The real challenge of unity is to share a common life; that is, to do together whatever we do not need to do apart. Across the country, many local groups of churches take the opportunity to mark specific moments throughout the year together.
Find out more about some of these annual opportunities…
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January or Pentecost)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an opportunity for Christians from local churches to come together in prayer, and many local Churches Together groups will host joint services together during this time.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from 18-25 January each year. However, some areas observe it at Pentecost or some other time.
Resources are available each year from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) website at www.ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer
The international resources are adapted by the Britain and Ireland writers group, and extra material is often written, such as meditations for each of the eight days.
Racial Justice Sunday (February)
Racial Justice Sunday is an occasion for Christians in Britain to collectively focus on racial justice. It began in 1995, and generally took place on the second Sunday in September. In 2017, a decision was taken to move the date to the second Sunday in February.
Racial Justice Sunday resources are produced by CTBI’s sponsoring churches. These materials enable you to Remember, Reflect and Respond to racial justice matters:
- Remember the importance of racial justice;
- Reflect on human diversity and thank God for it;
- Respond by working to end injustice, racism and ignorance through prayer and action.
Find out more from CTBI at www.ctbi.org.uk/racialjustice
World Day of Prayer (March)
The World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action, taking place in March each year.
The origins of World Day of (originally called the Women’s World Day of Prayer) date back to the 19th century when Christian women in the USA and Canada initiated a variety of cooperative activities in support of women’s involvement in mission, at home and abroad. The first World Day of Prayer service in England took place in 1932.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are now approximately 3,000 branches holding 5,000 services every year.
Find out more on their website www.wwdp.org.uk
Lent study groups
Many local Churches Together groups take the opportunity to run study groups during the period of Lent. In the run up to Easter, these groups bring together Christians from various churches in the area, giving time for discussion and prayer together. Resources are available each year from CTBI.
Good Friday Walks of Witness
In villages, towns and cities across England, local Churches Together groups host Good Friday Walks of Witness. This sees churches join together to walk through their local area in silence with a large cross, representing the death of Jesus on Good Friday. Some groups end their walk of witness with a joint service (sometimes in the open-air), followed by a time of socialising together over refreshments.
Candle of Justice (25 May)
On 25 May 2021, churches from CTE’s Racial Justice Working Group joined together to mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, committing to ongoing action against racial injustice. The #CandleOfJustice is now being marked each year on 25 May. Read more.
Thy Kingdom Come (May/June)
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. Christians from more than 170 countries and 65 denominations have taken part.
Thy Kingdom Come runs between Ascension and Pentecost.
Read more on our Thy Kingdom Come page.
Education Sunday (September)
Education Sunday is a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education, celebrated on the second Sunday in September.
The theme is devised by an ecumenical steering group representing different Christian denominations and organisations.
The resources are intended to be used as a springboard for a variety of events on or around Education Sunday.
Visit our Education Sunday web area for more information.
The Climate Sunday initiative is calling on all local churches across Great Britain & Ireland to hold a climate-focused service on any Sunday before COP26 (November 2021). So far over 1,000 churches have joined in, could your church add its voice this year?
Their vision is to leave a lasting legacy of thousands of churches better equipped to address this critical issue as part of their discipleship and mission, and to make a significant contribution to civil society efforts to secure adequate national and international action at COP26.
Find out more at www.climatesunday.org
Other key moments in the year
- Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January)
- Christian Aid week (May)
- Children’s summer holiday clubs
- Prisons Week (from the second Sunday in October)
- One World Week (the week containing 24 October)
- Remembrance Sunday (November)
- Advent (December)
- New Year’s Eve prayer gatherings (31 December)
You can also access resources from HOPE Together, who encourage a rhythm of mission throughout the year – key calendar moments when churches can reach out into their communities.