Archbishop of Canterbury to preach in Bedford to celebrate 350th John Bunyan anniversary

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Dr Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Dr Justin Welby will be preaching at Bunyan Meeting later this month to celebrate the 350th anniversary of John Bunyan becoming minister of the church in 1672.

The service will be held on Sunday 29 May at 11am at the Mill Street church.

Even though Bunyan was imprisoned for twelve years for preaching without a licence, the Church of England eventually recognised his importance to the wider church and set aside a day in their liturgical calendar on the last Sunday in August, the date closest to his death, on which to remember him.

Revd Chris Damp, Minister of Bunyan Meeting said: “We look forward to welcoming the Archbishop  of Canterbury, Justin Welby to  share in our morning worship on 29th May.

“He will be following in the footsteps of three previous Archbishops, Robert Runcie, George Carey, and Rowan Williams, all of whom have preached at Bunyan Meeting in the past.”

Bunyan Meeting, John Bunyan Museum & Library, and the Basement at Bunyan celebrated a number of anniversaries in 2021.

John Bunyan’s statue in the heart of Bedford town centre

It was the 75th anniversary of the opening of the John Bunyan Museum & Library and the fifth anniversary of the opening of the basement community arts venue. In 2022 and beyond the church will continue to celebrate events connected to John Bunyan and the site of the current church as an iconic place of worship in Bedford.

The 2021 and 2022 Anniversaries Project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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