News Archbishop of Canterbury blesses Maidstone Museum new gallery

Archbishop of Canterbury blesses Maidstone Museum new gallery image

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby visited Maidstone Museum today, (Saturday 30 March), to meet and engage with young people in the town. The event was part of Archbishop Justin’s visit to schools, churches and community projects in the Maidstone area during Holy Week.

During his visit the Archbishop took the time to bless the new Maidstone Museum archaeology gallery ‘Lives In Our Landscape’ which is due to open this summer.

Archbishop Justin said:

I bring a blessing on this place that those who come will recognise in it the history of this area, the blessings it has received in the past and the faithfulness of God who cares for all that has been made and for every person.  May your blessing rest upon all who work in this Museum, upon the Museum as a place of openness and warmth, of hospitality, of learning and of gratitude.

The Archbishop was also shown a number of special religious artefacts, not currently on general view to the public and are anticipated to be installed in the new gallery. These were presented by the Museum team and included a second volume of the Lambeth Bible, written in Latin believed to have originated from St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury around the mid-12th century.

Young people from Maidstone Museum’s youth group CUR8 and various local organisations including the Sea Cadets and Scouts were invited to look at the artefacts as part of the Archbishop’s visit.

Other religious artefacts that were on display included The Book of Hours, a devotional book, which first appeared in the 13th century; a manuscript made of Vellum and bound between wooden boards from the 14th century (1300-1399), and a number of metal Pilgrimage badges dating from 14-15th Century and Medieval periods.

Natalie Moor, Maidstone Museum Manager said:

We were absolutely delighted to welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury today.  It was a wonderful opportunity for young people involved with the Museum to be able to discuss him the projects that they have contributed to with both the team here and with the Maidstone Museums Foundation.  It was an amazing and memorable event for us all.

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