Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity held in Enniskillen


Right Revd. Trevor Williams preaching in Enniskillen Cathedral.

A Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity took place in the Cathedral Church of St. Macartin, Enniskillen on Wednesday, 18 January.

Among those taking part was the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd. Dr. Ian Ellis; the Dean of Clogher, the Very Revd. Canon Kenneth Hall; Monsignor Peter O’Reilly of St, Michael’s Roman Catholic Church and the Revd. Lorna Dreaning of Enniskillen Methodist Church.

Also taking part were members of Fermanagh Churches Forum, which represents the main churches in the county.
The preacher was the Right Revd Trevor Williams, former Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, who, in his address, said he admired the work of the churches in Enniskillen for Christian unity so clearly demonstrated by the symbolism of Her Majesty The Queen’s visit to the town in 2012.

He said they needed those symbolic aspects because of the world of division with people hearing daily of the differences of race, culture, politics and those of educational social backgrounds. These, he said, often became hostile barriers resulting in violence and bloodshed.

He reminded the congregation that the service was written by the churches of Minneapolis in the US. In May 2020, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in the US city because of personal and also of institutional racism against Afro Americans. The churches of Minneapolis contributed to the service content “to explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society.”

One of the readings selected for the service was well known, the parable of the Good Samaritan in St. Luke’s Gospel set on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.

He said everyone should treat each other as Christians and learn from each other. This is one of the world’s greatest needs. Everyone will learn from those who are different.

He went on to discuss how to promote unity between different people. Visiting was one way of promoting unity and hospitality another.

“Always think; who is not in the room. The work of Christian unity is not an event or a destination, it is a way of living,” said Bishop Williams.

He appealed to people to find ways in their lives to work for Christian unity and that by doing so they were not only loving their neighbours as themselves but witnessing to a broken, divided and difficult world of a new way, offering a new possibility, a new hope and a new peace. People needed to hear that, he added.

Prayers were offered by representatives of Enniskillen post primary schools under the themes of community relations, victims of violence, the sick, families, economic uncertainty, refugees and endangered people and endangered planet.

The service ended with the singing of “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.”