ENGLAND, Mary Cole •
Last year our Methodist friends suggested that our three churches in Kearsley, Greater Manchester, should mark the Week of Christian Unity together each year, and to make a start they suggested a time of prayer in our shrine. We gladly took up the idea, and arranged to meet at 10 a.m. on 20 January 2018. The organisers had said privately that they would be happy if ten people turned up the first time, but more than double that number were there. Some young men even stood at the back. Since neither Fr Bryan nor the Anglican minister could be present, Rev. Thandeka Sibanda was asked to lead the service. We chose Bible texts from those suggested for Masses of Christian Unity. Each text was followed by a suitable hymn known to all the churches and sung with gusto. We ended by praying the Our Father together as we joined hands – united as the children of our Father in heaven.
Afterwards we moved to the church tearoom for the very English custom of tea or coffee and biscuits. Since we are all good friends and know each other well, there was a very relaxed and happy atmosphere. The suggestion was made to repeat this time of prayer every quarter, since we need to do more than work together. Let us see if this “takes off”.
There is no doubt that our shrine has an ecumenical mission.
Photos: Rev. Thandeka Sibanda