The Archbishop of Wales has thanked everyone for the kindness and compassion he says people have shown to each other during the pandemic, in his final video message before his retirement.
Archbishop John Davies said he also hopes the goodwill will continue as Covid restrictions lift and won’t “vanish with the pandemic”.
Archbishop John retires on Sunday (May 2) after serving as Archbishop of Wales for four years and as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for 13 years.
Thanking people for their support to himself and to their churches and communities, he said, “I think it is particularly important for me to say that thank-you in the light of what’s happened these past 14 months with the COVID pandemic which has challenged us all so very much in our personal lives, in our community lives and in terms of our church life".
“One of the things that’s emerged from those challenging times has been a huge recognition that there is a lot of goodness and kindness and compassion and love around in our communities", Archbishop John said.
"People have been so supportive of others in their times of need, in their times of loneliness, sadly in times of their suffering and bereavement. And I hope that’s going to last, that when restrictions are relaxed and maybe when it’s all over, which hopefully it one day will be, that that sense of calling to be supportive, to be compassionate, to be kind won’t vanish with the pandemic – that would be such a great shame.”
Archbishop John also urged church members to embrace new challenges and opportunities and be prepared to change to be more accessible, welcoming and with refreshed teaching.