Archbishop of Canterbury visits Stratford and Canning Town school
The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Westfield Stratford City and a Canning Town primary school last week as part of a celebration of the centenary of the Diocese of Chelmsford.
After an early morning visit to Westfield, Archbishop Justin Welby made his way around Chobham Academy and the Sir Ludwig Guttman Health Centre before hopping on the DLR to visit training centre Alpha Building Services Engineering (BSE).
On board the DLR train to Abbey Road, Archbishop Welby said: "I think Westfield is superb and I was very interested in their training programmes.
"Regarding regeneration we need to be focussing on finding community spaces where we can bring people together. That's always been what churches do - they build communities.
"The church has been creating and building communities for 1,400 years, so we know what we are doing."
During his visit to Alpha BSE he heard about the new London Design and Engineering University Technical College, which opens next year.
Chelmsford Diocese and Alpha BSE are co-partners in this project.
During the celebration walk for Chelmsford Diocese - which spans east London and Essex - the Dean of Newham, Dave Wade said: "We have a lot of changes coming up, so it's great that he has taken an interest in our area and the church and what's important for the future."
The archbishop finished his morning visit at St Luke's Primary School in Canning Town, where he spoke with pupils and teachers - and was treated to a spot of lunch.
Head teacher Theresa Aanonson said she was delighted Archbishop Welby had chosen to visit the school.
She said: "It's a real encouragement for the school that he has come along in his busy schedule.
"We are here to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that we are welcoming an archbishop to our school is a real blessing for us all."
Pupils Emmanuel Ogundipe and Michelle Adu, both seven, were very excited to have met the archbishop.
Emmanuel said: "I have seen him on the TV before, but it was amazing to see him in real life.
"His visit will be really good for the school and I hope more people will come here now."