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'Let’s build a legacy of love for one another': Royals head to churches as Christians take part in The Big Help Out

by Sophie Drew

Princess Anne and Admiral Timothy Lawrence have met with volunteers taking part in the The Big Help Out.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have met with volunteers at a street party St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in London.

It’s just one of the events church leaders have been championing as part of the Coronation initiative.

The Big Help Out has encouraged thousands of people across the UK to get involved in serving their local communities on the extra bank holiday.

King Charles III has said he hopes the day will be a lasting legacy of his coronation, following a slump in the number of people taking part in volunteering initiatives in 2022. 

Faith leaders have been a driving force behind the plans. Last month, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York joined other faith leaders for an afternoon of volunteering at The Message Trust, a homeless charity in London. 

The Archbishop of Wales has spent the day cleaning up a beach in North Wales, drawing attention to the ongoing environmental crisis. 

Bradford Cathedral has organised a litter pick, whilst the Council of Christians and Jews is enacting similar efforts on Wimbledon Common. 

In a bid to encourage people of faith to take part, Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “Every day around the country, Christians and members of other faith groups are engaged in acts of love and service for our neighbours. 

“From food banks and debt clinics to toddler groups and community cafes. For Christians this follows the example of Jesus Christ, the King of all Kings, who teaches us to love our neighbour. 

“During the Coronation, His Majesty The King will be anointed to serve others, and we’ll be giving thanks for the King’s example of service.

 “That’s why helping others is a key theme of the Coronation weekend – and why I’m so delighted to support the Big Help Out. As we celebrate the Coronation, I joyfully encourage everyone to help out in all kinds of creative ways. 

“I pray we take this opportunity to come together, support those around us and unite our communities. Let’s build a legacy of love for one another.”

Manal Fouad, a volunteer at St Marks Coptic Orthodox Church, spoke to Premier Christian News ahead of the royal arrivals. 

She said: “Today, has been fantastic. 

“The whole idea of having the street party was two-fold. One, to obviously to celebrate the coronation of King Charles, but also to embrace the community. 

“When we first started organising the street party, we didn't realise how overwhelming were going to be, which is absolutely fantastic. 

“I can see a whole array of different people from different cultures, and neighbours as well.”

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