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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 January 2012: Melanie Evans, Reader at St Peter’s Church, Petersfield

Week of prayer for Christian unity

The Christian Church throughout the world is made up of people who worship God in different ways. Those differences over the years have resulted in arguments leading to different types of church being formed.

During my journey of faith I have been blessed in knowing, working with and training alongside people who practice their faith in these different ways. Once or twice that blessing has included helping and talking with people of other faith traditions. Just before Christmas I was in a discussion group with leaders from a Muslim community, talking about prayer. By the end of the evening both Christians and Muslims were saying the same. On the subject of prayer alone, we could see no differences between our two faith traditions. It was a rare privilege to witness our unity in diversity.

We are lucky here in Petersfield that members of the Christian church, Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) have worked and prayed together over the course of many years. It is a joy that we can come together and pray that we may, one day, all worship together around The Lord’s Table without church differences stopping us. Jesus said in John 17 “My prayer is not for my disciples alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” … “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them, even as you have loved me.”

May that prayer be ours as well in this new year.

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