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by glynch — last modified 04 May, 2016 04:46 PM

Anglican Centre in Rome asks for support for 29 May day of prayer as it celebrates half century

Famous, among other things, for organising the Vatican v Anglican Communion cricket matches, the Anglican Centre in Rome is itself celebrating a fine half century this year.

The Centre was established on 22 March 1966, in the heady ecumenical climate of the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council, when it seemed to many that a swift reunification of Western Christianity was a real possibility.

Two days after it was opened by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, he met Pope Paul VI in a historic encounter, where the Pope gave the Archbishop an episcopal ring that he had been given by the people of Milan when he was Bishop there, and placed it on his finger.

Both the Pope and the Archbishop hoped the Centre would encourage the emerging 'special relationship' between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, symbolised by that gift. It makes a particular contribution to that relationship through enabling full and frank discussion and debate on issues which unify the Communions, and on those which divided them.

The Centre continues to play a key role in encouraging the growing relationship between Rome and Canterbury. The cricket matches between Anglican and Roman Catholic teams (which this year will expand to include a Muslim team in a triangular tournament) are a small and public expression of the countless deep relationships the Centre has forged over the decades.

This year, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Centre is asking people and churches throughout the Anglican Communion to remember it in a special day of prayer on Sunday 29 May.

The Centre’s Director is the Most Revd Sir David Moxon, formerly one of the Primates of New Zealand. David is also the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.

Asking for support from churches in the Diocese of Salisbury about the Day of Prayer, Archbishop Sir David said, “We are at a crucial stage in our relationships with the Roman Catholic Church. This pontificate of Pope Francis is providing all kinds of opportunities to engage for the local common good, to increase the degrees of communion we share, and to challenge global injustice together.

“We are being called by Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis to act as if we are one in whatever ways we can.

“We are called to walk together in faith hope and love: one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

“The Anglican Centre in Rome is ideally placed to embody and catalyse this vision at this time because we are living in the heart of the Catholic world and can witness to the potential in so many ways. There has never been a greater opportunity to make the most of the truth that what unites us is greater than what divides us. That is ultimately Christ and his call to us ‘that they may all be one’. (John 17:21)

“Do check out our website and see for yourself.”

More information and resources on the work of the Anglican Centre in Rome can be found on its website,

A Prayer for The Anglican Centre in Rome

Almighty and ever living God, you have called us in the body of your son Jesus Christ to continue his work of reconciliation; in gratitude we celebrate the presence of The Anglican Centre in Rome and give thanks for its reconciling witness to Christian unity.  As we remember the gift of hope that so inspired its creation we pray that this same hope may strengthen our witness to justice and peace in the world.  We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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