CHURCH LEADERS’ STATEMENT ON TERRORIST ATTACK -THE POPE VISITS THE ANGLICAN CENTRE -OSCAR ROMERO- UNITY- REFORMATION- MEETING FOR YOUNG ADULTS in BIRMINGHAM Please scroll down
WESTMINSTER: Christian, Jewish & Muslim Leaders show solidarity: Church Leaders send sincere condolences
CTE Statement in response to the Westminster attack, 22 March 2017
The Presidents of Churches Together in England express sincere condolences to the bereaved families and friends of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack that was perpetrated in Westminster yesterday, Wednesday 22 March 2017.
The Presidents pray for the healing of those injured, and for the wellbeing of our society in which all seek after and promote the common good in a spirit of love for our fellow human beings.
They pray too for Parliament, the police and the emergency services who responded with such bravery, professionalism and compassion, and who continue to support all those affected by this terrible attack.
23 March 2017
THE POPE VISITS THE ANGLICAN CENTRE IN ROME
The pope thanked the congregation and acknowledged that much has changed between Anglicans and Catholics, “who in the past viewed each other with suspicion and hostility.”
“Today, with gratitude to God, we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism. As friends and pilgrims, we wish to walk the path together, to follow our Lord Jesus Christ together,” he said.
He also emphasized the need for Catholics and Anglicans to work together to help those in need in order to build “true, solid communion” through a “united witness to charity.”
Following the prayer service, the pope took some moments to answer questions from several members of the Anglican church.
Asked what was his take on current relations between Catholics and Anglicans, the pope said that while relations between the two communities have been at times “two steps forward, half step back,” they are still good and “we care for each other like brothers and sisters.”
OSCAR ROMERO CENTENARY
Romero Week, 18-25 March: events in England, Scotland and Wales.
Annual National Ecumenical Service in St Martin in the Fields, London: 11.00 am on Saturday 25 March.
National Service to celebrate the centenary year: a special extended Evensong in Westminster Abbey at 3.00 pm on Saturday 23 September. More follows
Look out for local and regional celebrations too:
Sheffield 23rd March 7pm St Marie’s Cathedral
500th Anniversary of the Reformation 2017
More on the Reformation 500 website http://www.reformation500.uk
READ the Statement on the Reformation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Saturday 20th May 2017, 10 am, Reformation Conference in Fulneck Settlement , Moravian Church and Fulneck School, West Yorkshire LS28 8NT. It’s focus is in the music particularly hymnody. There will be three presentations: Lutheran, Moravian and Methodist. Preacher Rev Roger Walton
Saturday 21st November 2017 Lutherans up-north, Reformation Celebration in Headingley at St Columba’s URC church Leeds.1pm Preacher Bishop Emeritus Walter Jagucki
“How to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with sensitivity”
– STATEMENT FROM CTE
From the Presidents of Churches Together in England who represent the Western traditions of the Church: The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), HE Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster), The Revd Dr Hugh Osgood (Free Churches Moderator), Bishop Eric Brown (Pentecostal President) and The Revd Canon Billy Kennedy (The President nominated by the New Churches, the Religious Society of Friends – ie the Quakers – and the Lutheran and German-speaking Churches).
Their statement is issued with the prayerful support of the Orthodox President, HE Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.
Setting the tone
As Presidents of Churches Together in England we encourage all churches in England to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 with sensitivity as we acknowledge our unity in Christ. We have learnt over the past century that unity is achieved by walking together, and we have grown in communion, friendship, reconciliation and healing. During this anniversary we want to be able to listen to the truth that is in each other, to hear our different stories, and build bridges of deeper understanding and respect.
Speaking at the Inauguration Eucharist of the General Synod of the Church of England in November 2015, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, said, ‘The Christian world is preparing to celebrate the fifth centenary of the Protestant Reformation. It is vital for the whole Church that this opportunity is not wasted by people remaining prisoners of the past, trying to establish each other’s rights and wrongs. Rather, let us take a qualitative leap forward, like what happens when the sluice gates of a river or a canal to enable ships to navigate at a higher water level. The situation has changed dramatically since then. We need to start again with the person of Jesus, humbly helping our contemporaries to experience a personal encounter with Him…Justification by faith, for example, ought to be preached by the whole Church – and with more vigour than ever. Not in opposition to good works – the issue is already settled – but rather in opposition to the claim of people today that they can save themselves thanks to their science, technology or man-made spirituality, without the need for a redeemer coming from outside humanity.’
Setting the scene
The course of the English reformation was long and complicated, whereas in most of what is now Germany and Switzerland it was sharp and short. That means that the anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses on 31st October 1517 is but one date in a long English history which lasted from Henry VIII’s break with Rome in 1532-36 to the Restoration Settlement of 1662. As religious wars convulsed Europe, Protestant and Catholic reformers alike sought with integrity and faithfulness to bring the church closer to the will of Christ. As they did so they lent shape to what became modern Europe. During England’s long reformation, streams of Christian life that we now call Catholic, Anglican and dissenting, were all present, and have been shaped by what they experienced.
We acknowledge with sorrow that during the years of the English reformation our ancestors in the faith inflicted unspeakable violence on each other. We rejoice, however, that by the grace of God we have learnt to look at that history through the eyes of each other’s martyrs, to appreciate their integrity, courage and self-sacrifice, and above all their faithful witness to God. As we commemorate the 500th anniversary, we want therefore to acknowledge both the good that came out of this period of our history, and also the pain inflicted and the scars that remain.
We therefore urge the churches in England to keep this anniversary together in the spirit of five ‘R’s
Rejoicing – because of the joy in the gospel which we share, and because what we have in common is greater than that which divides; and that God is patient with our divisions, that we are coming back together and can learn from each other.
Remembering – because all three streams of the Reformation have their witnesses and one church’s celebration could be another’s painful memory; and yet all believed they acted in the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ for their time.
Reforming – because the Church needs always to grow closer to Christ, and therefore closer to all who proclaim him Lord, and it is by the mutual witness of faith that we will approach the unity for which Christ prayed for his followers.
Repenting – because the splintering of our unity led us to formulate stereotypes and prejudices about each other’s traditions which have too often diverted our attention from our calling as witnesses together to the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.
Reconciling – because the call to oneness in Christ begins from the perspective of unity not division, strengthening what is held in common, even though the differences are more easily seen and experienced.
In national and local events, whether together or separately, we pray that our churches may honour each other and give thanks for our growing friendship and fellowship in the Gospel.
Inner life and Solidarity
Friday 28 April – Monday 1 May, 2017
In cooperation with the local churches of the city, the international and interdenominational Taizé Community will be leading a young adult gathering in Birmingham over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend, 28 April – 1 May, 2017.
Who can or should attend? 16-35’s (plus leaders where appropriate) for the whole time or Saturday…