Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 18th – 25th January 2020

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place from 18 – 25 January 2020, the octave of St Peter and Paul.

This is an annual initiative whereby Christian communities throughout the world are invited to pray for one another and for greater Christian Unity.

The theme for 2020 is “They showed an unusual kindness”, which finds its origins in Acts 27:18 – 28:10.

The materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches of Malta and Gozo (Christians  Together in Malta). On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer.

Hospitality is a much-needed virtue in our search for Christian unity. It calls us to a greater generosity to those in need. The people who showed unusual kindness to Paul and his companions did not yet know Christ, and yet it is through their unusual kindness that a divided people were drawn closer together. Our own Christian unity will be discovered not only through showing hospitality to one another, but also through loving encounters with those who do not share our language, culture or faith. In such tempestuous journeys and chance encounters, God’s will for his Church and all people comes to fulfilment. As Paul will proclaim in Rome, this salvation of God has been sent to all peoples (see Acts 28:28).

An ecumenical service will be held in the Abbey Church at 4.00pm on Sunday, 19th January 2020. Everyone is very welcome from the churches in Balcombe, Turners Hill, West Hoathly, Crawley Down and Ardingly. There will be refreshments in the Narthex following the service. Contributions of finger food would be welcome.