Archbishop encourages Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021

Share this story

The Archbishop of Armagh and Chairman of the Church of Ireland’s Commission on Christian Unity and Dialogue, the Most Revd John McDowell, has endorsed and encouraged the use of resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, in January 2021, which are available here:

There could hardly be more challenging circumstances in which to plan for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on 18–25 January.  “Getting together” in local settings was in itself a witness to the underlying communion we share by virtue of our baptism and faith in the Crucified and Risen Lord. In large parts of the island of Ireland probably that will be impossible this year. In other parts, it will be very limited.

However, clergy and lay people have shown themselves to be imaginative in keeping the worshipping life of the Church alive in general and I trust that new ways will be developed to give some concrete expression to Our Lord’s desire that “…they may all be one”.

The resource material in this unusual year has been prepared by a very singular group, the Grandchamp Community based in the French speaking part of Switzerland. It is a monastic community of women, begun by members of the Reformed tradition, but now fully ecumenical, sitting outside the formal structures, of any tradition, but with strong links to the Taizé Community.

It began when a group of Reformed women rediscovered the practice of silence in gathering around the Word of God. The material they have produced centres on a well–known passage from St John’s Gospel, “Abide in me”. 

I pray that their spirit of silence in the presence of the Word may inspire you as you think about the opportunities for ecumenical witness and worship in the period of silence we are passing through.

+John Armagh

Archbishop John McDowell