The Crown and Cushion in Welburn has welcomed Dr Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, to its friendship lunch.
This monthly event in Welburn is supported by the local parish as well as nearby churches, who, along with Provenance Inns and Hotels – the pub’s owners – invited Dr Sentamu to join the lunch as part of his current Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing across the Diocese of York.
The pilgrimage, which started in Whitby in December last year, will finish at York Minster on Sunday.
Inspired by the Yorkshire Post’s “Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic” campaign, young and old alike are welcomed to these friendship lunches and encouraged to reach out to others in their area in order to help combat loneliness and social isolation in rural villages and surrounding districts.
Offering good food and company, the lunches have been enthusiastically-received by the local communities surrounding all of the award-winning Provenance Inns in the North Yorkshire countryside.
Dr Sentamu said: “We have been created in God’s image and likeness to know Him, to worship Him and to live in friendship with Him and others. This Friendship Lunch is a fantastic way of enabling that love and companionship to be expressed and I pray that all who eat together will continue to find strength and life with these wonderful friends.”
Provenance Inns’ managing director Michael Ibbotson said: “The Archbishop had a good chat with everybody around the tables, and seemed really pleased with what we’re trying to do with the Friendship Lunches. It was very much our community spirit that he commented on.”
“We had 73 people come along, our biggest yet at Welburn, and they get better every time. We have had one group of 16 ladies from Heslington Church who have been coming along since day one and they were absolutely delighted to have a word with the Archbishop.”