Services and events for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been celebrated in a range of ways across the Church of Ireland. For this year’s theme, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland was guided by the churches of Minneapolis in seeking to explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society, and several other themes related to reconciliation were explored by speakers throughout the week.
Last Wednesday (18th January), representatives from the Christian Churches came together in St Michael’s, Ballina, Co. Mayo. During this moving service, members of the congregation were asked to place a stone at the base of the cross. Bishop John Fleming delivered the sermon, many others read, and Bishop Michael Burrows played the organ.
A Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity also took place in Enniskillen Cathedral on the same evening. The preacher was Bishop Trevor Williams who, in his address, said he admired the work of the churches in Enniskillen for Christian unity so clearly demonstrated by the symbolism of Her Majesty The Queen’s visit to the town in 2012.
Leaders and members of Dublin’s main Christian Churches gathered in Christ Church Cathedral that evening for a powerful and inspiring service to mark the beginning of the week. The theme was given particular resonance in an Irish context by Geraldine McDonnell and the Revd Canon Fr Paul O’Driscoll of the Parish of the Travelling People who spoke of the exclusion and discrimination experienced by members of the Travelling community and the impact that has on all areas of their lives.
Archbishop Michael Jackson’s sermons for the week delivered at the Jesuit House, Milltown, and in St Patrick’s Cathedral, are available at this link.
The Irish Council of Churches celebrated its centenary with a special service of worship at Belfast Cathedral on Sunday afternoon (22nd January). The service, with the theme ‘Celebrating our Reconciling Vision of Hope’, took place on the eve of the Council’s first meeting 100 years tomorrow (on 23rd January 1923) at the height of the Civil War. Archbishop Eamon Martin and Dr Harold Good both delivered an address and the service was led by Dean Stephen Forde.
Around 40 members of the four main Churches in Derry–Londonderry, including the city’s two bishops, took part in a walk through the city centre on the evening of Monday evening.
A minister’s young son provoked joyful laughter in Clooney Methodist Church when he interrupted an evening service arranged by churches in the city’s Waterside area on Wednesday (25th January).
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