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Poetic Archbishop to speak in Norfolk churches

RowanWilliamsPulpit1Web2010: The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams (right), is to visit Norfolk to speak at the largest church in the Diocese - Norwich Cathedral - and at one of the smallest churches in Norfolk – All Saints’, Sharrington.
On Saturday May 1, the Archbishop, will join prize-winning British poet, broadcaster and great-great-grandaughter of Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel, in conversation on the relationship between poetry and prayer. They will read a selection of their own poetry, and discuss the need for both in our world today. See below for a poem by the Archbishop.
Ruth Padel (below) is a prize-winning British poet who also writes acclaimed non-fiction, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, Bye-Fellow of Christ's College Cambridge. She has won the UK National Poetry Competition and poems from her seven collections have been widely anthologized, broadcast, and shortlisted for all major British prizes.
RuthPadelFollowing coffee, the Archbishop will answer questions from the audience. Big screens will allow the speakers to be seen from around the Cathedral.
This Norwich Cathedral Institute event will take place in the Cathedral from 10am-12.30pm. The event is open to all, but admission is by ticket only. Tickets are available from the University of East Anglia Box Office at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/events/default.aspx  or 01603 508050. Tickets cost £5 (£3 concessions). 
On the evening of Friday April 30, the Archbishop will reflect on the life of the rural church at All Saints’, Sharrington. The invitation to speak came from Anne Sloman, a member of All Saints’ and former Political Editor of the BBC, who has served for the past five years on the Archbishops’ Council and now chairs the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council which supports dioceses and parishes in their care of more than 16,000 church buildings.
A selection of the Archbishop’s poems can be found at   www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/71

I Saw him Standing

Under the dark trees, there he stands,
there he stands; shall he not draw my eyes?
I thought I knew a little
how he compels, beyond all things, but now
he stands there in the shadows.  It will be
Oh, such a daybreak, such bright morning,
when I shall wake to see him
as he is.

He is called Rose of Sharon, for his skin
is clear, his skin is flushed with blood,
his body lovely and exact; how he compels
beyond ten thousand rivals.  There he stands,
my friend, the friend of guilt and helplessness,
to steer my hollow body
over the sea.

The earth is full of masks and fetishes,
what is there here for me?  are these like him?
Keep company with him and you will know:
no kin, no likeness to those empty eyes.
He is a stranger to them all, great Jesus.
What is there here for me?  I know
what I have longed for.  Him to hold me always.
                    From the Welsh of Ann Griffiths
(c) Rowan Williams


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