By ACNS staff
Anglican youth from as far away as Australia have travelled to Brazil for the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day.
Around thirty young people, aged between 18 and 30, are taking part in a ten-day parallel encounter for members of the Anglican Communion arranged by the Episcopal Church of Brazil.
The Revd Nicholas Wheeler, a priest in the host Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, said, "Our city is expecting one million young people from around the world to take part in the [World Youth Day] event. The theme is Go and make disciples of all nations.
"With such a great opportunity before us to encourage young people to attend more deeply to the call of Jesus Christ, our Diocesan Youth Chaplaincy and our Diocesan Centre for Anglican Theological Education sought to create a group of young people from across the Anglican Communion to take part in a ten-day parallel encounter.
"The group comprises nine representatives from overseas dioceses, nine young people from the dioceses of the Province of Brazil and nine young people from our own parishes."
The encounter, endorsed by Brazil's primate Archbishop Mauricio Andrade, aims to build links between young people across the Communion to reflect, pray and share together in an experience of a lifetime and consider what it means to be a young Anglican today.
"We have been invited to take part in Ecumenical Catechesis by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and will be seeking to take the group to some of the key moments in both the World Youth Day and the Papal Visit," said Mr Wheeler.
The programme includes a celebration in the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer in Tijuca, sessions on 'Being an young Anglican today', an ecumenical youth event at the cathedral, plus sessions together with the World Youth Day attendees and Pope Francis.
Representatives of Alpha – the introduction to Christianity course started by a leading London Anglican church – have also been invited to participate in World Youth Day.
World Youth Day is held every two to three years. The last event was held in August 2011, in Madrid, Spain, and brought together more than 190 countries with two million people taking part.