Deacon Jeff Pearse reflects on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Writing in the February Parish Magazine Deacon Jeff says:
“As I write these words, we have started the new calendar year with the united Benefice Eucharist on January 1st at Holy Trinity, which was attended by members of all the Abergavenny Anglican Churches and at which we celebrated The Naming of Jesus. January 18th saw the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, during which there were opportunities for local Christians of all denominations to pray, worship and share fellowship together.
The Anglican Church regards itself as a catholic church. One definition of the term “catholic” which I recently discovered is “broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded, liberal”. This is reflected in the variety of churchmanship which is present in the Anglican Church. At Abergavenny, we are blessed by the fact that our four Anglican churches contain the whole spectrum of that Anglican churchmanship and enables us to meet that definition.
Those who were present at the service at Holy Trinity enjoyed the worship, and it was very pleasing to observe the fellowship which took place after the service between the members of the various churches. Within the Abergavenny Anglican communion, we do not worship jointly in this way very often, but maybe we should from time to time. Not because we feel that it is something that we ought to do, or because we feel that it is nice to do, or because we know of somewhere else where it happens. God calls us as His servants to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, a task about which we may feel apprehensive in a world which seems to increase in its secularity day by day. Worshipping and sharing fellowship with others who are also charged with this task, be they from other Anglican churches or members of other denominations, can give us encouragement, ease our apprehension and provide spiritual stimulation. Attending an occasional Benefice service may mean going outside our comfort zones, attending a different church and experiencing an unfamiliar worship style for a short period, but there will be rewards.
It is therefore my hope that we will have joint Anglican services from time to time, and that, as a result, we will grow in faith and strength, so that, with confidence, we can spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, using those gifts that God has given to each one of us. “