Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Centenary Events
Pray without ceasing
Vigil for the Week of Prayer - Thursday 17 January 2008
- St Andrew's Church, Holborn Circus, 7-30 pm - 'Our Father'
From the 'Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life' prayer movement for young Christian adults in London. With Bishop Christopher Chessun (Anglican Bishop of Woolwich), Bishop Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic bishop in the Diocese of Westminster) and Bishop Basil of Amphipolis (Russian Exarchate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople). For more details visit the website of Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life .
Opening of the Centenary Week of Prayer - Friday 18 January 2008
Feast of the Chair of St Peter, the beginning of his apostolic ministry in Rome - Feast of the Theophany (Julian Calendar)
- Westminster Abbey, 5pm - National Service of Celebration and Commitment
With the Four Presidents of Churches Together in England, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, Commissioner Elizabeth Matear pf the Salvation Army and Archbishop Nathan Hovhanissian of the Armenian Apostolic Church. All welcome and no tickets required. To download the invitation with further details click here.
Saturday 19 January 2008
Feast of the Theophany (Julian Calendar)
- Westminster Abbey, 10am to Choral Evensong at 3pm - Annual Day of Prayer
An Ecumenical Day of Spirituality, with Canon Robert & Leah Wright, Father Vassilios Papavassiliou, the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Society for Ecumenical Studies. All welcome and no tickets required. For an outline of the day click here.
Sunday 20 January 2008
- St Alban's Abbey, Hertfordshire, 4-30pm to 7-30pm - 100 Years of Prayer for Unity
Throughout the afternoon the cathedral will be filled with stalls and displays highlighting Christian groups and projects making a difference to the world. The event also marks the 25th Anniversary of the Ecumenical Chaplaincy at St Alban's Cathedral. The guest speaker at 5-30pm will be Pam Rhodes from BBC Songs of Praise. The celebration will conclude with a Thanksgiving Service at 6-30pm, at which the preacher will be Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP. To download the leaflet with further details, click here.
- Gloucester Cathedral, 6pm - Celebration of 100 Years of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer's history in Britain began in the Anglican Diocese of Gloucester at St David's Parish Church, Moreton in Marsh, on 18 January 1908. The Revd Spencer Jones, a friend of Fr Paul Wattson SA, founder of the Church Unity Octave - the early form of the Week of Prayer - was the vicar at the time. The preacher will be the Revd Flora Wingfield, International Secretary at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and previously the first County Ecumenical Officer for Gloucestershire
Monday 21 January 2008
Tuesday 22 January 2008
Wednesday 23 January 2008
- Bath Abbey, 7-15pm - Mary and Ecumenism
Father Michael Seed SA, Ecumenical Officer of the Archdiocese of Westminster, will address a special meeting of the Bath branch of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No tickets required and all welcome.
Thursday 24 January 2008
- St Paul's Cathedral, Vespers sung by the Choir and Clergy of Westminster Cathedral
Every year, the Choirs and Clergy of St Paul's Anglican Cathedral and Wesminster Roman Catholic sing in each other's Cathedral to keep the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity through music and worship - in the hope of visible unity, but 'unity in diversity'.
- Carmelite Church, Kensington Church Street, 7 pm
Kensington Council of Churches celebrate and reflect on 100 years of prayer for Christian Unity. All are welcome and refreshments are served afterwards.
Conclusion of the Week of Prayer - Friday 25 January 2008
Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle - 1950th Anniversary Year of Martyrdom
- Westminster Chapel, 7pm - A Night of Prayer and Celebration to Launch the Countdown to the Global Day of Prayer
The Global Day of Prayer itself will take place on Sunday May 11, Pentecost 2008, at Millwall Stadium. For further details visit the website of the 2008 Global Day of Prayer.
Holocaust Memorial Day - Sunday 27 January 2008
East London Central Synagogue, 3 pm - Tower Hamlets Holocaust Memorial Day InterFaith Commemoration
With the veteran British Army Chaplain liberator of Belsen, the Revd Leslie Hardman. Preceded by a walk through the old Jewish East End, meeting survivors of the Holocaust and recalling the anti-Jewish Fascist Battle of Cable Street, from 12 noon. This is one of many events in London and around the country to recall the Holocaust of the Jewish People in the first part of the twentieth century. For more details on this event, visit the website of the Jewish East End Celebration Society. For details on other events in London and around the country, visit the website of the Holocaust Memorial Day.
Remembering the close bond that exists between Jews and Christians in the faith they share with Abraham has been an important element of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from the outset, featuring both in Paull Wattson's and Paul Couturier's schemes. Indeed Paul Couturier was himself imprisoned by the Gestapo and this had a profound impact on his sense of solidarity with the Jewish people and the unity of all humanity in suffering and the search for justice, which he saw perfectly exemplified in the life and passion of Jesus Christ, seen as the direct descendant of Abraham himself.
The Holocaust of the Jewish people of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, alongside many others including Christian martyrs, intensifies the message of the Week of Prayer about the unity of humanity before the One God. The National Memorial event will take place this year in Liverpool, but there will be many events around the country, both on the 27th and in the weeks either side. For more details visit the website of the Holocaust Memorial Day, or the website of the Council of Christians and Jews.