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David Cameron hails 'rejuvenating' arrival of Pope Francis
24 December 2013 00:01 by Christopher Lamb

The Prime Minister David Cameron has praised both Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury for inspiring Christians throughout the world.

“2013 was a significant year for the Christian faith – a year that welcomed The Most Reverend Justin Welby as the new Archbishop of Canterbury and saw His Holiness Pope Francis elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church,” Mr Cameron said in his Christmas message. “Both have come in with exciting plans to rejuvenate their respective Churches, which should inspire Christians around the world.”

He praised the many Christians who act as good neighbours, run clubs, voluntary societies and play their part in the “big society”. The Prime Minister said they “live out to the letter that verse in Acts, that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’. These people put their faith into action and we can all be grateful for what they do.

The Prime Minister described the birth of Jesus Christ as giving hope to millions. “In Handel’s Messiah, these words from the Prophet Isaiah are brilliantly put to music: ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,’ ” he explained.

Mr Cameron added: “Christmas gives us a space when we can consider the things that we value most – family, friends and fellowship. It is a time for being hopeful for the coming year and to reflect on the one that has passed.”

Photo: Pope Francis meets the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev JustinWelby, for the first time in June, CNS