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Archbishop ambushed leaving the cathedral and then asked for a blessing

by Glyn Jones

The Archbishop of Wales has revealed he was ambushed by "three young lads" while leaving Llandaff Cathedral after a service attended by King Charles, the Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family. 
Most Rt Rev Andrew John, the Archbishop of Wales had given the address at a service to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II and the promulgation of the new King.

Speaking at times in Welsh and at times in English, Archbishop Andrew highlighted the Queen's Christian faith and its important place in her life.

Later, after Archbishop Andrew had concluded the service the incident happened as he left the cathedral. 

He told Premier "As we were walking back, there were three lads who wanted to just know what was going on." 

So, they stopped the archbishop and asked him.

Despite a strong police presence in the city, crowds waving Welsh flags and a twenty-one gun salute the boys appeared unaware of the King's visit to Cardiff.

Archbishop Andrew explained that there had just been a service in the cathedral as part of King Charles' first visit to Wales as monarch. 

But then, having ambushed Archbishop Andrew, the three boys had a special request. 

Most Rt Rev Andrew John explained: "right at the end, after our conversation, they asked me and my colleague 'Would you bless us?'."

"There and then in the middle of Llandaff in the open green, surrounded by lots of people, the army and the police force, we prayed for them and I asked God to bless them."

For Archbishop Andrew, the encounter indicates a continuing longing for answers to the deep spiritual question which the church must always seek to answer.

He told Premier, "I don't believe that people have simply walked away from interest in spiritual things and people want to know whether the deep questions of life actually have any kind of answers and that's our territory. That's what we're interested in. The big, big questions."

There will be many reasons for Most Rt Rev Andrew John to remember the King's first visit as monarch to Cardiff. 

Archbishop Andrew says it was "a priviledge" to give the address at such an important service. But adds, "when I heard those three boys asking for God's blessing on their lives -  that will stay with me for a very long time.

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