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Archbishop to address East End churchgoers about rioting

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 05 October 2010

Dr Willaims... to talk about the Shadwell riots

Dr Willaims... to talk about the Shadwell riots

THE Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting London's deprived East End in the New Year to talk about rioting. Dr Rowan Williams drops in at St George-in-the-East church to speak at a service marking the 150th anniversary of the Shadwell riots

By Mike Brooke

THE Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting London's deprived East End in the New Year to talk about rioting.

Dr Rowan Williams drops in at St George-in-the-East parish church on January 20 to speak at an evening service marking the 150th anniversary of the Shadwell riots.

The riots between May, 1859, and July, 1860, were sparked by changes to the style of worship. Thousands of protesters stormed the church each Sunday for several months, bringing in their dogs, lighting pipes and attempting to set fire to the furniture, heckling, jeering, catcalling throughout the sermon, and singing rival songs during the hymns.

Rector needed an escort of constables to escape the mob outside after the services.

The religious violence led to questions in Parliament, but there was little support for the Rector and his pleas for more effective protection.

Dr Williams is to speak to the congregation about St George's rich past.

But he is also addressing current issues of community cohesion facing the Anglican Church today.

The last time St George's was in the headlines was nearly two years ago when Canon Michael Ainsworth was assaulted by youths outside the rectory.

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