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Praying for Christian Unity in Hertfordshire

On Wednesday 20 January, Bishop John Sherrington joined the prayer service for Christian Unity at the Coptic Cathedral in Stevenage. This was his last official public engagement as Auxiliary Bishop with pastoral responsibility for Hertfordshire and as Chair of Churches Together in the county.

In his reflection, Bishop John invited those in attendance 'to incline our ear to the Lord and listen with the heart to his Will', as they prayed together for Christian unity.

He said: 'It is good that we pray together this week. It is good that we work together to serve those who are in need. It is good that we reflect and try to overcome historical differences which divide us on points of theology, understanding and attitude.'

He noted however that more is required of Christians: 'It would be easier to settle for good and neighbourly relationships but we are called to go further and that needs fervent prayer which arises from hearts that are open and humble before the Holy Spirit and one another.'

Comparing the ecumenical relations to a pilgrimage, he added: 'On our ecumenical pilgrimage, the progress can be difficult but this should intensify our prayer and humble trust in the Holy Spirit rather than give up on the journey or forget the end-point of our longings.'

Speaking of how Christians might 'proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the world', he said, the 'witness of Christians will be salt and light to the world', and invited those gathered to 'renew your commitment to the goal of visible unity and service of the Lord'.

From 25 January, Bishop John assumes pastoral responsibility for the North London deaneries.

The full text of Bishop John's homily can be found here.