Focolare Little Town
Welcome to the Focolare Movement in Great Britain
A brief history
The first Focolare was opened in Liverpool in 1964. The Movement developed steadily, and by the late 70s there were Focolare houses in London, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow. As well as local meetings and activities, the annual Mariapolis gatherings helped people of all ages and backgrounds to keep in contact.
A magazine and publishing house, New City, was also established.
The ecumenism of the Focolare Movement was fostered by regular journeys to Rome, and to Loppiano, the Focolare’s ‘little town’ near Florence. It has been described as an ‘ecumenism of life’ complemented by the study of joint statements (like those of ARCIC) agreed by theologians of the different churches. The Movement works for the various Ecumenical initiatives of the Churches, and bodies like CTS in England, CYTUN in Wales, and ACTS in Scotland.
A remarkable year for the movement was 1977, when Chiara Lubich came to London to receive the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. There were 700 people in the Guildhall, and the vision of so many people united in some way through a common Father inspired Chiara to say of London,”They say that this is the most cynical city in the world, yet it could become its most spiritual.”