The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) takes place each year from the 18 to 25 January. This special week provides an opportunity to focus our prayers on Christian unity, as well as speak about and experience Christian unity personally, in our village, town or county as well as engage with what happens at a national level.
This year the theme has come from an ecumenical team from Burkina Faso, facilitated by the local Chemin Neuf Community (CCN). They have reflected on the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, and all are encouraged to Go and do likewise. It is a story about crossing boundaries that calls our attention to the bonds that unite the whole human family. Brothers and sisters from the Catholic Archdiocese of Ouagadougou, Protestant Churches, ecumenical bodies and the CCN in Burkina Faso collaborated generously in drafting the prayers and reflections.
An ecumenical group of writers brought together by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, including Doral Hayes from CTE, created additional resources to encourage reflection in the British and Irish context. The resources include daily reflections, a suggested service outline, an all-age service and customisable posters.
Each January individuals pray, and churches and ecumenical organisations celebrate the WPCU in a variety of ways. These include events large and small, a simple prayer meeting, an ecumenical breakfast, a prayer walk, speaker events, online prayer relays, preaching swaps in villages and towns, using social media to share online reflections and prayers from church leaders as well as joint services bringing together Christians from across the traditions in prayer and worship.
What will you be doing this coming January to pray for deeper Christian unity, and who will you be praying with?
Show your support for Christian unity by posting messages and details of your events to our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post (note there is a delay before they appear). You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2024 hashtag.
Image: JESUS MAFA. The Good Samaritan, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.