London: Meeting of Bishops of various Churches, friends of the Focolare

“The Word of God and its Transforming Power” is the theme of the meeting which has gathered more than 30 Bishops at the “Centre for Unity” in Welwyn Garden City, in the vicinity of London, from 6-12 September. They are friends of the Focolare Movement, representatives of various Christian churches - Anglicans, Orthodox, Evangelical-Lutherans, Syro-Orthodox, Methodists and Roman Catholics.

In the face of the difficulties in western society, and also in other parts of the world, the bishops of various churches, friends of the Focolare Movement, upon the invitation of Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop Emeritus of Prague, will reflect on their mission and will interrogate themselves on the impact of their pastoral work in transmitting the Gospel message. They will focus on the light and strength that emerges from the Word of God, which is the origin of the Church of Christ, in its various expressions, and which can give the Church, even today, a new vigour and illuminating power.

Significant meetings are expected to take place with the Primate of the Church of England, Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Msgr Vincent Nichols, and with representatives of the Methodist Church and other ecclesial realities present in England.

The keynote address of Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement, will be of particular relevance. She will underline the effects of living the Word, at the origin of the Movement, and on its spirituality that is purely ecumenical.

The apex of the meeting is the “Pact of reciprocal love” that commits those present to place mutual love above all past divisions, in accordance with Jesus’ invitation to remain in his love and to love one another as he has done.

On Friday 9 September, at the “Open Day” to which the Focolare Movement in Great Britain invites the Church leaders of the various churches, they will present the experience of fraternal communion lived by Bishops of various Christian churches, together with the prospect of an ever more profound and amicable unity amongst those responsible, in the spirit of the prayer of Jesus who asks for the unity of all.