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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Church Unity Week

The Christians of the Middle East are offering the resources for the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally observed from 18 to 25 January.

Serving the Gospel today requires a commitment to the human being, especially the poorest, the weakest and those marginalised. It requires from the Churches transparency and accountability in dealing with the world, and with each other. This means Churches need to co–operate to provide relief to the afflicted, to welcome the displaced, to relieve the burdened, and to build a just and honest society. This is a call for Churches to work together so that young people can build a good future according to God’s heart, a future in which all human beings can experience life, peace, justice, and love.

The resources pamphlet includes daily reflections plus an order of service. Materials are available for download here.

Commending the resources, Bishop Michael Burrows remarked: “The Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue urges you to make imaginative and appropriate use of these resources in every place. Sometimes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can I fear seem a ‘tired’ concept, not helped by the fact that it comes at a time of dark evenings and post–Christmas fatigue, and this year there is the reality of ongoing Covid caution. But let’s always remember that the week is not an end in itself, but is meant to create a mood and an attitude that textures the entire year.

“Each New Year, we might make a Resolution – for the sake of the crying needs of the world – to ask ourselves honestly how true we are locally to the principle famously articulated by the World Council of Churches at Lund nearly seventy years ago, namely that ‘separated’ Christians should be doing together everything save what conscience obliges them to do separately. It’s a big ask, yet ought to pervade our prayers and actions absolutely instinctively.”


You can show your support for Christian Unity by posting unity messages and details of your events to our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post (note there is a delay before they appear). You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2022 hashtag.

On Tuesday evening the Archbishop of Dublin will join other church leaders for the opening service of Christian Unity Week. The service will be held at 8pm in St Anthony’s parish church, Clontarf, where the Very Revd Dr Trevor Morrow will be preach. The service will be live–streamed via the parish website.  

For Christian Unity Week in Derry there will be a prayer walk on the Walls on Tuesday evening. The prayer walk was developed for use last year, but  disallowed due to restrictions. Walking/praying will be in  ’bubbles’ and hopefully this low–key outdoor event can mark the occasion whilst being compliant with all safety regulations at this time. Participants should meet at 7.30pm at St Columb’s Cathedral car park, London Street.  There they will receive laminated prayer sheets with ideas for prayer at various points around the walls. 

In St Iberius’ church, Wexford, on 27 January the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory will take part in  a shared liturgy with new Roman Catholic Bishop of Ferns, the Most Revd Gerard Nash. For many years Ferns has been regarded as quite an ecumenical beacon, not least because of warm personal relationships between successive bishops.

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