Archbishop of Canterbury applauds efforts of Wanstead Christian, 101, at centenary service

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby greets Eva Joslin, 101, at St Gabriel's Church in Aldersbr

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby greets Eva Joslin, 101, at St Gabriel's Church in Aldersbrook. Photo credit: Ed Thornton - Credit: Archant

The Archbishop of Canterbury praised the efforts of 101-year-old member of the congregation as St Gabriel’s Church celebrated its centenary on Sunday.

Eva Joslin, of Wanstead, read a passage from the book of Revelation which was later highlighted by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ms Joslin has attended services at the church in Aldersbrook since 1936 when she moved to the borough and was born before St Gabriel’s was dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford on May 16 1914.

In his sermon, later in the service, the Archbishop said: “The thing that sticks in my mind is the reading by Eva who is 101 years old.”

Ms Joslin had been singing in the St Gabriel’s choir until earlier this year, before choosing to retire.

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Speaking after the service, Ms Joslin said she was “overwhelmed” by the service.

She said: “I do love reading. I was very proud to be up there at a celebration like this.

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“I look forward to coming here every Sunday.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury also spoke of need to remember the role the congregation plays in reaching a hundred years as a church.

“When we celebrated this kind of anniversary as a church it is not the building, but the people,” he said. “God’s temple is you and me.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited the Diocese of Chelmsford, which St Gabriel’s is apart of, to mark the area’s centenary this weekend too.

After attending the service at St Gabriel’s he later gave an address to 100 young adults, aged between 18 and 30, who had been invited from across the diocese to attend a lunch at All Saints’ Woodford Wells in Woodford Green.

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