To the ministers and people of the churches of Southern RCT:

Every year, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity runs 18-25 January, and the World Council of Churches invites Christians of a chosen nation to prepare an order of service which can be used by Christians gathering to pray together all around the world. (This time it comes from Burkina Faso.)

I appreciate we have different understandings of what Christian Unity means. For some of us it’s the desire that we all belong to the same formal structure. For others, it’s the sense that as long as we are all proclaiming the Name of Jesus and working together on common social projects we are already united in spirit. But I hope we can unite around the idea that as followers of Jesus we should pray that the “world sees we are one” and believes, as Our Lord himself prayed in John 17.

I arrived in Treforest in January this year, as the Catholic priest responsible for 4 parishes covering Llantrisant, Pontypridd and the Rhondda Valleys. I immediately put out feelers to learn what churches would be doing for Unity Week 2023, and experienced a tumbleweed moment. So I am assuming I am not stepping on anyone’s toes by taking an initiative for 2024 (and in the Rhondda, arranged in co-operation with Anglican Canon Sarah Rogers). Therefore three services will be held, using the material published by the World Council of Churches:

For Pontypridd: Friday 19 January, 6 pm, St Dyfrig’s RC Church, CF37 1DB

For Llantrisant: Monday 22 January, 11 am, All Hallows RC Church, CF72 8PG

For the Rhondda Valleys: Thursday 25 January, 7 pm, St Barnabas CiW Church, CF40 1JU

There will also be an opportunity to join in prayer online at 2 pm on Monday 22 January as part of a longer free prayer course I am running on line (registration required on this link).

It would be great to know that you will promote these services to other local Christians, and even better if you can contribute readers or musicians. Feel free to contact me on gareth.leyshon@rcadc.org or 01443 402439.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Every blessing – Pastor Gareth Leyshon