The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18 – 25 January
We are very lucky in London, because there so many different Christian churches, most of them flourishing and at the same time operating side by side.
I reckon that in the area around this small parish of St Stephen’s we have at least ten other churches worshipping God on Sundays in a similar way that we do. There are charismatic ‘house churches’ operating in school buildings, there are ethnic churches (these are worshipping communities that like to worship in the style that they are used to in their home countries) and then there are the more established Roman Catholic and Baptist neighbours as well as the Methodist, Greek Orthodox churches in Westow Hill plus the Salvation Army Hall.
During this week of Prayer for Christian Unity we are invited to reflect what we all may have in common, and – if we have time – we might even visit or call in on one of these churches, and pray with them. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has given us the theme to contemplate: ‘That all may be free’.
Prayer materials online are provided by the Caribbean churches, and these remind us that opposing oppression and slavery is a common Christian value that we all share:
Past hurts rooted in slavery and dominance have left a legacy of deep divisions among God’s children. The lack of repentance for history and memories make us cling to hurts; we let ourselves be defined by them. And our embarrassment in having caused them and the pride which will not let us admit it ensure that hurts and divisions are perpetuated. The Body of Christ remains broken; we are pulled ever further from the reconciler of our faith and the unity that is possible through His love. The Spirit speaks but are we listening? (quoted from CTBI)
14 January 2018