Anglican Centre Birthday Includes Poignant Symbol

The Anglican Centre in Rome celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this weekend with special prayers and services, including a symbol of faith in today’s uncertain world.

The Centre was founded in 1966, following the Second Vatican Council. It was dedicated by Archbishop Michael Ramsey on 22 March that year before his historic visit to Pope Paul VI the following day. It was on the next day, 24 March 1966 that the Pope gave the Archbishop his episcopal ring.

The Director, who is the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See, and those working with him at the Centre now in its 50th year, are keen to promote interest in its activities of Worship, Hospitality and Education; and also to promote prayer for its essential 'missionary activity' of promoting Christian Unity in a divided world.

On Sunday 29 May, the entire Anglican Communion is being asked to pray for the Anglican Centre in Rome, being the Sunday nearest the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury. A special prayer has been drafted for the occasion:  PLEASE SHARE THIS AND PRAY IT

ALMIGHTY and everliving 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, and encourage us in our commitment to one body, one faith, and one Lord, even Jesus Christ, your risen and glorified Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

At Evensong in the Centre a very special gift of a Lampedusa Cross will be blessed. This is one of the few crosses made by Francesco Tuccio, a local carpenter, from the boats of refugees who have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. One of these crosses has been acquired by the British Museum, as a mark and symbol of our time, and another has been given to Pope Francis.