Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Ex-Barrow vicar was friend of new church head

A FORMER Barrow vicar has shared his views on his former college mate who has been appointed as the new Archibishop of Canterbury.

Father Mark Edwards MBE was a vicar in the Barrow area for almost 14 years, but moved to the North East in 2009 to take up positions as curate of two village churches in Dinnington, Newcastle, and chaplain to Northumbria police.

Mr Edwards, who has retained his links to his adopted Barrow since his departure, contacted the Evening Mail after the Church of England appointed Justin Welby as the new Archbishop of Canterbury this week.

Mr Edwards said: “I had the pleasure and privilege of training alongside Justin. He was in his final year at Durham University when I started in 1991.

“I attended lectures with Justin and ate with him in the communal college canteen.

“Justin was always an engaging student, warm, friendly and down to earth. His faith even at university was always rooted in reality, born out of his own trials and challenges, none more so in the loss of a child in a car accident.”

Although the two university students came from different backgrounds – “he from the old Etonian school and me from
secondary modern” – Mr Edwards said their upbringings had shared some parallels.

He said: “In many ways our backgrounds and journey to ordination couldn’t have been more different, but we both came from broken homes.

“Justin’s parents divorced when he was a young boy, as did mine.”

Mr Edwards also revealed the new archbishop had always been “tipped to go far in the Church of England” and described how Bishop Welby gave up his job as a “high flying oil executive to follow his calling”.

Mr Edwards, who said Bishop Welby’s rise to the top was remarkable considering he was only ordained 20 years ago, added: “He comes across as mild-mannered but he is no push over.

“He has already spoken out strongly against same sex marriages which the government seem intent on introducing.

“Justin has the ability to challenge politicians’ secular proposals on the basis of religious conviction.

“He will be a thorn in the side of the government – supporting them when he can, but also challenging them when needs be.”

Have your say

“He has already spoken out strongly against same sex marriages which the government seem intent on introducing."
Here's a counter argument Father Mark: if two people of the same sex want to get married then they why should anyone else stop them from ruining their life, whether you like it or not. No one is making you marry a bloke so just learn to live with it.

Posted by Lovin Barrow on 13 November 2012 at 11:45

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