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Archbishop of Canterbury takes to streets as Big Issue vendor

·1-min read

The Archbishop of Canterbury has taken to the streets to get a taste of life as a Big Issue vendor.

Justin Welby sold the magazine, alongside local vendor, Lee Welham, at his pitch outside the Round Church in Cambridge.

The archbishop has been in Cambridge for the last six weeks on study leave and the pair struck up a friendship.

Mr Welby spent 40 minutes with the 37-year-old vendor, selling five copies of the magazine.

The archbishop said: “The Big Issue changes lives and changes society. Each time you stop for a chat with a vendor and buy a copy of the magazine, you are part of that change.

“I’m hugely grateful to have had the chance to go on a shift with Lee and get a glimpse of what it’s like selling The Big Issue.

“When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus – who famously said he had no place to lay his head – it’s clear that homelessness is an issue that matters profoundly to God, and that tackling poverty together is the essential work of a society where every person is truly valued.”

Mr Welham said: “It was brilliant to show the archbishop that everyone does treat the vendors well around here. I’ve built a lovely community. Each and every one of these people here comes and says hello to me every morning.”

Chris Falchi-Stead, director of sales and operations at The Big Issue, said: “The sell-off experience was a great opportunity to show the archbishop, on a small scale, what everyday life selling the magazine on the streets is like.

“Lee is a fantastic ambassador for The Big Issue, showing the archbishop the ropes, providing sales tips as well as sharing his experiences.”

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