Week of prayer for Christian Unity
Starting this Sunday and finishing on next Sunday, the Feast of the conversion of St. Paul, we celebrate a week in which we pray for Unity among Christians.
We have been stunned and horrified by the recent events in France. The savage murders have shown the dangers of religious extremism and division. We can be critical of those who commit such outrages, but our past history also contains many times when Christians have been cruel and destructive to each other, sometimes by torture & killing, sometimes by vitriol in ‘polite’ exchanges – well-known in the 19th century.
Mercifully today most Christians work well together and co-operate, expressing the great faith in Christ which we share. In our two parishes we have outstanding examples of this:
- In Ormskirk we have our ‘Walk of Witness’ on Good Friday; we have the shared celebration in June in Coronation Park; we have the shared celebration of Christmas in the switching on of the town lights: we also share excellent ecumenical breakfasts! There are other smaller occasions when we come together and one example of how we have moved closer was when all the Churches came together to take part in the funeral of our dear friend, Eddie Weston – one of the street pastors who come from all denominations.
- In St. Elizabeth’s in recent years we had shared Lent courses, shared worship on Good Friday and most recently an Alpha Course, which triggered a follow-up ‘Pilgrim’ Course, and the revival of the shared Advent celebration among our schools. The Civic Service brings us all together in a remarkably positive way.
- In both cases, the fact that we get on together helps and is a great support in ministry. But it is not that alone. Our shared Faith in Christ & the Christian kerygma – ‘Christ has risen! Christ is alive! Christ is with us in His Spirit!’ is the core upon which our shared faith is based. And this is vital. There are many forces of secularism & materialism hostile to the message of Christ. If we don’t pull together, it is easier for those who are hostile to drive us apart. United we make a clear statement of our united Faith in God & in His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ Our Saviour, risen from the dead & whose Holy Spirit guides us now. Jesus is alive! Proclaim His Name!
So in the special week, let us pray for all our fellow-Christians across the world.
This week's Bulletin
Newsletter Pastoral Area 14 - Advent
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St Anne's Church
St Anne's Priory
23 Prescot Road, Ormskirk, Lancs, L39 4TG
Telephone: 01695 572168
(for general enquiries)
St Elizabeth's Church
St Elizabeth’s Presbytery,
10 Hall Road, Scarisbrick, L40 9QE
Tel: 01704 880226