From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Public gets rare chance to view archbishop's home

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG>
Date 20 Apr 2000 22:02:50

April 20, 2000 Contact: Linda Bloom·(212)870-3803·New York  10-21-71BP{217}

NOTE: This is a sidebar to UMNS story #216. Photographs are available.

By Kathleen LaCamera*

LONDON (UMNS) -- For the first time, Lambeth Palace, the London residence of
the archbishop of Canterbury, will be opened to the general public. From
April 1 to Nov. 4, visitors will be welcomed into this centuries-old palace
for a look at its historic buildings and the treasures they house.  

Lambeth Palace has been home to archbishops of Canterbury since the 12th
century, when it became clear that the senior religious leader of the land
needed to have a base of operation near the king's residence in London.  

The Most Rev. George Carey, the 103rd archbishop of Canterbury, and his
wife, Eileen, have opened their home to the public as part of a London
millennium festival. 

Highlights of the palace tour include the 12th century chapel's undercroft
(or crypt), which boasts one of London's best-preserved and least-known
medieval vaults. The Lambeth Palace library, founded in 1610, contains more
than 4,000 manuscripts and 200,000 printed books, including a Gutenberg
Bible from 1445. Peter the Great of Russia, overwhelmed by its treasures
when he visited in 1698, said nothing in England had astonished him as much
as this library.  

Also on display are the chapel, guard room, great hall and state rooms used
to entertain palace guests, along with works of art, historic paintings and
other treasures presented to archbishops of Canterbury from around the

Carey said he was delighted that the public would see something of this
historic place. "It is a very special place, and it is a great pleasure for
my wife, Eileen, and I to be able to make it accessible so that people can
learn more of its historic role."

Lambeth Palace is on the south bank of the River Thames, across from the
Houses of Parliament. Visitors must be booked in advance, and tours run
every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. For costs and other details, call
011 44 20 78981198.
# # #
*LaCamera is a UMNS correspondent based in England.

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