Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) for 2020 are now available to buy or download online from the Christians Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) website.
WPCU is traditionally observed from 18th to 25th January – the octave of St Peter and St Paul. However, in some areas it is observed at Pentecost or some other time.
On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer.
Hospitality is a much needed virtue in our search for Christian unity. It calls us to a greater generosity to those in need. The people who showed unusual kindness to Paul and his companions did not yet know Christ, and yet it is through their unusual kindness that a divided people were drawn closer together. Our own Christian unity will be discovered not only through showing hospitality to one another, but also through loving encounters with those who do not share our language, culture or faith.
In such tempestuous journeys and chance encounters, God’s will for his Church and all people comes to fulfilment. As Paul will proclaim in Rome, this salvation of God has been sent to all peoples (see Acts 28:28).
Each year Christian Aid provides the Go and Do action points for each of the daily reflections – linking into the important work of Christian Aid in the relief of poverty and advocacy of justice. 2020 action points are at –
[ https://ctbi.org.uk/goanddo ]
Show your support for Christian Unity by posting unity messages and details of your events to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post (note there is a delay before they appear). You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2020 hashtag.
WPCU 2020 materials have been prepared by the Christian Churches in Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta) and are entitled ‘Unusual Kindness’. On 10th February, many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer. The story of St Paul’s being shipwrecked on Malta in Acts 27 and 28 will lead us, during this week, to reflect upon many aspects of our own lives and the lives of our Churches.
Materials are available in a variety of formats (please see here for more information) and may be obtained by downloading them for free from the CTBI at [ https://ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer ]; ordering printed copies from Norwich Books and Music by calling 00 44 (0) 1603 785 925; or downloading and posting the order form.
Bishop John McDowell, Chair of the Church of Ireland’s Commission on Christian Unity and Dialogue, remarked: ‘I hope that this annual commendation of the order of service and other materials relating to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, provided by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, is not received simply as a formality. Although it has both its critics and its weaknesses, the WPCU provides all of us with a fixed point in the year to celebrate, initiate, or perhaps revive the emphasis on solidarity in faith between believers in service of the Gospel and the World that is very opportune.’