Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023

For 8 days, from January 18th – 25th, Christians throughout the world are encouraged to pray for unity amongst all Christians. This focus on unity is rooted in the message of Epiphany where we find Christ being made known to the entire world and the entire world coming to praise the Christ. This last theme is symbolically represented in the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel. These ‘wise men’ from the East evolved, in the traditions of the church, into three representatives from different parts of the known world (in the 8th Century CE); Balthazar from Asia, Caspar (or Gaspar) from Africa, and Melchior from Europe. They have become for us a symbol of the unity in Christ that is discovered  within our rich, outward diversity. From Wednesday 18th January, our morning prayer available on YouTube and via the website will be focusing on Christian Unity. Here is a short video made by Gloucester Cathedral for this same week in 2022 that explores this theme well.

A Prayer for Oneness in Christ

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that
there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.

O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank
you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as
we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and
which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

Thomas Merton


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Communion during this time

In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.

For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.

We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.

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