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Archbishop of Canterbury moonlights as waiter at Norfolk church

PUBLISHED: 11:02 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 09 November 2018

What are you having? The Archbishop of Canterbury serves breakfast at Blakeney church. Pictures: Diocese of Norwich

What are you having? The Archbishop of Canterbury serves breakfast at Blakeney church. Pictures: Diocese of Norwich

Archant

The Archbishop of Canterbury donned an apron as he served breakfast to children and adults at Blakeney Church in north Norfolk.

The Archbishop of Canterbury served breakfast at Blakeney church. Pictures: Diocese of NorwichThe Archbishop of Canterbury served breakfast at Blakeney church. Pictures: Diocese of Norwich

The Most Rev Justin Welby, accompanied by the Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, began his three-day visit to Norfolk in Norwich on Wednesday, November 7, and arrived by minibus in north Norfolk at about 7.45am today.

It was an early start for the archbishop as he served breakfast to schoolchildren and about 100 guests at a community breakfast run from St Nicholas’ Church.

It was a return to his boyhood haunts for Archbishop Justin, who spent summer holidays in the area.

He told the packed church: “Sorry I’m dressed like this, but I’m normally dressed in a peculiar way.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury mingles with guests at Blakeney church. Pictures: Tom GreenThe Archbishop of Canterbury mingles with guests at Blakeney church. Pictures: Tom Green

He went to each breakfast table asking if their orders had been taken, and it was strange to hear the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, wearing an apron, enquire whether mine had been taken. For the record, I had a bacon and egg bap with orange juice and coffee.

The monthly event at the church started as a one-off Big Breakfast to raise funds for Christian Aid Week, but was so popular, it now runs monthly.

Organiser Tricia Temple-Crowe said: “Over the last 18 months, it’s been incredible to see how the Blakeney Breakfast has grown and become a regular fixture in the life of the community. We open the doors at 7.50am, usually on the first Wednesday of the month welcoming many children and families on their way to the primary school next door.”

Archbishop Justin said he had been quite “intimidated” meeting so many people who remembered him from half a century ago.

“It’s about 30 degrees warmer in here than it was 50 years ago,” he added.

He led prayers and said: “This is what these churches should be used for.”

The Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick, said: “I think it’s fantastic the archbishop comes to do this kind of thing. It’s a real fillip for us and privilege to have him here. It has showed him what life in the countryside is like.”

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