IT was a proud day for Chichester as the cathedral welcomed the new Archbishop of Canterbury to the city.
The Most Rev Justin Welby walked from the Cross to the cathedral at around midday yesterday and around 3,000 people turned out to see him.
‘I’m completely overwhelmed by how many people there were,’ he said afterwards.
‘I don’t know Chichester very well. It’s just amazing and a real treat for me.’
When asked if he had a message for those who could not attend, he said: ‘I would want to say that this is such a wonderful and beautiful place to come to.
‘Come into the cathedral and this wonderful city.’
As he walked along West Street, he spoke to June Bennett, from Manor Way, Southbourne, who had come to see him.
Three weeks ago, she had broken her arm in three places as she slipped over in her back garden,
The Most Rev Welby asked her how she hurt her arm, and after she told him of the incident, he said: ‘It doesn’t really sound dramatic enough but it looks quite painful. I’m really sorry.’
Speaking afterwards, she said: ‘I’m so proud that he shook my hand and stopped to speak.’
Winston Stelling, and his wife Barbara, of Pipers Mead, in Birdham, also attended the cathedral for the Archbishop’s visit.
Winston described the visit as ‘wonderful and warm’.
He said: ‘We’re very lucky in this cathedral.
‘We have got some of the finest clergy going – they’re absolutely wonderful.’
Meanwhile, Christine Hinkley, who went as part of a large group from the Bosham WI, said the whole day had been very well organised, and said: ‘It was a very friendly, low-key time.’
Two hundred pupils from the nearby Prebendal School applauded and welcomed the Archbishop to the cathedral.
Headteacher Tim Cannell said it was a ‘day to remember for many years’.
He added: ‘It’s just a very proud occasion in many ways to have the archbishop visit Chichester and the cathedral.’
The archbishop was in the cathedral for the afternoon, and took part in a number of prayer sessions.