looking forward to working with the Bishop of Dover to support the priests throughout the diocese, helping them to grow the communities in their churches. This means doing the simple things: taking services, meeting people, listening to stories, sharing the Gospel, inviting people to discover the love of Jesus Christ for themselves – and worshipping God alongside everyone else.

Put simply, the people and churches of Canterbury will help me to stay in step with the normal rhythm of Christian life.

Next month I’ll be taking the services at Canterbury Cathedral where new deacons and priests will be ordained. Commissioning new ministry in the church will be a humbling reminder that men and women continue to devote themselves to living out their love of God.

I hope to meet some of you there, or elsewhere in Kent over the exciting and challenging years to come.

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