Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January – the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. However, some areas observe it at Pentecost or some other time. For 2024 the above dates are confirmed.

This week is an opportunity for all, both individually and together across the Church to focus our prayer and worship on Christian Unity.


Christians Join Together In Prayer!

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022

On the 25th January at 7.30pm to mark the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2022 Christians from around Hertfordshire joined together in prayer.  Hosted by Doral Hayes of Churches Together in Hertfordshire the event brought together over a hundred people from across the county.   Starting with short service led by Rt. Rev Michael Beasley, Bishop of Hertford, with music led by harpist Alison Eve, the service used the resources from CTBI. The prayers were led by Kieran Murphy, from ecumenical youth organisation Phase Hitchin and representatives from Local Churches Together Groups and Ecumenical Churches in Stevenage, Digswell, St. Albans and Hertford all contributed by reading.

The service was followed by a time of open prayer for Christian unity as well as other concerns for the country and world, this was facilitated by Stephen Copson of the Central Baptist Association.

It was wonderful to have so many people together in prayer and thank you to all who contributed to the event.

Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can be found here from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

 Original photo of Nablus (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0): Dr. Michael Loadenthal

Other things that  happen in Hertfordshire during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

    • Individuals praying in their homes.
    • Prayer breakfasts and lunches
    • Pulpit swap – clergy preaching in each others churches on the Sunday morning.
    • A Prayer relay around the churches in a town or village.
    • Daily lunchtime or evening prayer meetings moving from Church to Church.
    • A joint service of prayer and praise at the weekend.
    • Regional Church Leaders and Ecumenical Officer meeting together to pray.

For details of events across Hertfordshire please go to our Events Calendar or contact your local Churches Together Group.

What is happening in your area?

Please do let us know.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021

 Christians from across Hertfordshire joined together in prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The meeting was hosted by Rev. Dr David Chapman, Chair of Churches Together in Hertfordshire and a short service of prayer for Christian Unity will be led by Bishop Paul McAleenan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster.

Prayers and Reflections Online

Throughout the week we will be posting prayers and reflections from Christians and Churches Together groups and other ecumenical organisations from around the county on social media.  Please share these around and join in the conversation and prayers  and do follow us on Facebook and Twitter and “like” or “tweet” our posts on social media.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in preparing for a rather unusual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and here are a selection of offerings from around the county, more will follow on social media:

Click here for a reflection on what unity means to the people at Grovehill Church (also known as the Church behind the Chippy) a Local Ecumenical Partnership in Hemel Hempstead.

Click here for a reflection on Unity from Dr. Lynn Bassett one of the Trustees of Churches Together in Hertfordshire.

Click here for a reflection on unity from the Focolare Community in Welwyn Garden City

Each year Churches Together in Britain and Ireland produce resources to support individual prayer and reflection as well as an outline for a joint service.

In 2020 the resources were called “Unusual Kindness” and are produced by the Churches of Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta).  They have been a adapted for the British context by a CTBI Working Group from across the four nations.

Social media

Show your support for Christian Unity by posting unity 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.

You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2020 hashtag.

What happened in Herts during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019?

A number of towns and villages did pulpit swaps during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2019, there were joint prayer and worship services in many places including Watford, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Hitchin.

For example in Watford there was a service each night across the town, each night worship took place in a different churches and all were welcome and many attended in several denominations other than their own.  This included worship in different styles and hearing different speakers.  The focus was shared prayer for growing unity both in Watford and further afield.  To hear the story click here

Many groups and individuals used the CTBI resources entitled Only Justice as the inspiration for their worship as well as daily reflection and prayer.

Rev. Rosemary Fletcher writes of the activities that took place in St Albans on the Sunday in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  In the morning the Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Church of England, Salvation Army and URC churches had a pulpit swap and in the evening many Churches from across the town came together for a joint service based on the 2019 materials produced by CTBI.  The preacher was the Rt Rev. Michael Doe, formally Bishop of Swindon.  You can read Bishop Michaels sermon from this special service here

Chair: Revd David Chapman

Churches Together in Hertfordshire unites in pilgrimage those churches in the area which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord according to the Scriptures, and in obedience to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves:
To seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another
in the Church, which is his body; and
To fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world:

To the glory of one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Facilitator: Currently vacant