By a Staff Reporter
With bitter discord at home and abroad, the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity which starts.today will take on special meaning for Christians in Britain. In chapels, churches and meeting-houses throughout the country members of all major denominations will add their voice to the prayer of their Founder — "That they may be one."
In Westminster Cathedral a united service will take place on Sunday; led by Bishop Guazzelli, Auxiliary of Westminster, in the company of Dr. Gerald Ellison, Anglican Bishop of London, and Dr. Kenneth Slack, Moderator of the United Reformed Church. The Very Rev. Leonard Small, fro'in the Church of Scotland, will preach.
The major event of the week in Liverpool will be at 8 p.m. next Friday, when Archbishop Anthony Bloom of the Russian Orthodox Church will deliver a homily. This evening, young people will attend an informal hour of Christian folk-singing and a period of "non-verbal communication" through mime and movement in Liverpool's Methodist Central Hall.
Throughout the week, at churches in Liverpool's city centre, office workers will take part in short lunch-time services at which clergy will exchange pulpits, and this weekend, at the Cenacle, there will be an ecumenical retreat-conference on the theme "What the Eucharist means to me."
Over the Border
Over the Border in Scotland, Cardinal Gray, Archbishop of St. Andrew's and Edinburgh, and two former Moderators of the Church of Scotland General Assembly will mark the week of prayer by attending special services. Cardinal Gray will join a dozen local clergymen from other churches in St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh this Sunday, to pray for unity.
Fr. Laurence Davison, parish priest of St. Cuthbert's. said: "This will be the first ecumenical service to he held in St. Cuthbert's. I felt it would he an appropriate start to Holy Year, with its theme of reconciliation."
In Glasgow there will be prayers every day during the week at the University chapel. On Sunday the University's Catholic chaplain, Fr. Gerard Hughes, S.J., is to preach on unity at the chapel's morning service.
Bishop Wheeler of Leeds will preach at a Methodist church in Halifax on Tuesday and address a meeting for Christian Unity on the following day. Over to the west, in Birmingham, Archimandrite Vassiliou of the Greek Orthodox Church will conduct a service at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on Monday.
Participants will include Archbishop Dwyer, the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham and leaders of the Methodist, United Reformed and Free Churches. Fr. Thomas Corbishley. S.J., will give the address. Further south, the Secretary of the Ecumenical Cornmission, Fr. Richard Stewart, is to preach at a joint service in Surbiton, Surrey. Fr. Stewart said that the week was "much the mixture as before."
Since the early sixties, he said, Catholics and other Christians had become more accustomed to joint services. "On the whole people aren't bothering to shout the odds."