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Archbishop of Canterbury to lead Plymouth’s Remembrance Sunday Service

Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby
Photo courtesy of Jaqui J Sze, with kind permission from Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby will lead this year's Remembrance Sunday Service on Plymouth Hoe.

The service, which remembers all those who lost their lives in both World Wars and in all conflicts, will take place on Sunday 12 November.

Ordained in 1992 and installed as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013, Archbishop Justin has led debates in the House of Lords on the UK’s role in conflict prevention, often speaks on issues related to peacebuilding and sees the armed forces as major stakeholders in reconciliation.

In 2015, he and the Archbishop of York signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, which commits the Church of England to recognise and care for armed forces personnel, veterans and families.

He will be joined at Plymouth’s Remembrance Sunday Service by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor Mark Shayer and Mrs Samantha Shayer, the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon and the Bishop of Plymouth, The Rt Revd James Grier.

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor’s Consort, Council Leader, leaders of the Conservative and Free Independents groups and Council Chief Executive will also attend the service.*

The Lord Mayor said: “We are incredibly honoured to welcome Archbishop Justin to Plymouth to lead this year’s Remembrance Sunday Service. This is such an important occasion for the city, bringing us all together each year to commemorate and pay tribute to the service, bravery and sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives for our country. It is an opportunity not only to remember those we have lost in conflict but also join in a shared hope for a more peaceful tomorrow.”

The Bishop of Plymouth added: “Plymouth is a city with a rich military history and ongoing presence. The Remembrance Sunday Service is an especially significant and important moment for us as Plymothians and so I am delighted that Archbishop Justin will be joining us. As the Archbishop of Canterbury he not only brings the message of hope and peace that Christian faith offers but he is also someone who has personally devoted his life to peace and reconciliation across the globe.”

The event will begin with a two-minute silence at the Royal Naval Memorial at 11am.

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon will lay a wreath, followed by the Lord Mayor (on behalf of the people of Plymouth) and then the Naval Base Commander and other representatives of the armed forces.

Visiting Danish and German ships HDMS Iver Huitfeldt and FGS Rheinland-Pfalz will also lay wreaths, followed by the Military Kids Club Heroes (a support group of service family children from across the city) and pupils from local schools.

Archbishop Justin will then conduct the service, which will last for around 20 minutes.

Members of the public and local organisations will be invited to pay their respects and lay their personal wreaths at the end of the service, on the north side of the memorial, following the departure of the civic dignitaries.

The processional party will then take their places at the Civilian Memorial in Lockyer Street, where the Bishop of Plymouth will say a prayer before wreaths are laid by the Lord Mayor, Naval Base Commander (on behalf of the armed forces) and Luke Pollard MP (on behalf of all the local Members of Parliament), followed by various services and organisations.

Members of the public are reminded that parking around the Hoe is limited. Some spaces will be available on the Hoe Promenade for blue badge holders but this will be on a first come, first served basis.

A limited number of seats will also be available within the main arena for veterans but must be reserved in advance – please email or call 01752 306088 as soon as possible and no later than Thursday 9 November.

Plymouth's Remembrance Sunday Service will be streamed on our YouTube channel.

* Representatives of Plymouth’s other political groups will be attending other remembrance events.