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Churches Together
United Service for Unity Week
Sunday 18th January 2015

CELEBRATING UNITY IN DIVERSITY

The 2015 theme of the world-wide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was “The Well is Deep”, centring upon the encounter of Jesus with a woman at a well in Samaria.  Proposed by Christians in Brazil, where denominational tensions bitterly divide communities, this year’s theme was all about breaking through cultural and religious barriers to find understanding and love in our encounters with strangers.

Ministers of four different denominations in North Farnham stood side by side at the altar to jointly lead Churches Together’s annual United Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Sunday 18th January.

This inspirational event was attended by members of many of the 27 churches in and around the town that make up Churches Together in Farnham.

The five ministers who together planned and presented the 2015 United Service were Joint Rectors of Badshot Lea and Hale Parish the Revds.Alan and Lesley Crawley, who hosted the event at St Mark’s Church Upper Hale; the Revd.David Ashby (Hale and Rowledge Methodist Church); the Revd.John Edwards (Holy Family Catholic Church, Heath End); and Bob Skinner (Weybourne Baptist Church) - picture below.

United Service 2015
From the left:  The Revds.Lesley and Alan Crawley, the Revd.John Edwards, the Revd.David Ashby and Bob Skinner.

The five ministers took it in turn to lead the prayers.  St.Mark’s own music ensemble provided a delightful accompaniment to rousing hymn singing by the congregation.  David Ashby set up a lively session, inviting the congregation to react to a challenging video about attitudes to strangers.  During the service everyone lit a candle and members of different churches and denominations brought water to the altar in various vessels, symbolising Christian unity in diversity.

The afternoon ended with warm fellowship over a bring and share tea, served by parishioners.

Alan Crawley said: “When we planned the service we felt that it was important that we should embody Unity as well as talk about it, which is why the ministers from the local churches each took part in the service.”

Throughout the rest of Unity Week (19th - 24th January), an ecumenical prayer meeting was held each morning at churches across Farnham.

Each day starting at 10:30 a.m
Monday 19th St.Joan’s Centre Tilford Road (“Wright Room”)
Tuesday 20th St.Joan’s Centre Tilford Road (Foyer)
Wednesday 21st Farnham Pentecostal Church, Red Lion Lane
Thursday 22nd St.Joan’s Centre Tilford Road (Foyer)
Friday 23rd St.Andrew’s (“Pavillions”)
Saturday 24th St.Joan’s Centre Tilford Road (Foyer)

 

Mary Clark

 
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