Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Schedule

18th January – Eucharist with prayers for Christian Unity St Wilfrid’s Church

20th January Quaker Meeting House – Freedom Walk

St Thomas à Becket –Taizé Service

21st January Aldwick Baptist Church – Tea – talk on Missionary Aviation

Our Lady of Sorrows – God’s Word Liturgy of Eucharist

22nd January St Mary’s Church Centre Felpham – a talk by Rev John Challis

St Nicholas Middleton-on-Sea – Eucharist and Prayers for Unity

24th January   St Richard’s – Eucharist with Prayers for Christian Unity

The Beehive, Kings Gate Church – Informal gathering, tea, coffee, cakes, craft sales – proceeds to Potter’s Heart Charity

The Taizé Service at St Thomas à Becket’s

The Taizé Service at St Thomas à Becket’s was very well attended by Christians of all faiths. It contained music, chant, scripture, prayer and silence, following the liturgy of the Ecumenical Taize Community in France. We all sat in a circle around the font with an icon of the crucifixion, surrounded by nine little candle lights. Our organist, Ann Gristwood, provided the musical lead and our vicar Rev Mark led the silences, prayers and scripture.

I sat between a man from Holy Cross Church, North Bersted and one from the Quaker Meeting House. They both knew the music and harmonies so well, I thought what good sight-readers they were. Speaking afterwards, they had both been to France and attended Taizégatherings. The one from North Bersted talked excitedly about our curate Rev Jo joining them sometime this year as their vicar. The Quaker was interested to learn that for our first meeting on prayer in the Chichester Year of Prayer, we were learning about the charismatic nature of their founder, George Fox, and the fact that we were led in a mere half an hour’s silent prayer – theirs lasts for one hour. He did say that he enjoyed it more when someone felt led by the Spirit to talk if they felt sufficiently brave. There was a feeling of love all around us – so it can happen as Jesus prayed for all believers ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word  that they may all be one’ (John 17).

By Shirley Witcomb